So again, TIME IS MONEY in the studio. That means EVERY detail must be worked out beforehand. Chakra Bleu plays her own rhythm guitar parts and the mandolin on one song on this album as well.
First of all, I determine which guitar/instrument is best for each song, which is determined by the particular guitars tone. Some guitars have warmer tones than other, while some are more crisp, having the ability to cut through with more treble tones. On several songs, I'll play two rhythm guitar parts: one which is on the acoustic guitar and another that is on the electric guitar. I also have the option to chose a twelve string, which has rich tones that 'ring out' more, as a result of the four octave strings and two courses of strings that are unison.
If I'm playing one of my electric guitars (which is either a G&L or a Epiphone Les Paul which I've loaded with Seymour Duncan Slash Humbucker pickups), then I determine the specific effect pedals for each and every part of the song.
The effect pedals I'll use are Digital Delay, Tremolo, Chorus, Flanger of Boss, and the OCD/overdrive pedal by Fulltone. I also determine if the guitar itself is in the low, mid or treble range. And then to add the specific tone on my amp. For studio I use the Fender Pro Junior, because of its straight forwardness, that lets me grab the preferred tones more specifically from my electric guitar and effect pedals.
Each song may use 1-4 different effect pedals in different places. So for example a song my start out with Digital Delay in the verses, yet then I may add Overdrive on the Chorus and the Tremolo on the bridge.
It is also important that my effects are not 'rubbing' (not audibly cooperating with the lead guitar players tones and effects) *This can get complex, to say the least!
** That is why it is always a good idea to play an acoustic guitar part, whenever playing an electric rhythm guitar part.
Secondly, I carefully determine exactly what style of strum for each song. Some songs will have a combination of strumming and picking. Some songs have places where the producer has arranged for the guitar to drop out for a verse, etc.
The parts are most extensive and painstakingly picky! I notate any specific melodic parts as well. I write down what strum/ pick, effects and dynamics when and where on each song.
I practice and practice and practice, so that the rhythms and effects are consistent and perfect before going into the studio.
When recording on the studio date, live with the drummer, bass, keys and lead guitarist, one can expect that slight changes will occur, for improvement is being made on each take.
Wearing the rhythm guitarist, and producer hat at the same time is not easy, under the head phones, with the loud crash of the drums very apparent in the main room.
Yet it is my job to readily assess if the lead guitar and Chakra's guitar are rhythmically in sync and if the tones are working out. This especially applies, when the effects of my electric guitar and the lead guitarist's effects are in play. Two wave forms will muddy the ear. Wha? The producer (moi) aims to have a CLEAN recording, where there's a pleasing sound to the listeners ear. This happens when instruments are not all fighting it out in the mid-range, or all playing loudly, and off rhythm. Yes, the charts tell the musicians what key, dynamics, tempo and so forth, yet there is so much more going on when the record button is pushed!
Long story short, this gal comes to the studio prepared and then some!
(I realise that this may have been too much detail for many of y'all).LOL