Freeway Music — Columbia, SC’s Premier Music School

The Producer’s New Groove

The Producer’s New Groove

I was in Nashville recording a record with a producer/engineer named Stephen Gause. It was one of the best months I’ve ever had in my life. When we weren’t recording on music row, we were out catching the Wooten brothers play, or Jonathan Brooke playing a free concert on the green.

One day, I was laying down my guitar tracks in the basement of Ben’s house, the session drummer of the project. As I’m recording, Stephen stops the track and says,“man, you are pushing the beat hard.” With much youth and arrogance I replied, “No, I’m not. I’m definitively playing on beat.”

He said,“Come into the control room.” So, I went in there and he showed me on Pro Tools the lines of the beat, then the sound waves that I just recorded. Sure enough, I was ahead every time. So, he then began to explain “pushing the beat” vs “playing on the beat” vs “playing just a tad behind.” I had no concept of this at the time, but he planted the seed.

I spent the next several years being cognitive of where I play on the beat. I now have much better control and I play with a lot more groove…all thanks to Stephen Gause.

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