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Recording Journal: Day 53

Today we focused our energy on only one thing: the last guitar part. It was on Track 9, and it's a guitar solo. I'd somewhat recently changed it so that it was more difficult—not that I needed the challenge since my playing has stayed at about the same level for like a decade. I keep my skill to only what I need to get by. That's totally fine when it comes to rhythm and basic lead parts in songs. In solos, however, I pay for not continuing to progress. Since writing the new solo, I've spent, on average, 5-10 whole minutes a day practicing it. It's been around a week, so that's anywhere from 35 to 70 minutes. You'll be shocked to learn I still can't play the solo perfectly each time, so we had to do a fair number of takes.

We started by just looping the recording for the solo, which is how I practiced it. That worked pretty well. We were able to use several pieces from those takes. What I like about that is it lets me lock into the groove, and, from there, I feel comfortable putting some extra stank on some of the stuff. The problem areas were what we expected: a fast triplet pull off thing and a fast picking thing. To me, the triplet thing was the toughest because I'd not really done that before this solo, so I had to figure out the best way to do it for me. We ended up just doing multiple takes of the first half of the solo (it's at the end of that). I thought we'd need to punch in to get it, but it worked out pretty well. The other problem area we did wind up punching in for. We wound up doing that so we could use a different pick. The issue was that the pick I was using was too large and flimsy to properly capture the sound we wanted for the fast picking part. Stephen had a small firm one on hand, and that gave a much more consistent sound throughout the section.

After that, we worked on editing what we recorded to get the best solo possible from the different takes. That involved some timing adjustments for the parts we just recorded and some fine tuning of the rest of the song. It was kind of tedious, but it worked out really well, I think.

Once we finished that, we decided we needed a feedback sound to lead into the solo. Stephen had an amp we hadn't used before he thought would work well there. It sure did. We just recorded a long take where we tried to make weird feedback noises. That was a lot of fun, but it kind of hurt both our ears. Anyway, we found some pieces that work well.

As far as I know, the guitars are now completely finished. The plan is to record again tomorrow. Perhaps to finish the background vocals.