So I'm laying tracks, recording my piano compositions. It's a necessary evil, since I really don't care for "the recording process". Some people enjoy it, but I'm not one of them. For one thing, there's no stage. And I find it stressful. Always looking for that perfect take. Of course, when I played in a band every show was an attempt at the perfect take, because no matter how many or few are in the audience you don't want to make mistakes. But the euphoria of being on stage somehow overrides that, often to the point where you don't make mistakes. Easy!
Recording, however, is different. It's work. You're there for hours, putting your heart and soul into electrical impulses, often over and over and over again. When I recorded I always tried to get it right the first time. And if I remember correctly, I often succeeded and never had to do many "punch ins" during the bass sessions. A great photo of me at Vain Studios has no bass in sight - just me crashed out on the couch waiting to go home. Like "c'mon man, I got it in the bag, aren't you DONE yet??" Yeah. Those were the days.
Piano is a whole new animal when it comes to recording. I'm on my own. The bass, the lead, and rhythm is all me, all the time, and if one of them goes wrong, the whole song is lost. Add to that the truth my piano teacher told me: you lose 50% of your playing ability just by having someone listen - even if it's a recording device. Now, I don't have stage fright mind you, and for some reason it's not nearly as big a problem when playing bass. But she was onto something there. Because with piano, somehow my fingers know when it's important, and those little appendages that so deftly scoot around the keys during a morning coffee jam suddenly become clueless over where to go in a song I wrote a year ago and have played a thousand times. Maddening! And punch ins? Even worse. It's like "I haven't played the whole song, and now you want me to just jump in out of the blue on that difficult scale? Why do you think we messed it up to begin with - it's complicated!"
So I try again. I can play these songs without mistakes. I can. I've done it. Just one more take. The perfect one. I'll get it. You'll see. Errr...hear!