#1
I can play a riff or song a million times perfectly, but when i try to record it into Audacity over a backing track, I sound like garbage. Screwing up every few seconds and just sounding flat out awful. I tense up and don't know how to get over it. It's very frustrating... It takes 30-40 takes before anything sounds decent, and I'm not even happy with THAT. Are there any tips for loosening up when recording? I'm typically a very nervous/shy person so it kind of makes sense.
#2
I had this problem too sometimes. Just try to make yourself forget about the fact that you're recording it, put it out of your head. Don't try so hard, just think of it as no big deal.
#3
Keep recording, and don't think of it as such a big thing. Get some backing tracks and record yourself jamming over them. Don't think that you have to get everything right - you aren't in the studio under pressure, so don't put yourself under unneccessary pressure.
#4
Allow yourself to make mistakes.
It's a head game.
Give youself permission to stuff it up. No big deal, you are not going to run out of hard drive space.

Watch what happens when you truly take this advice to heart.
#5
I always sound like sh*t when I record myself.

You can't get an accurate picture of how good (or terrible) you are while you're practicing. You'll always find a thousand more reasons to hate your playing when you review something you've recorded.

Don't worry about it, keep practicing and keep recording yourself. You'll get use to it and stop making so many mistakes.
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#6
always record youself, no matter what youre playing, just hit record and play
#7
Make sure you're practising WITH the backing track... Sometimes, its handy to just copy and paste a couple of bars over and over (try to avoid this).
Practise makes perfect, man. I know its cliche... but dude, it helps
#8
Quote by drewfromutah
I'm typically a very nervous/shy person so it kind of makes sense.


If this affects you recording I'd hate to see what it does to you when you play in front of a crowd.

At any rate, practice with the recording. Imagine a huge crowd of people watching you and think to yourself, "I'm gonna show these people how great I am!"
#9
^ actually im the same way to some degree as the TS. i can play in front of people fine, but i always psyche myself out because i sit down and say "ok its time to record i gotta be quick and efficient" but i never am. everyone has to learn what works best for them. for me its usually after playing guitar off and on throughout the night, generally when im tired enough to not be stressed about it, but not so tired as to screw it all up.
#10
It's simple. When you're playing "for yourself", everything sounds fine. Recordings NEED to be perfect. No fret buzz. No string noise. Correct dynamics. These imprefections are not noticed when you're playing for yourself or even with others, but on a recording they stand out.
#11
There has to be said though, my recording sounds off sometimes, but I know I don't play out of time, cause even when I play over the recording, it won't be synched.

It's called latency, and if u dont' have fast asio drivers, the music records slower then u hear it.

So maybe this could be a factor.

To check for this play something that's 100% failsafe. Like E5 palm muted in 8ths on 120 bpm.

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#12
Quote by one vision
It's simple. When you're playing "for yourself", everything sounds fine. Recordings NEED to be perfect. No fret buzz. No string noise. Correct dynamics. These imprefections are not noticed when you're playing for yourself or even with others, but on a recording they stand out.


+1

My thoughts exactly! Dude, it simply means you aren't quite as good as you'd like to be yet!

Don't be dis-heartened, just practice more and always record your practices! You'll be trying that little bit harder each time knowing that you're being recorded and all that extra effort will pay off eventually.

Good Luck.

P.s... Many other people reading this will have experienced your issue, and many will do soon... You're not alone!
#13
Quote by ozzysworld
+1

My thoughts exactly! Dude, it simply means you aren't quite as good as you'd like to be yet!

Don't be dis-heartened, just practice more and always record your practices! You'll be trying that little bit harder each time knowing that you're being recorded and all that extra effort will pay off eventually.

Good Luck.

P.s... Many other people reading this will have experienced your issue, and many will do soon... You're not alone!

It's not neccessarily a matter of practise. OP said he could play pieces perfectly, many times over, but not so when recording. So we have to take his word at that.
Given that, the problem becomes one of approach to the project and of eliminating physical and mental tension, not merely of under-rehearsal or of technique.
There are strategies to eliminate tension, the reduction of apprehension over the possibility of error is a useful first step. So be prepared but be comfortable with the process, mistakes are made by some of the finest musicians in the world. Give yourself true permission to do so without self depreciation. I assure you it will help.
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Last edited by R.Christie at Dec 6, 2008,
#15
Quote by R.Christie
It's not neccessarily a matter of practise. OP said he could play pieces perfectly, many times over, but not so when recording. So we have to take his word at that.
Given that, the problem becomes one of approach to the project and of eliminating physical and mental tension, not merely of under-rehearsal or of technique.
There are strategies to eliminate tension, the reduction of apprehension over the possibility of error is a useful first step. So be prepared but be comfortable with the process, mistakes are made by some of the finest musicians in the world. Give yourself true permission to do so without self depreciation. I assure you it will help.
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Hey man. My point was, although vague, that he could overcome his issues by practicing the recording process more. Wheather it by your (very logical) ideas or his own.

Sorry if I wasn't all that clear.. To clarify, I assumed your issue was (as is mine sometimes :P) that you're a perfectly competent guitar player that goes to pot when recording. So you need to record more, alot more! get used to the tense and nervous enviroment that your head creates when you know you're being recorded!

Use R.Christie's advice along with me banging on about more practice and you'll get there dude!
#18
You need your mojo. It's about playing with confidence and authority it will come back and even your mistakes will start to sound good .

Even the best get scared. I refer (as I have before) to a Jimi Hendrix clip Hear My Train a Comin' in the first forty seconds he's playing and it's good but lacks impact. Then he stops and starts again with confidence and you can hear the marked difference.
Si
#19
recording is like playing in the mirror. you get to hear every single ugly habit you developed throughout the course of your playing.

when its just a drum machine (basically a musical metronome) and your guitar, you'll figure out just how tight (or sloppy) you are.

we've all been there holmes, my tracks take quite a few takes to nail perfectly.. but its gets better over time when you start to record regularly.

Keep at er!
Grammar and spelling omitted as an exercise for the reader.
#20
the more you concentrate on the fact your recording the more you mess up imo

also like kivarenn82 said, it really does show up everything in your playing
i always only record things i can get clean on record
Top lel.
#21
its the need for perfection that gets you, any small mistake is noticed, thats not noticed live....just relax and know ur gonna **** it up, a lot of times ur best recording is when u think ur just "getting the hang out of it" and testing out the recording, and u relax and play well...also on audacity if u dont record simultaneously theres an awful delay in recording something over something else, so itll sound horrible
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#22
If you really can nail the material when playing unrecorded, then you are psyching yourself out. I still suffer from this myself. It used to be a lot worse. I would even mess up when playing something for my wife, the most friendly audience possible.
Basically, what is happening is that when you are playing unrecorded, you are loose and just enjoying yourself. When you are playing recorded, you are saying "right, this is serious, I need to get this right".
So, you need to stop saying "right, this is serious". Replace with something less pressure-ful - like "I'll give this my best shot, but if I screw up I'll just try again, and besides it's not the end of the world". Whatever resonates with you.
Record often, so it becomes less of a big deal.
And - very important - if you are recording and screw up - don't stop and switch off the recording device and throw the pick at the wall. Even if the screw up is bad enough to have made you stop, wait til the beginning of the next bar, and keep going. Very important if you want to play live in the future, you have to find ways to be able to screw up completely and recover enough to get through the rest of the song. But back to recording - what is cool is that now you have screwed up, you can play the rest of the song with nothing to lose, since you have already screwed it up (meanwhile the rest of the song = practice at playing recorded and not being too freaked out about it).
#23
First, insure you have a good setup. You don't have to spend a lot of $$$. The Freeware
Audacity + Mic into your computer ... well, you get what you pay for. You'll have a hard
time making anything decent that way. Don't use your amp/mic unless you have a
pro acoustic setup. Use a line-in device like a Korg Pandora or any multieffects, you'll
get much better quality results, easier.

Second, a good editor/mixing software is huge. It can take an original piece of ****
recording and make it sound great. Ultimately, this takes a lot of recording pressure off
you because you know as long as you get SOMETHING decent down, you can probably
use it in a final mix. After a while, doing a take has no pressure, so your takes get
better.