I have been practicing a piano track for the song I am current recording. Distraction is really easy to come by for me when I am recording. I start out full of focus, finding a clear path through the notes with the tracks I’ve already recorded (in this case, a guitar track and two vocal tracks). These other tracks make a road map, keeping me on course.
Until, of course, my mind wanders. Off it goes, sounding something like this: “oh, lovely, listen to the notes, so pretty…it’s flowing pretty well…I really know how to play this now…good rhythm…oh! where am I in the song?…oh! there; I am there……this may turn into a good track…maybe I’ll be finished with this track and can move on to………..” and, before you know it, I’m not even playing in time with the other tracks, I’ve dropped several notes, lost my way, caught up with it again, and come to rest at the end of a practice track that shows me what I need to do next.
Practice some more.
This process tells me that part of being able to focus on the essence of something involves building skills to support that focus.
I’m not a practiced pianist at all. I simply work out sounds by ear until I like them, then play them. I can hear how well they go with what I already have recorded and how they add to the richness of the song; I can also hear the lack of fluidity in my playing.
Focusing on skills is less fun, much less fun, than actually creating the recording of the song. Better skills do, however, make that recording awesomely better, an experience that others will truly enjoy. And better skills will, in the end, allow me to focus more deeply as I record, living in the middle of the music and creating from that point of focus rather than existing around the edges of the song and merely taking pokes at it.