Arts & Entertainment, Music

Recording a Song

Reba McEntire

Lesson time 12:01 min

Welcome to the recording studio! From working with producers, to conveying authentic emotion in your recording sessions, Reba explains her own unique recording process.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Working with Producers • Prepping for the Studio • Getting Into Character


A music producer is hired by the record label and, or the singer to come in and be the overseer of the project. He's the one that coordinates the musicians to come in, coordinates his team, coordinates where the studio, which studio we're going to perform in-- recording in-- from start to finish. I love to record. That's one of my favorite processes in the music business. It's very creative. I like to get involved. I like to be 100% involved with it. I didn't get to do that when I first got started, but nowadays this is the way we do it. About six to eight months before we record, I let all my publishing company buddies, friends know that I'm going to be recording. I let the songwriters know. I let my friends know that have access to songwriters, and you never know where a song's going to come from. So then we get the musicians selected. We get into the studio, and we're all in the control room-- just like this-- with all the musicians, and the producer has gotten one of his lead musicians-- whoever's going to be the lead musician for that session-- he has written up a chart. And it's a number system. Like number one would be the key that the song is in. And then you go one, four, five, and on and on. That's way over my hair spray, I don't ever get into that. I just look at the lyrics. So we get that set, everybody's got the chart, and then we listen to the demo. And now the musicians might go to the producer, are you sure you want this break down here? Do you want to stop it? Do you want to kind of ease into it? What's the outro, what's the intro? And they get all that right. And so anybody's got any questions, they go through it. Now on a session, you can either have everybody that's going to be on the record in where we're going to go record in the big room-- we can have them that day-- or you can wait, and overdubbed the fiddle, dobro, banjo, harmonica, steel guitar. You can do that later if you just want to get the basics. Everybody does recording differently. They've got their ways of doing it. Some build tracks, but I like to pretty much have everybody in there. So we know if a fiddle doesn't sound good, we've got a steel guitar right there to play an instrument. A turnaround-- split it, maybe a fiddle and a steel guitar can take the instrumental and it sounds real good. So you've got the options right there while you're recording the song. So I go into my little soundproof booth, and I'm sitting there waiting patiently until everybody gets their parts, and they're all tuned up ready to go. All musicians are in one big room, producer is in this control room, and I'm in my soundproof booth. Say that three times. And then we get to go. Let's run it. Now I sing it three or four times while my voice is warmed up, and then we can do what is called a vocal comp. And I sit with the engineer, s...

About the Instructor

You know her songs. Her Oklahoma charm. Now learn directly from Reba in her first-ever online class. Join her as she records a never-before-heard song, creates a new acoustic version of Fancy, breaks down her hits, and delivers emotional performances on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. This is more than a music class. This is Reba's life, business, and country music MasterClass.

Featured MasterClass Instructor

Reba McEntire

Reba teaches her approach to making great country music and navigating the business in 21 video lessons.

Explore the Class
Sign Up