Recording a song can be like architecture – you lay a foundation, and then build layers on top of it, one by one.
Yesterday, Josh and I made a scratch track, or a “shepherd,” as I like to call it – a single guitar track that will serve as the guide for the rest of the instruments of a particular song. Everything else will be built around this track. It’s an important first step.
But on its own, it’s a little bit sad-sounding. When I have a certain final product in mind, full and dynamic, the small effort of a single guitar can make me doubt my efforts. How could this lone track possibly be of any value? It’s simple. It’s rough. It’s not even close to what I envisioned.
And yet, little by little, one piece at a time, we are able to add to that little shepherd track. And with every layer, we get one step closer to the goal I had in mind. Before I know it, I am listening to a full-bodied song – one that sounds like what I had hoped for all along.
While listening to that scratch track yesterday, I had the distinct thought, “Remember this.” When you are aiming at the target but have no idea how you’re going to hit it. When you have the destination but no roadmap. When you have the dream but no way of knowing how to reach it. When all you have is the first step.
“Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe