Recording Yourself

How to know how much better you're getting right at home.

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Ultimate Guitar
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Are you someone who is afraid of the red light? Aka Record button. There is no need to be afraid of it but if you want to get a feel for how you really sound it might be the actual route to consistently take from now on.

How

How will you know if you sound good or decent? Of if your posture or technique needs some refining? Usually someone will tell you but what if you play by yourself or are practicing by yourself. How do you know if you are actually making progress? How do you know if its an effective practice session or not. One way to determine if your practice is being effective is to record yourself playing either by phone or by video or by DAW. I think video is probably the best because it can tell you a lot about the way you stand or sit, the way you present yourself and the way you come across to others. Of course this is somewhat of an opinion but its also somewhat fact. Try recording yourself. Then listen back. Listen back several times until you can pinpoint all the mistakes as well as all the good things you are hearing. One listen probably won't do the trick unless its something very short or something like that. This is one of the only ways to consistently hear what you really sound like and how far you have come as a guitar player. Here are a few things to do before you actually hit that red light though: Rehearse. Rehearse until you've got a pretty good feel about the section you are playing. If you can't play it all the way through then you probably need some more rehearsal time. Number 2: Make sure you know ahead of time you're phrasing and where you are going to ornament some of your notes. For example do you know exactly when to do vibrato and what kind of vibrato you are going to use? Be sure of it. Do not wing it. This will lead to multiple, unnecessary takes that you probably won't keep. In other words be ready before you record and it will go a lot smoother.

Details

Listen back in sections. Every measure. If you can stop your DAW at every measure and listen back to it as each one flows into the next it will give you some insight as to how good you are actually transitioning and if you can do better. This is intricate work so don't be discouraged here keep in mind you are doing this to become a better guitar player and in the end it will show. If you shall find some faulty measure which you most probably will go back and work it out, isolate that measure or two and get it right. Repetition is the mother of skill. Don't worry about how many times you may have to do a certain part this is normal so don't let it get in your head that if you're doing it a hundred times and you still don't have it right then you must be a bad player. This is far from the truth. The actual truth is that repetition will get you through to the victory line even if it means an absurd amount of repetition.

The Rewards

If you try hard and give it a worthwhile effort you will have something to cherish. It will get you and keep you excited about your playing. You can show others and if you get the same sort of excitement from them it will be an even greater reward. Don't think about it too much. You can always delete it and then try again endlessly. Get out a piece of paper and pencil and envision the entire performance while writing down how you feel in the process as if you were actually playing. Then write down how you will feel after you have performed it successfully and try to get in that state of mind somehow. Of course this is optional but I think it will go a long way so give it a shot before you knock it. An important thing to remember when you envision something is to envision every note and ornament that you put or don't put on a note. Don't do a general envisioning. This hasn't worked for me in the past and its just being lazy or anxious to get it over with and pick up your guitar. Chill, envision, how do you feel, and then let her rip!

Lastly

Set up a little folder titled recordings or whatever you want to name it and have it on your desktop or an external drive since video can be pretty large at times. Listening back to yourself should be something you do on a regular basis, especially if you are looking to progress which I think we all are. Some beginners may not feel comfortable but I would urge you to do it anyway. No ones gonna see it but you!

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