Question: What is the BEST way to overcome "red light syndrome"? I just got done recording my band's first CD project and we prepared and rehearsed and I rehearsed on my own until I was blue. I showed up at the studio prepared and in good spirits and suddenly, the red light goes on and suddenly, the shadow of doubt is revealed. It's a bit silly and the guys were very supportive. But, the hard drive doesn't lie. Sometimes 6 takes can be frustrating. Rehearsing it is no problem. Stepping up to the camera...well, sometimes that can be daunting. Performing is not a problem. Is 'red light syndrome' felt in a professional's role and what steps can be taken to be free of this? As always, I most appreciate your gifts of mentoring and sharing your music! Thank you for your inspirations!

Tom Hess's Answer: First of all, unless you are a studio musician, 6 takes is not that bad. If you said 20 takes, then we have a problem. However you can certainly get to the point where you can record in 1-3 takes pretty consistently.

The solution is actually pretty simple. When you practice at home, practice recording your playing. This will help to gain control over your nerves. Challenge yourself to record something in as few takes as possible (and you don’t need a fancy recording studio to do this yourself, even a simple hand held digital recorder will work).

You can even do this as a band together, and/or you can have band members or even just friends sit in the room with you as you record (to put additional pressure on yourself).

Of course, do all of this only after you have done enough regular practicing to feel comfortable with playing whatever it is you are trying to record.

In addition if you feel stressed to play while recording you might also experience some level of stage fright. Look into this article for a Stage Fright Remedy for Guitar Players.

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