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To find bands that might be a good fit, look up venues in your area that have capacities of around 200+, see who the headliners have been in the past, and pinpoint which ones usually open those shows. You can also scour local music blogs and publications. Once you’ve found a few bands you think you could work with, start making detailed lists. You want to make sure that your early efforts aren’t forgotten for future bookings.

Seriously — it’s so easy to think you know a song perfectly, but then suddenly you have to play it with headphones on and an annoying click in your ear and the whole thing falls apart. When you’re practicing, try to replicate the environment you’ll encounter at your recording studio as much as possible. It’ll help worlds when you actually get in there.

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It’s an ever-fluctuating continuum. Sometimes an idea will pop into my head completely orchestrated and ready to be written down, and other times it’ll just be a little scrap — something I have to sit down and futz around with for hours before achieving any sense of clarity about what exactly I should do with it. Orchestration has always been my favorite part of the writing process, and I enjoy trying to figure it all out, digging and finding the information already hidden in a piece of musical material that will guide my decisions about how to treat it.

Some guitarists want to hear minimal pick attack in their recordings, while others (myself included) want a lot — especially on guitar solos. Pick attack presence is a combination of pickup selection, pick type, picking location, the angle of the pick, and your amp settings.

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