‘Mise en place‘ (French pronunciation: [mi zɑ̃ ˈplas]) is a French culinary phrase which means “putting in place” or “everything in its place“.
It’s a good concept to apply to making music as well.
The point of ‘mise en place’ in the culinary world is that when you are ready to cook, you want everything – your ingredients, your stove, your cookware – ready to go. When you start cooking, you don’t want to be distracted. Or, even worse, you don’t want to mess up the dish. For example, the celery wasn’t already cut up, so the eggs burned while you rushed to go cut up the celery.
The same thing happens for me in music. The rush of a creative idea is on me, or I need to quickly work out a part, or document a groove, and I need to move quickly. When my equipment isn’t prepared, I risk losing the moment. Even having the guitar in its case in a closet is enough of an obstacle to keep me from following through on the issue at hand.
I fantasize about studio set ups. There are so many amazing ones online, and I think, “wooowww, I want one of those…”. But it’s not really about the gear per se (I’m not much of a gearhound). And it’s not about the acoustics (let’s be honest, I’m listening to music all day on earbuds…). It’s about having a dedicated space, already set up, where I could step in at a moment’s notice and just start MAKING MUSIC.
The question I’m asking myself today is: How can I better have “everything in its place”?
If you’d like to lose another 10 minutes of your day on the internet (and you DO want to obsess over the gear), Instagram has a lot of great studio setups to be envious and bitter about.
And, of course, with a topic like this, I couldn’t end without referencing…