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#2046273 - 03/10/13 11:56 PM [How] do you record yourself?
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014

Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1393
Loc: Cameron Park, California
I've just recently started recording pseudo performances (call them "diagnostic performances," if you will) before practicing a piece that's at maybe 85-90% overall completion to better discern what parts I need to work on, as a result of advice from forum members and my teacher. I've particularly found this extremely helpful not only in identifying recurring "hiccups" (small picture), but also in obtaining a more objective idea of how I'm actually doing with rubato, phrasing, and connecting phrases versus where I want to be (big picture) and boy did I mistakenly think I was doing good before listening to that first recording crazy .

How do you all integrate recording and listening to yourself into your practice regimens? Do you do this for all stages of pieces you're working on or just towards the end?
"[The trick to life isn't] just about living forever. The trick is still living with yourself forever."

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#2046274 - 03/11/13 12:00 AM Re: [How] do you record yourself? [Re: Bobpickle]
Polyphonist Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 9112
Loc: New York City
I tend not to record myself until a piece is almost performance-ready, with a few exceptions. This is because hearing myself playing a piece badly, under tempo, is not very helpful for me; I realize for others it may be different. When the piece is nearing performance standard, however, I often listen to recordings of myself to identify precise areas where I don't like my sound quality or phrasing, so I can focus on those places.


#2046379 - 03/11/13 08:06 AM Re: [How] do you record yourself? [Re: Bobpickle]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5446
Loc: Philadelphia
I also try not to record myself until I can play it at a decent clip. Typically, I use recordings to help me "settle down". I get a little antsy when playing in front of particular people, and when recording, so that practice helps me to really settle into the piece and play it right.

But I also use the recording for diagnostic purposes. How does a particular phrase sound? Did I really hit that note too hard? etc. I even use video to watch my hands and make sure they're doing what they're supposed to be doing physically--but I've gotten much better at "feeling" this over the years.
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

#2046462 - 03/11/13 12:51 PM Re: [How] do you record yourself? [Re: Bobpickle]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1354
Loc: Southern California
I record myself all the time. It is especially helpful as a composer/songwriter. If I don't record, the idea often gets lost.

For performance or the recital, I like to record and then listen at least a week before the date. I almost always hear the hiccups as described in the original post. For original pieces, there might be entire sections that don't seem to flow well, and I'll go back to the drawing board.

Over the long run, having an archive of recordings is a way to gauge my progress. It can be painful to listen to early recordings, especially recordings of live performances when there are almost always minor mistakes. The old recordings clearly show the progress I am making as a beginner, when it often feels like I am stalled.
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#2046464 - 03/11/13 12:59 PM Re: [How] do you record yourself? [Re: Bobpickle]
packa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1411
Loc: Dallas, TX
Originally Posted By: Bobpickle
boy did I mistakenly think I was doing good before listening to that first recording

I can certainly relate to this. One of the difficult things I experienced in my studies was learning to really hear myself as I played. Although I haven't been using diagnostic recordings much lately, there have been times when I used them quite a bit, and I believe that I mostly used them to compare what I thought I was doing well or badly to what I heard on the recordings. In other words, I was checking the recordings to see if I could detect places where I was "fooling" myself as I played in order to improve my ability to judge my own sound.
Paul Buchanan
Estonia L168 #1718

#2046486 - 03/11/13 02:05 PM Re: [How] do you record yourself? [Re: Bobpickle]
peterws Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 6100
Loc: Northern England.
I think if you record it along the way, you`ll be in danger of bashing yourself unnecessarily. I know cos I`ve done it . . .wait till it`s able to be decently played. Then you only shock yerself once . . .
"I am not a man. I am a free number"


#2046540 - 03/11/13 03:36 PM Re: [How] do you record yourself? [Re: Bobpickle]
Rickster Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 10906
Loc: Georgia, USA
Initially, I started recording my meager performances with a mini-camcorder and posting them on YouTube. It was fun and exciting initially. One of my recordings, the worst one I thought I ever uploaded, has about 130,000 views. Hey, you never know what appeals to someone until you put it out there. smile

I haven't recorded anything new in a while... not that I don't enjoy it, but I have so many distractions it seems.

I did enjoy watching my music videos and some of them surprised me (I actully enjoyed them and thought they were good smile ).

I still think my piano playing is mediocre and elementary, but I have progressed from the early days of my recordings. I'm thinking that one of these day I might actually be able to play a piano!

All the best!

Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

#2046570 - 03/11/13 05:03 PM Re: [How] do you record yourself? [Re: Bobpickle]
JimF Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 2309
Loc: south florida
I like to do a recording after I have the notes in my fingers, but maybe before I have worked much on refinement.
Usually the recording is god-awful and fully reveals any and all weaknesses. Even afer working on refinements, my recordings rarely sound as good as I think I've been playing.....which is good because it shows me where I need to work harder.... I guess.

My teacher likes to tell me I hate my recordings because I have an advanced ear, and it is a good thing that I can hear these things. confused Yeah, sure......she is so sweet......or maybe I hate them because they really do sound like poop! cry

Either way, the recordings are very useful.
Sonatine, No.2 Menuet - MRavel
Invention No.13 A-minor - JSBach
Consolation no.3- FLiszt

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#2050348 - 03/18/13 05:09 PM Re: [How] do you record yourself? [Re: Bobpickle]
LarryShone Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/10
Posts: 1250
Loc: England
Ive made a few recordings of myself playing guitar, video and aural, but I find myself feeling very self conscious, especially in videos!
If the piano is the King of instruments then I am its loyal servant.

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