'Do it Again (Tim)!'

Get back, Tim. Do it again...thank you Messrs Fagen & Becker – and you get mentioned in both of my blogs thus far! But that's often what it's all about – going back and doing it again. If I play acoustic guitar on a song I'll often keep replacing the original – keep on getting it tighter, better played and with a better feel. Ross also knows how obsessive I can get about the drums. It seems I hear movement in the tempo or rushes at the end of fills where others – thankfully – don't. We're all trying to do our best and get the best out of ourselves. We are individuals producing our parts but also working within a team. I certainly apply a lot of pressure on myself regarding recording. We are our own engineers and producers. It would be great to be in the studio with someone saying: 'Give it another take, I know you can do better, but don't worry we've got a good version saved.' You feel guided and supported and the pressure of recording is taken off. But then I really love recording and having the control over mixing and producing. This album, as you'll know, has been very much co-produced (and written). It's really comforting to know there's a safe pair of hands backing you up. I have appreciated that – and still do. Last night (well this morning!) I was working on a song and I simply couldn't resist re-doing the bass. It's not a complicated part but some of it has niggled me since I first put it down. Over time these niggling feelings work on you – prodding and poking till you mentally shout 'enough' and do their bidding. And then you're happy. For a while at least. There's a definite process to all this. You record and eventually you're happy with what you've done. Then come the doubts and niggles and thus you re-record. And you've heard the song so many times you start questioning the whole of it! It's like saying a word over and over again until it loses its meaning! So you re-record bits and pieces – coming back to the song periodically. It's 'ready', you let it fly the nest – and then you worry. 'Ross, couldn't I just re-do that part? Can you hear that tempo push?' Too late. Now the song has to survive on its own. Wave it good bye and let other folk's ears do the judging. Of course it's not just their ears; other people will relate to songs both aurally AND emotionally. Just like the feeling we had when we first put pen to paper and stroked some chords and brought the song into life. Other folk react with feeling and connect to the song's origin. Yes, a well played, recorded, mixed and produced song is going to have more impact and convey the emotional content more effectively. But we have to trust. Trust ourselves and trust others. But most of all – trust the songs!

Tim Bragg

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