How to Record Yourself Playing
How will you know if you sound good or if you’re making any progress? 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 moving forward with your guitar playing? 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.
Here in this article I will show you some effective ways to make some progress simply by recording yourself.
This is not a How to Record music post using amp sims, or microphones or recording for a demo.
Its Solely for Practicing.
You Should Use Video
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. Its also more fun to watch and you can show it to others if it comes out good.
Of course this is somewhat of an opinion but its also somewhat fact. Try recording yourself on video.
- Get to your phone or your computer.
- Hit the red light.
- Do the damn thing.
Listening for Feedback
Now that you have yourself on video listen back to it and watch it. Listen back several times until you can pinpoint all the mistakes as well as all the good things you are hearing.
- Are you tense?
- Does your vibrato lack expression?
- Were you not in time?
Or on the positive side:
- What parts did you play well?
- What do you like most about that recording?
- What if you played all the parts the way you did this one?
One listen probably won’t do the trick unless its something very short or something like that. This is one of the BEST ways to consistently hear what you really sound like and see yourself playing as well as how far you have come as a guitar player or performer.
I mean one day you’re gonna be under the spotlight at your own concert or gig right?
You Must Do Some Things Before You Actually Record
You Must 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.
- 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.
Pay Attention to the Details
Paying attention to details will only lead to good things. Listen back in sections. Even every measure.
If you have a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) such as Cubase, Pro Tools, Reaper or even Garageband you can import the video (if your DAW allows this) and stop your DAW at every few measures and listen back to it. Listen to how each transition (chord change, section change etc…) 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 dont 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. Then record again.
Repetition is the mother of all skill.
Don’t worry about how many times you may have to do a certain part this is normal so dont let it get in your head that if you’re doing it a hundred times and you still dont 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.
An ABSURD amount of repetition is probably the most accurate statement I’ve ever laid my eyes on.
The Rewards You Get From Recording are Limitless
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. 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.
This is HARD WORK.
But without hard work you will never get anywhere worthwhile.
Now write down how you will feel after you have performed it successfully and get in that state of mind. Of course this is optional but I think it will go a long way so give it a real 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. Go into detail. This is not a 30 second thing. It should last much longer than that.
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, ask yourself how do I feel after a good take?, and then let her RIP!
Set Up a Folder for Your Recordings
Set up a folder titled “recordings,” or whatever you want to name it and have it on your desktop or on 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, or hear it.. but you!
If you dont have anything to record or dont know what to record because of a lack of guitar skills and you would like to learn by taking some guitar lessons…click here