Uncle Scotchy’s Advice on Recording Music

So….. you want to record an album?

My initial reaction is, “Good! Good for you.” There’s a lot more “right” reasons than “wrong” reasons for recording your music. It’s a worthwhile endeavor that genuinely takes time, effort, and creativity.

Even if you are a bullshit person with mediocre songs, and delusions of instant and universally adoring fame…. It’s probably a good thing to do. You will at least get a mirror held up to your talent and what you perhaps really sound like, as opposed to what you think you sound like.

Even if you use a ton of effects to mask your weaknesses and musical limitations, deep inside you kind of know where you’re at once you record.

Self-awareness is terribly underrated.

For those who have the resources to book huge blocks of time at the nicest studios and the top engineers… Do it, god damnit. Take advantage of that while you can, and try to make the most of it.

This blog might not be for you though.

For the rest of us, there is good news. You don’t need a ton of money to make a quality recording that you will be happy with and proud to put out there. A good mic and a good interface are really the only equipment you need to concern yourself with. Quality products for both are now more affordable than ever.

Other than that, Logic, Pro Tools, or even GarageBand, are recording software options that are relatively easy to learn.

Most of you have friends who can help. But be patient. Very patient with yourself. It will be very frustrating at first. You will mess up, a lot. Thankfully, our friendly angel “YouTube” is always there to help.

Once you endure this process without shooting yourselves in face or throwing your laptop out the fucking window, there will be a reward. You did something. Something that you created.

Believe it or not, it can be super fun too.

Now that you have all of your little songs laid down to the best of your abilities, I would recommend hiring someone to mix & master the tracks. This might take some cash.

It will also start a whole new, tedious process of combing through the skeletons, muscles, and organs of your musical baby.

Once again… Be patient. Make sure you get it right. You have to live with this time capsule for the rest of your life.

Finally, everything is done.

Mixed and mastered to your liking. You have all the files for all your songs all shiny and ready for the world to hear.

As the saying goes, if a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it, it didn’t make a sound.

How are you gonna get it out there?

There is SO MUCH music out there. It’s overwhelming.

A brand new musical American Ninja Warrior series of obstacles and decisions need to be made.

Distrokid, Tunecore, CD Baby and tons of other online music distributors are available and eager to take your music and place it on all the streaming platforms that people use to consume music. Super affordable too.

It’s not a real thing until it’s on Spotify, right?

Your friendly YouTube angel will soon become an endless rabbit hole of infinite strategies and methods from “experts” you have never heard of.

Right now, just about everyone strongly suggests you release one single at a time and invest money to boost these songs.

Spotify playlists are coveted. But the options just keep going & just about everyone is offering ways to get your music heard, for a price.


I’m a professional musician who never really prioritized recording. I don’t love listening to myself. The whole process bored me anyway. Years and years of writing, creating, and playing music live have little to show for it. The recordings I have done with my band, “Juke” are ok.

I don’t love them. I wouldn’t consider them an accurate sum of the work, hours, and chunks of my soul that I invested. That is something that I truly regret. That is a regret that hopefully you will spare yourselves.

I finally decided to bite the bullet.

To sit down and record myself, at home, in my natural habitat.

Little, simple songs. Songs that I no longer worry about anyone liking.

Songs that, in one way or the other, are special to me.

Months of frustration, weed, cigarettes, frustration, green tea, coffee, Celsius, fun, weed, cigarettes, more frustration, and more fun went into it.

I recorded as my Blues alias.

The record is called, “Leave Uncle Scotchy Alone.”

I like it.

Contrary to just about all advice that the internet had to offer, I decided to release it first as an old school, vinyl album.

Realizing how integral the lyrics are to these tiny, musical stories, I decided to create and offer a book of lyrics as well.

If I am to share these musical souvenirs, I wanted to offer a look inside the jewelry box….to those few that care, at least.

However, this borderline noble and low key self-serving endeavor counters my initial business plan.

All the frugal advice I have been rambling about in the previous paragraphs kind of went out the window.

Faced with a cost situation that I’m not prepared to absorb, I have opted for online panhandling… otherwise known as crowdfunding that you can contribute to by clicking here.

At first I was slightly embarrassed.

A grown-ass man asking for help online for a project that revolves around me. But I realized that I forgot something. I forgot that music is something you give. If you give yourself, your truth, and your eyes and ears, then there is nothing to be ashamed of. Those that know you will want to hear. Those that are discovering you will want to hear. Some won’t like it at all. That’s ok. It’s the gamble of music.

But some might be touched. Just a little is enough.

They will invest in a connection. A window made of sound. For a moment they might experience the world and the pain that went into the endless hours of this creation. Endless hours of practice. Scribbling down words. Scratching them out. Humming in the shower. Reliving moments. Recording alone. Dining with my demons.

There is no shame in that.

So, whatever your music means to you and whatever you want to express to the world, do it. If you don’t feel like you’re ready, then get ready. Practice your craft. When you are ready, you will find a way. There’s always a way.

It’s your voice. You can scream into the abyss, or you can capture it in a bottle. If you sell tons of those bottles, that’s fucking awesome.

But if, after all you put yourself through, leaves you with just one bottle on the shelf that you are proud of, I say, “Good for you.”

I might actually mean it.

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Eric Garcia

Eric Garcia is frontman of the Miami band Juke.