As an aspiring amateur hack of a writer, one of the first lessons in getting words on paper was to just start typing. Let whatever was in my head flow onto the page without worrying about prose or form.
Just start writing. It is easier to clean up and rejigger than it is to populate the empty space.
If we use that same advice in the recording studio our mantra might be “fix it in post”. Get the raw musical emotions out of the performer and make it sound good later.
Only, that doesn’t seem to work too well if your goal is to capture live perfection.
Music seems a much harder challenge than writing.
I have spent the last ten years working on my trilogy, Eemians, and inch by inch, drip by drip, the work gets better.
Imagine the same amount of time and effort applied to making a musical offering sound natural and spontaneous. I know some musicians can pull it off in the studio (Todd Rundgren was famous for obsessing over his musical output—playing every part in the work over and over again until it sounded live).
But, try that live and on stage. Imagine the skill, talent, and years of practice required to perform live in a manner that makes it fresh, spontaneous, and from the heart, night after night.
It’s like the old adage: how many years of hard work does it take to become an overnight success?