Paul McCartney of Beatles fame shared his wisdom with students during a speech he gave at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts. The school was founded by McCartney in1996, to support and promote performing arts, with a ‘new approach to performing arts training’.
McCartney talked about how the old ways of recording were the best, since you had to finish something before starting anew: “The process that John and I used…was just basically to sit down, to come up with a bit of an idea of a song, and finish it and keep doing it and doing it until you got to the end, and then you’d written a
song which I think was good rather than having a little fragment, a little sketch that maybe months later and you’ll be trying to recapture the vibe that you did listening to it. I don’t think it’s a good a system…it’s too easy to put ideas down now.”
He added that the old ways of recording meant that the recording was as close to the original as possible, and this made the track more authentic and better sounding: “Quite a few tracks on the album we just did with the band…old school. Then we maybe overdubbed and did this and that but there is something that comes through, the spontaneity. And how I remembered why I must do that was by listening to old Beatles records. If you hear them they are fresh and right in your face…it was just the spirit that got onto the record. We didn’t mess around. We first came down from Liverpool, got our first recording contract with Sir George Martin…and we were told what they wanted us to do because they were the grown ups and we 20-something and we didn’t know.”