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Blueprint for recording a song - part 1 - gear and ideas

For background on this series of posts, check out Blueprint for recording a song - introduction.

One of my motivations in writing this series is to showcase how technology empowers creators to write, record, and distribute original music. I'll start with an overview of my gear. (Side note: I'm a guitar player, so the last two items are specifically for guitar players.)


The Line6 POD is my sound card, electric guitar amplifier and effects. It's an amazing piece of hardware.

If I didn't have it, I would need: guitar amplifier, effects pedals, microphones, and some kind of audio recording interface that would capture the sound being sent to the microphones and send it to my laptop. But I have a POD, and it's magical.

The setup is basic. My laptop is running recording software called Reaper. My guitar is plugged into the POD, and the POD is plugged via USB into my laptop. I prefer to record with headphones and the Sony's are by far my favorite (sound quality on them is phenomenal). This setup allows me to record high-quality WAV files (24-bit 44.1 k).

It's really as simple as turning on my laptop, turning on the POD, plugging in the guitar, and hitting the record button in Reaper.

Song ideas

The working title for the song is "All I Tried To Do".

I currently have chord progressions figured out for 3 parts: Verse, Pre-chorus, and Chorus. I did a simple recording of each part earlier today. Think of these recordings as notebook sketches. Notice the guitar tone is clean without any effects. My goal was to quickly record each section in it's rawest form so I don't forget the chords and feel.

Check them out:

Verse idea

Pre-chorus idea

Chorus idea

With these parts I have enough to start figuring out the outline of my song. My next steps are going to be figuring out how to connect these sections together, figuring out the click track (aka the BPM, beats per minute of the song), and then recording a full (guitar only) take of the entire song.

Here's to starting something new!