The more everyone understands what is expected in the studio, the better the songs will turn out. We are aware that some artists/musicians get uptight before a session - it can be a very stressful time. Just remember it's a demo - a snapshot in time of where you are right now.
Studios are pretty cold places. Because we're on the other side it can sometimes feel like we're sitting in judgment of your music - we aren't. We have our own problems to take care of. If we hear a mistake, we'll let you know, but we aren't sitting there waiting for you to make mistakes - we make enough mistakes of our own.
We're here to help you get great sound - not to judge your music or your playing.
(1) Rehearse only the songs that you'll be recording for at least 2 days before the session.
(2) Practice the songs straight through, including intros, endings, and dynamics. Work out all your solos before you get to the studio.
(3) Get a good night's sleep and make sure everyone is in a good mood before the session. Bring friends if you feel more comfortable with an audience.
(4) If you screw up, don't panic, but point it out. Most of the time, we can punch it in later. If one song isn't happening, forget that song and move on to another song, or we'll take a short break. Don't bother with "I'm sorry" or "I'll get it this time." You're just putting more pressure on yourself. Screwups happen. Just relax and try it again. Recording is very stressful - don't make it any harder on yourself. If you feel yourself getting tense about a song, take a break. A break after every couple of songs can help a lot. Be open to suggestions and changes. "Screw-ups" sometimes turn out great. Maybe you didn't hit the note you wanted, but the note you hit may be better.
(5) After the session, everybody usually wants a rough mix. Go ahead and enjoy it that night and the next day, then put it away.
That's about it. Above all, have fun. Remember, your attitude will come across on the finished product.