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Recording your practice session

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by romac, Oct 18, 2004.

  1. In a thread here Micheal said how you should record your practice sessions and listen carefully to it later. I was just wondering what you should be listening for? At the moment I'm listening for the odd bit of fret buzz and when I go out of time, does that sound like I'm on the right track? It's just it sometime deflates me a little when after a good hour of practice I then need to hear it all over again! So any tips from anyone in this area would be great.

    Thanks in advance
  2. jeff schmidt

    jeff schmidt no longer red carded, but my butt is still sore.

    Aug 27, 2004
    Novato, CA
    I finally caved in and got a 250 GB HD to record everything I play.

    I then make them all mp3 files - pop them into my iPOD and listen back on the way to work and any other time.

    It's true - all those "great" practice sessions - are now brought into reality. Sometimes I realyl was "in the zone" but I've already zeroed in on a few serious issues with my playing (mostly fretless intonation) that completely escapes detection without recording.

    Feeling great while playing doesn't mean you're playing great. And taping yourself proves it. As far as motivation to record - and listen back - think about it this way - if you can't listen back to your own playing - why would anyone else want to hear you play?

    Embrace reality - record,listen, critique and discover what you need to work on. The other upside - you know have a recording of those moments of genius that occur that would have simply floated away into the ether. That alone is worth the price of recording and listening back. :)
  3. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Great question, Ross! I’m so glad you’re interested in this and I really like the advice Jeff offered. Basically, you should be listening for what you like and dislike, and for anything that doesn’t sound like you thought it did when you were playing it. You need to learn to be a good judge of your own playing, and recording yourself is a great way to get there. Focusing on fret buzz and timing is great place to start -- especially timing. I think you’ll find that rhythm is an extremely deep, challenging and rewarding skill to work on and you’ll probably want to spend a lot of time on it in the long run. Listen as carefully and as critically as you can. Although it can be depressing when the recording sounds like a pitiful version of what you thought you played, (believe me, we’ve all been there!) but there’s enormous power in learning to hear what’s really happening. It’s not always necessary to record everything you play. If, in listening back to yourself playing several versions of a particular exercise or piece, it sounds just like you thought it did (good or bad) then you can assume you’re hearing that particular thing well and you can focus more recording and listening time on things that you‘re not hearing well enough. Make sure you also give yourself credit for those things you’re doing well, and hang in there -- in time I think you’ll find it will be worth the effort.