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Self-recording

Posted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:41 pm
by michi
I recently started recording myself when I'm practicing: just do my normal practice and have the recorder running.

When I listen to what I played later, I find that there is often a difference in my perception of how well I played something. If I think "that was good, you played that well" while I'm playing and listening to myself, I often find that my opinion changes when I listen to the recording of the same passage later. In particular, pronunciation can sound much worse to me on the recording than it does when I listen to myself while I'm playing. It seems that, if I intend to play a tone, and the tone isn't as clear as it should be, my brain plays tricks on me and hears a good tone when, in reality, the tone wasn't so good.

On the other hand, my opinion while playing live and while listening to the recording is usually the same when it comes to micro-timing. It seems that I'm a much better live judge of my micro-timing than my pronunciation.

Overall, I find that listening to the recordings really helps me to be accurately critical of what I'm doing because it removes this "perceptional filter" that I seem to have. Stripping away the rose-colored glasses, so to speak... ;)

Cheers,

Michi.

Re: Self-recording

Posted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:00 pm
by Carl
I highly recommend recording your practice sessions! I got out of the habit quite a while ago because it was such a pain to listen back to what I was working on (back in the "minidisk" days).

I now have a set up that makes it very easy! so I will have to try to get back into it....

It is particularly useful to record yourself improvising! sometimes you can catch something really good... transcribe it... then add it to your rep.

It is also good to find something that you "thought" was really cool and realize that it might be best NOT to play it for other people. ;-)

other good uses for recording practice/rehearsals:
Balance in an ensemble
Relative tuning of instruments
Timing and micro-timing between instruments (is everyone playing with the same feel?)

One really big benefit it to try working on consistency! Play the same part/solo technique for 1 - 5 min. then be very critical of yourself when you listen... how consistent is the sound/volume/timing? Why did things change when they changed? Did things get more or less consistent over time...

Hmmm... great subject! Thanks Michi, I can't wait to see what others have to say...

C

Re: Self-recording

Posted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:48 pm
by Paul
michi wrote:my brain plays tricks on me and hears a good tone when, in reality, the tone wasn't so good.
As your sitting above your drum your probably in the clearest place to hear.. Sometimes when I play outside the sound is very cold and i cant hear bass/tone.. but if I walk about 40m away the sound is warmer (playing with people of course, i havent worked out how to get 40m away from myself)

Re: Self-recording

Posted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:33 pm
by bubudi
michi, good suggestion. i often cringe when i hear myself on a recording :). but sometimes i surprise myself. clean sound and sweet swing is a lifelong process. that's why the best drummers keep it mostly simple. that way they can always focus on the sweetness of their sounds and swing. imagine how far that's going to improve over a lifetime of drumming...

paul, try esp :lol:

Re: Self-recording

Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:21 am
by Tokapelli
Thanks for the tip! I started recording mysself with my digital video camera while practicing, the sound quality kinda sucks but i can still kinda tell when i start to blur my sounds. Whats really cool though as a beggining drummer is to go back and watch my recordings from a month, or even a week or two ago and see how far ive progressed. Its a real big confidence booster, which i think is important. The change in skill is pretty gradual with drumming im noticing, personally anyway. Its hard for me to notice subtle changes that acutally make a pretty big difference in the way i sound. Usually when i make the video i think im kickin ass, then i listen to it 2 weeks later and say "can you beleive i actually thought that was good!?" lol. It helps me recognize the benefit of all that practice, besides just the pure joy of beating my drum anyway.
*edit
OH i almost forgot another reason to record yourself, drumming with yourself! Ive been taking the traditional rythhym tabs from this site, recording one part and trying to play the corresponding djembe part with it, so i can hear how they sound together without trying to teach it to my girlfriend lol.

Re: Self-recording

Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:38 am
by michi
Its hard for me to notice subtle changes that acutally make a pretty big difference in the way i sound. Usually when i make the video i think im kickin ass, then i listen to it 2 weeks later and say "can you beleive i actually thought that was good!?" lol.
I've had (and continue to have) the same experience. I find recording myself really useful as a sanity check, as well as help me bring down to earth and reduce the swelling of my head ;)

The biggest benefit for me is that the recordings help me identify flaws in my playing that I simply cannot perceive while I'm playing. For example, I have a tendency to play a slighter weaker slap with my left hand when I'm playing certain slap rolls: one particular slap comes out a little weaker and not as bright. Not that it would degenerate into a tone, but still, that slap has some "tone character". This is a subtle thing that I managed to identify only once I started listening to myself on recordings.

Cheers,

Michi.

Re: Self-recording

Posted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:37 pm
by bkidd
Michi wrote:
I've had (and continue to have) the same experience. I find recording myself really useful as a sanity check, as well as help me bring down to earth and reduce the swelling of my head ;)
Agreed, there's nothing like listening back to recordings of myself to show me all the little differences that I don't perceive while playing. The tough trick that I've found is then learning from the recordings how to modify what I'm doing so this gap between what I think I'm doing and the desired outcome decreases.

Re: Self-recording

Posted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:04 pm
by archetypo
This is such a great idea, and I often have all the best intentions of recording our rehearsals, but most of the time I forget. Even more sobering is seeing video recordings of yourself. You can catch weird little unconscious mannerisms, or stuff like forgetting to smile on stage.

I always encourage my beginner students to practice in front of a mirror so they can correct their technique - I should probably follow my own advice more often :)