Poll: Do You Record Yourself To Improve Your Playing/Track Progress?
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View poll results: Do You Record Yourself To Improve Your Playing/Track Progress?
84 57%
13 9%
I sometimes record myself just for fun
41 28%
I never record my playing
10 7%
Voters: 148.
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Several top Googled articles on improving guitar skills mention self recording as a pretty effective tool to perfect your playing.
Here are a couple of examples.

The articles mainly point out that on a record you can
-hear your playing more objectively,
-more easily identify any unclear notes by listening the record at 25-30% speed
-track your progress

So, do you record yourself on your phone, PC, or other gadget at hand for any of these purposes?
Participating in the poll above would be highly appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
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I go as far as to video record myself while working on a piece. Nothing keeps you more honest than video .

If I'm just playing through things, I'll often keep an audio recorder in front of me just to capture little riffs and licks I might want to revisit.
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I use my phone for this, but it's not an everyday thing. It helps in those situations where I think I'm nailing something but I'm not positive.
i'm too lazy to. i do try to throw together song ideas/demos somewhat regularly though, and that's when i get my practice. i feel like once you've tried tracking guitar for a few songs, and you've learned enough about how to practice effectively in general, you already know when you're fudging something and when you've really nailed it. you don't really need to check a recording because you know better what a good take feels and sounds like from your own perspective.

however, if there was a tool that made it exceedingly simple to record yourself playing over a song and then show you what your isolated guitar performance was like, i might use it once in a while.
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Last edited by vIsIbleNoIsE at Jun 10, 2016,
I've actually used this tactic as my main method of practice. It forces you to play articulately and comes with the added bonus of learning how to record and mix. It is the fastest way to get better imo
I've only recorded myself playing once, and I screwed up the video (it's audio only). I recorded a song prior to "properly learning" it. This was before I learned how to Travis Pick. It's pretty horrible stuff, but parts of it are very interesting (even pretty).
Not really, but I hear a lot more in my recordings than when I'm playing. My reactions are mixed, sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised, other times it sounds heavy-handed and clunky, but I nearly always hear more notes/phrases than I can remember playing. I have been known not to recognise myself on recordings, and more often do not know who was playing what in our practice recordings. - The other guitarist, TK was a long-time pub band player, and brilliant at fitting in with what I was doing with little minimalist phrases that left me wondering "who did that, him or me?"
Last edited by Tony Done at Sep 23, 2016,
I don't tend to record myself too much but I do it a lot at my band rehearsals. That way I can critique myself and/or how I sound in the band.
I find it extremely useful and can't imagine not doing it. After listening I often come away with a list of what to work on and can then isolate those areas.
I record more to remember ideas. Slapping down a real demo in the daw is when I feel I improve.
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I definitely record myself.... but it is always tough to listen back to one's own playing... It can be awkward!

Having said that, recording in my opinion one of the best tools in any guitarist's arsenal for becoming a better guitarist!
I have started to recently, mainly because while tracking my latest EP, even after practicing with a metronome, you can easily tell if your timing is still off. It quickly highlights areas that you need to work on to get a really tightly played part.
I make videos of myself playing songs, which involves lead, rhythm and bass guitar. I start with a drum program and once I get one of the parts to the point where it's "okay", I record it so I'll have a backing track to play the other instruments along with it. And then re-record it and re-re-record it as I notice various flaws listening to the recording.

Things I notice with recording that I'd never notice otherwise are that I often tend to rush the rhythm guitar part, playing a bit ahead of the beat - which becomes obvious when it's not tight with the bass. Or the bass might drift in and out of the groove. Or the timing of the lead guitar could be sharper.
I've recorded myself throughout the years. I never really started until I was wanting to make my own material.

I don't normally do separate takes for my guitar parts because I usually just want to nail it, mainly for video recording purposes.

I will eventually get into remastering my original songs for a more studio quality type sound eventually. That is if I can ever get a following.

A few examples of this are my most recent videos:

I play all the guitar parts except drums, which I don't own a kit nor the amount of mic's to do this properly. Just drum tracks that come with the recording software.

I do alot of different takes, pick and choose what I like, then implement them in the final version, trying to remember all the different stuff I wanted to throw in the song. I know there is a much easier and efficient way of doing this but hey I've only just started trying to record, edit video, mix and master..

So I've got a long way to go and open for advice!
Last edited by allen15scroggins at Sep 19, 2016,
Nope, I even didn't record any info. But great idea because in this way I can improve my skill.
Recording is essential to get better. You really want to be kept honest? Record your singing!

Somebody on here posted "when I think I nailed something." I have found that to be the best way to improve because you know when you have screwed something up, but if you think you did well, you will almost always hear something that you would have like to have done differently. So hell yeah I record myself.

10 years ago this was kind of complicated to do, now its a breeze with iphones.
I've been recording a lot lately, but one thing I find frustrating is once I get a great take, I'll probably never play that lick again. So I forget what I've played.
Yes I occasionally do, and every time I say to myself....you are kidding yourself... you can't play the bloody thing! sell it to someone who can!
I always record my playing and I try to make sure someone listens to it. Just like the prep for playing live, when you record something that someone else will listen to you get very careful about how you play--at least I do. I use a daw to record myself, the better the quality the more clear the playing is (and mistakes).

I use my phone for this, but it's not an everyday thing. It helps in those situations where I think I'm nailing something but I'm not positive.
I have done it in the past, and it did help. But I haven't done it in a decade or so. Pure laziness on my part.
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I use my phone for this, but it's not an everyday thing. It helps in those situations where I think I'm nailing something but I'm not positive.

You stole my post?
I use my phone to take a video and play a backing track to the song from my computer whenever I learn something new. I save all these in a "guitar" folder on my phone, and usually I delete the old ones when I get a better one. But the old ones that I do happen to keep and then take a new video weeks or months later, I can't help but smile and be proud of the huge difference. Even if it doesn't sound very good, it's still just an awesome feeling, and that feeling is what drives me to keep playing at least 2-3 hours a day. Not by force, just by having so much fun I lose track of time.
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When I first started playing I did used to record myself a lot of the time, but now only record if I'm working on parts for a song and need to listen to them in perspective.
No as I sound way better with a band backing me up.

With the right musicians the highlights come out more often than on my own.

Besides I can hear when my technique needs to be brushed up which is not musical enough to be recorded but part of skills anyway
I usually play over a drum beat and then loop it to hear what I played and I take what I like and do it again until I have something worth listening to its a long process but I got till my kids are grown before I can do what I want to anyway
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I do when I am learning more complex songs (the most recent song I've done this with is Sungha Jung's arrangment of Guitar Boogie), it helps me hear when I hit unwanted notes, and what notes I need to hit louder. That type of stuff. I can hear that type of stuff without recording myself, I just find it easier to detect in a recording versus when I'm playing.
Sure. It helps me learn where I'm crapping the bed in terms of my technique, or just to record pieces of music with potential.
Sometimes when learning new material to check my progress. Often I just use my phone or a zoom h1
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well yes but not in the way you have listed. when I decide to record new songs I will woodshed to get my chops in order so I can record. during recording i'll likely end up doing several takes which does show me where I'm at. recording myself just playing with nothing else never seems to get me results as it often is just noodling. occasionally do think more about it in case I have a good idea so I don't forget.
Recording myself has been a great tool in improving playing and singing.Video has helped with the fingering of more efficient chord changes.
I don't record myself to improve, but rather to write. I make a 2 hour playlist of a bunch of backing tracks and just jam over it without thinking about what I'm playing. Then later in the week I'll listen to it and see if anything stands out. If yes, I'll try to build off of it. If no, better luck next time.
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how can i make my recording sessions efficient?
I just wanna get in to guitar and play guitar asap not have to set up a recording environment every time
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Yes. Whenever I have recorded myself, I have had to redo it several times in order to be happy with the quality and this pushes your technique and critical and reflective self. My last podcast episode involved me and my own excellent teacher with 30 years experience improvising over the blues. I found editing this incredibly useful for knowing my strengths and weaknesses. Fell free to have a listen: https://soundcloud.com/tunein-toneup/guitar-lesson-7-a-crash-course-in-blues-improvisation-and-soulful-jamming. Thanks. Gary
Hi there,

I find recording is essential to developing your playing. Some of the main benefits that I have found from recording myself are that it reveals not just the good areas of your playing but also it can reveal problems in your playing that you may not have even noticed. Such as flaws in your technique or bad habits that causes your playing to sound such a way you don't want it to.

Another use for recording yourself is helping you to actually see/hear your development. I like to keep an archive of recordings on my computer which I date. So for example, with something like improvisation and soloing, its hard to quantify your progress, so by going back through your archive you can hear your development over a mid to long-term period.

Finally, an added bonus I have found is it has helped me to settle down and remain calm when the recording light is on. Which is an invaluable skill if you're a recording artist.

Hope this helps.
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