As discussed in previous modules, studio environments can be vulnerable for everyone involved. As the producer, one of your roles is to take charge of the atmosphere where possible.
Again this totally depends on the scenario.
I have done writing sessions within my own environment and also in someone else’s. Both scenarios require different actions.
1. Studio etiquette in your own studio/environment.
The great thing about this scenario is that you’re on home turf! It’s your house, your rules and your environment. Don’t be afraid to politely set the behaviour boundaries if needed in order to achieve efficient use of everyone’s time.
How do you want people to feel in your house? You want them to feel comfortable and safe I’m sure! Keeping an environment of encouragement and mutual respect is key.
Some will feel insecure about their abilities. Help them out with that! Make sure that you encourage their ideas even though they may not always be used. The more encouraged someone feels, the more responsive to cooperation and respectful engagement they will feel.
One trick that I have often used is to make sure that easy listening, relaxing background music is playing when the artist arrives. This can set the atmosphere by putting people at ease. It can be a great ice breaker for conversation and can serve as a possible segway into writing.
2. Studio etiquette in someone else’s studio/environment.
It is important to be aware of etiquette nuances that may be different from your own space and to respect these differences.
Even so, while we might be on someone else’s turf, this does not mean we have to abide by certain negative atmospheres, if they are indeed present. Many times I’ve been in sessions that were not in my house and have decided to change the atmosphere. Sessions that were filled with negativity, put downs, stabbing people in the back and insecurity is not a place conducive of creativity. You can be the catalyst for the change that’s needed! Decide in the moment that you won’t engage in this negativity, but be an encourager instead. Everyone will have a much better session and the song you write will demonstrate this truth.
Studio etiquette rules to ALWAYS follow.