Monday, November 5, 2007

The Great Teacher

When's the last time you've recorded yourself playing?

Rockin' out presents several challenges for me:

1. I have to figure out what the heck I'm playing.

2. I have to figure out where the heck I'm supposed to be on the neck.

3. I have to listen to the other musicians.

4. Which doesn't leave a lot of brain power, at least for me, to listen to my tone, phrasing, and other vital stats.

Enter the beauty of the recorder. Even an old tape player will suffice for our purposes. Try recording your playing, and take an honest listen. As a friend of mine, Curtis ( said, "Recording is a heck of a teacher!"

Listen for bends. Are they where you want 'em? How about vibrato? Is it too slow, or fast? (When I play a gig that I'm nervous at, my vibrato speed usually increases - my sonic "knees" shaking.) And of course, how's that tone?

Incorporating a recorder into your practice routine a few times a week could drastically help your playing. Listening back might be the dreaded time of your day, but - sooner or later, you'll stop, bob your head, and say "hey, that sounds pretty good!"

(And remember, it's what everyone else hears, so you might as well attend to it now.)

Rock on!

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