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Do you record your practice sessions?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by ErikP.Bass, Aug 30, 2019.

  1. ErikP.Bass

    ErikP.Bass Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2004
    If so, what do you use to do so?

    I am generally playing with some type of backing track and my amp, or with a small unit and headphones (Korg Pandora PX4B or Cafe Walter). I don’t have much in the way of software or recording equipment and likely won’t be saving all the sessions.

    Also, do you keep a practice log/journal? If so, how is it structured? Loose notes on pieces and tempi or strict map/plan?

    I have never done this but need to start to keep me disciplined and I’m track with the time I have each day for music.

    Thanks in advance for your input!!!
  2. ErikP.Bass

    ErikP.Bass Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2004
    Anyone doing this?
  3. Groove Master

    Groove Master

    Apr 22, 2011
    Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101
    Actually it could be a good thing if you don't listen enough when you're practicing. When practicing a scale routine for example with a click, I've found that a lot of students are not listening closely to the click and they loose the relationship with the time very often because they take for granted their pulse. Also if you have a DAW, it is good to see where you place your notes on the grid and it can tell you how close you are from the beats and if you have a tendency to rush or drag.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
    Kickdrum and ErikP.Bass like this.
  4. CaseyVancouver


    Nov 4, 2012
    Recording ones playing is the ultimate, and often painful, truth. We should all do it now and then.

    I keep a log of practice hours of what I’m working on. I put it on a calendar so it’s easy to see at a glance. For myself as predominantly an upright player, it includes sight reading exercises, bowing technique, current orchestral music and audition pieces in time spent each day or over two days. Keeps me honest to myself about what I’m actually doing.
  5. In general, no, but sometimes I use a Zoom H4n to record what I'm up to.
  6. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    I have a smaller Tascam digital recorder I sue sometimes--actually used it a lot when I first got a fretless to see how well I was doing with the intonation.

    but sometimes I don't.

    But for practice it doesn't have to be top of the line or real super duper hi fidelity--as long as you can hear the timing, technique & sound.
  7. Wanker_Joe


    Sep 26, 2017
    I record practically everything I do, especially with the band.

    My tool of choice is an old standalone recorder: a boss BR-1600CD. The thing is solid. I've been using it since around 2006 I think (or maybe earlier - feels like I've been using it forever). My usual route for solo practice is to route one output from my DI pedal to the recorder, and another output to the amp. For the band, we all run through my PA, which I then take the stereo outs from and plug them into the recorder.

    Note however that my "practice" is just making music, I have no regimen. Main reason I record it all is to give me something to listen to; long ago I came to the realization that if I wanted to listen to a particular type of music, I would have to make it myself.
  8. Polfuste


    Sep 10, 2010
    South France
    I always record all rehearsals with a Zoom H2n. Not my housework, but band rehearsals. As I can send it to bandmates, and we can all listen the result, find weaks, work about it at home, and be better the next time.
    Then little by little, I keep the best version of each tune as a working data-base, and play along with as training before gigs, or if I want to work on particular tune.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
  9. I have a small Tascam (DR-05 I think) that I use to record band rehearsals and shows. I've never recorded my personal practice time.
  10. Groove Master

    Groove Master

    Apr 22, 2011
    Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101
    Yes the log is a good thing. I used to do that a lot for the stuff I was practicing and keep track of the improved tempo :)
  11. At 40, most of the stuff I need to play I can play straight or with a very little concentrated practising. Two most important things I started to do systematicaly in last few years are recording myself and keeping the log.

    I record bigband practises when there's a new song and I want to be sure I'm feeling the rhythm flow right. I remember many times being surprised how big is a difference between my feeling when playing, and the recorded truth. With time, the surprises are less and less frequent, which I find a mark of good progress.
    When I practise at home, I record interesting ideas that come in my head, as they are rare and easy to forget.
    Using just my old Samsung smartphone. Sound quality nothing special, but the information is there, and the records are quick to stockpile reasonably.

    I keep practise log in a text file. Dates and time spent, what I practised, and resume of what I feel about it. Short sentences. From time to time I re-read back to see how I'm progressing. The most important progress I make happens in my head; I would forget it if I didn't write it down.
  12. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i've recorded my playing a lot but i have not recorded 'practicing' as a general practice --- even though i have plenty of recordings which caught me 'practicing' the trickier parts of a piece of music.

    recording into a DAW a few times (so that you can see the part) is a helpful tool to understand your inclinations, and when/where you need to make adjustments.

    good luck with your practice regimen! :thumbsup:
  13. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    Individual practice no
    band rehearsal yes
  14. ErikP.Bass

    ErikP.Bass Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2004
    Thanks for all the feedback everyone! I’ll be looking into some of the devices that were mentioned as I feel this will be very helpful for me. How I sound in my head is quite different from what I’ve heard after the fact. Absolutely want to expand to group rehearsals as well. Feel free to share other experiences/suggestions!

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