Arts & Entertainment, Music

Studio Recording

Tom Morello

Lesson time 14:57 min

Tom takes you on a philosophical and practical tour of his strategies for getting the most out of a studio recording session.

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

Topics include: Capture Your Essence • The Three Tiers of Recording • Experiment With Multitracking • Treat Techs With Respect • Marry Inspiration and Craft • Just Record


It's one thing to write music and songs, it's another thing to play, write, and improvise solos. But eventually, you're going to record-- want to record your music. My recording history is one that was originally fraught with peril. I was in a band called Lockup before Rage Against the Machine. We were signed to Geffen Records, and at the time, it was like grabbing the brass ring. Like I had a record deal. Everybody back home in Libertyville thought I must be a multimillionaire. They didn't know I was living with like six other guys in a one room apartment in West Hollywood. But I had the opportunity to make a record. And my thought was, I'm now entering this world of professional people whose ideas must be great, because they're professional people, they're A and R people and record company people and producers. And so we went to a fancy, expensive studio in Marin County and began making the Lockup record. And the first thing that I noticed was that the environment in which we were recording was very, very-- the band was like a street band from sort of the eastern side of Hollywood and had a punk rock vibe, and we were in this kind of luxurious environment with hot tubs and elk, you know, (LAUGHING) coming by. I thought, oh, I guess this is how you make rock and roll. And then the, you know, the producer was trying to damp-- the band-- the band, at its rawest, sounded like kind of a punk rock version of Living Color. But the producer and the A and R person had an idea for the band that was a little bit more like kind of latter-day Chili Peppers, like sort of a funky but song, pop oriented band. And I realized, early on, I'm not sure how my guitar playing fits into that. Like I want to play heavy stuff. I want to play crazy guitars. And all that was dampened down in the recording process, but I thought, well, I guess they know best. So we made that record. And I remember at one point, like not only were they sort of wanting to de-emphasize my toggle switch playing, but something that was complete anathema at the time, the producer wanted to put keyboards on the record. And I was like, aw, that-- I mean, come on. I mean, dude, like we are not making the keyboard record. I won't be able to ever look my metal friends in the face again. So on the last day-- I stalled doing the keyboards to like the last day we had booked at the studio. And the night before, I snuck in and I completely disabled all of the keyboards in the studio. The next day the producer came in and was like, oh, I guess there's no keyboard overdubs. Like, man, that's a bummer. So we made a record that didn't sound representative of the band, a record that did not connect with an audience, and we were summarily dropped from the label, and Rage Against the Machine formed. Now, Rage Against the Machine went into the studio to make a record with Garth Richardson, who had had some engineering success with Helmet and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. And we went i...

About the Instructor

Tom Morello is a two-time Grammy winner and one of Rolling Stone’s "greatest guitarists of all time." In his first online guitar class, the co-founder of Rage Against the Machine will teach you the riffs, rhythms, and solos that launched his career and sent his music to the top of the charts. Tom will share his approach to making music that challenges the status quo and teach you how to create your own musical style.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Tom Morello

In 26 lessons, Grammy-winning musician Tom Morello will teach you the guitar techniques, rhythms, and riffs that define his signature style.

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