Work in the Trenches!!

Kenny's Tip of the Day - Work in the Trenches!!

With all of the great recording equipment that’s available these days, it’s very tempting to want to buy it all. Especially if you’re lucky enough to be able to afford it or get an extended credit limit on your Sweetwater credit card. But my advice is to avoid this temptation at all costs. Instead. Work in the trenches.

Why do I say this? It’s quite simple. You haven’t accomplished anything yet. I remember when I first starting writing pop songs with my partner in NYC. Our manager had a huge loft space and offered to build us out a really nice studio in that space.

My partner refused. He said, let’s put our modest gear in one of the already built tiny rooms over in the corner. It was really a glorified closet to be honest. It was being used as a pass thru room to get to one of the real studios in the facility.

The thing is, we hadn’t accomplished anything yet. We were writing songs together in hopes of getting a publishing deal along with “cuts” on major label artist’s records. But we were just starting out. We needed room to grow.

When you have everything you could ever want, where do you go from there? I understand. You can rationalize (and creative people can rationalize) that if you had this great mic or mic preamp or even boatload full of plugins, it will “inspire” you to create even better music. But that’s really not true. Some of the best creative works have come out lack of budget or with very little financial resources. And I can’t tell you how many amazing studios have been built and never used.

The “build it and they will come” fallacy is just that. A fallacy. It doesn’t work. Earn it and get what you need. Not what you “want”. And especially not before you’ve accomplished anything.

Now, I understand the need to treat yourself upon success. And you should do that. If you get that 100k publishing deal, feel free to upgrade your system. If you get that first platinum record, feel free to buy a new computer. You deserve it. And rewarding yourself for success will inspire you to succeed more. And it will inspire you and you will get more work done. But you can’t start there.

You must work in the trenches first. Work with what you have. Borrow some gear. Get some people to do you some favors. Earn your success and then get what you actually need to keep working. Don’t fill up a beatiful studio with equipment that you have no idea how to use and think you’re already there because you look the part. It doesn’t serve you and you haven’t earned it yet. Do the work first. Then enjoy the rewards of that success. Good luck.

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I hope this message finds you well. Kenny Gioia