How to Record Electric Guitar at Home in 6 Steps

by Frederik Nielsen, May 21, 2019 . 3 min read

How to Record Electric Guitar at Home in 6 Steps

You’ve probably recorded a song or two — or a hundred. You might even have built your own home studio. But if you’re just starting out, you should know how to record electric guitar at home.

In this short guide, we’ll go over how to handle…

1. Tune your instrument

Step one is, of course, to tune your instrument. You should also make sure there aren’t any rattling strings or any other noises that can interfere with your recording.

Tip: Use your DAW’s tuner plugin, a tuner app, or an automatic guitar tuner to get the job accurately done.

2. Get the signal right

Check that all the cables are working so there are no surprises. Limit the number effect pedals you use to keep the distance between your guitar and the interface as short as possible.

Tip: This guide explains how to use a DI box during a recording session at home.

3. Choose the right amp

Unless you’re using your DAW’s plugin amps, you’ll need a proper guitar amp to record at home. Make sure that the recording latency is no more than 10ms to avoid falling out of time.

Tip: Here are the best guitar amps for recording at home you can also add to your wish list.

4. Mic up the amp

Once you’ve chosen the right amp, it’s time to mic it up. A Shure SM57 will do the job just fine, but you might want to supplement it with a condenser mic placed a few inches behind it.

Tip: Read this guide on how to place the mic when recording in a studio or at home.

5. Structure the gain

Gain structure is simply the practice of making sure that your input signal doesn’t clip when you record. Play the loudest part of your song to gauge how much gain you should add.

Tip: Learn more about how gain structure works to understand how you can reduce noise.

6. (Don’t) fix it in the mix

Some things you can fix in the mix, but it’s honestly better to avoid having to do it in the first place. Use a ‘top and tail’ approach to EQing your guitar recording or use a high-pass filter.

Tip: Here are seven tips for EQing guitar recordings that you can use for your next session.

Ready to hit ‘record’?

These are the basics of how to record electric guitar at home. There is a lot more to it, and we hope to cover all of it eventually.

In the meantime, why don’t you drop us a comment and let us know what you’d like to learn next? Then we’ll put that at the top of our list!

Since you’re here…

If you’re getting ready to record and constantly feel like your instrument is out of tune, check out our flagship automatic tuner Roadie 3. Roadie 3 is fast, accurate and really easy to use. You can set its accuracy to “High” and select the “Tune up” feature to ensure you get the best sound out of your instrument when recording.



Get our free Alternate Tunings Guide!
Submit

Check out some other similar articles

Take advantage of our biggest backer-exclusive discounts and get your hands on this next-generation automatic tuner. Back the Kickstarter campaign today and be the first to receive the Roadie 3.

The 5 moments that marked rock history are all centered around the electric guitar. No instrument embodies the spirit of rock better than the electric guitar.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Aug 30, 2021 . 3 min read

These 6 underrated guitar solos you should know are all statements of great musicality and taste. Naturally, not everything an artist releases becomes widely popular even when it deserves it, and the examples below prove it. 

Rodrigo Sanchez
Aug 13, 2021 . 6 min read

These 5 facts about Guns N’ Roses can help us understand why they became one of the biggest rock bands ever.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jul 16, 2021 . 6 min read

These 7 facts about Jimi Hendrix partially show why he is such a massive influence on guitar players. They also reveal a very unique career that is impossible to be duplicated.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jul 12, 2021 . 6 min read

We recently covered how different kinds of arthritis can affect your guitar playing. We also provided some tips on how to avoid it.

Frederik Nielsen
Jun 21, 2021 . 3 min read

The 4 ways to develop relative pitch are quite easy to apply. Like most things music related, all it takes is practice and dedication.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jun 4, 2021 . 3 min read
We'll be bringing you recommended tabs and plenty of interesting quotes from guitar legends along the way!