Do you want to become a better musician? To improve your technique?
In this article, I want to discuss something that can help you: record yourself while practicing.
And preferentially with video.
I knew that you wouldn’t like that at all.
Don’t worry, it is between you and yourself.
But you can share your recordings with the world, like I did here:
I made that to prove to you that nothing wrong happens. At worst a few haters that you don’t care about.
Technical note: keep it simple, use your phone to record yourself, it will be enough.
Watch the video:
Here are 5 benefits to record yourself while practicing
1. Get an objective view on your practice
Recording yourself will give you more objectivity about how you play.
In essence, it is a bit like having a teacher looking at you. Of course, having a teacher is even more valuable. But still, you will gain a lot by doing this exercise.
Why is that?
You see, when you practice you are focused on what you do with your fingers, with your instrument. Your attention is not so much on what you hear.
When you look at or at least listen to a recording, you will have your full focus on how you play. You have an opportunity to step back and be an almost objective observer.
2. Fine-tune your technique
Related to the previous, a direct benefit is that you will spot your weaknesses. All the mistakes or at least what would need to be improved.
Trust me, you will be surprised. Probably badly surprised.
Don’t worry, seeing the truth will help you even further and will be a great way to become better faster!
You will fine-tune your technique, realize that you have to work on your articulation. Or on the sound of each note.
I am recording myself regularly and I spot many problems I didn’t even notice at all while I was playing. Like on the video I put at the beginning of this article.
You are here to learn and grow.
To record yourself while practicing is a powerful way to help you.
3. Keep track of your progress
Since you are practicing regularly as I suggest you all the time, you will be able to follow your progress.
Let say that you work on playing a song.
If you have recordings of you playing the same song week after week, you will see how much progress you make. A nice way to realize how much consistency is important.
But more than that. You will probably identify other aspects that you want to improve over time. Maybe you will first have to improve your finger speed. Then it might be the articulation of notes.
4. Prepare for live performance
There is a less obvious benefit to it. If you wish to play in front of an audience (your family counts!), you will be trained to perform live.
Well, there is a strange thing happening when you record yourself while practicing: as soon as you press the record button, you play much worse than usual!
Yes, it is just you and a camera, but still, you will feel some sort of stress, intimidation. And you will be less focused on your playing.
With time this will decrease or even disappear.
I have experienced this a lot for the first videos I made on YouTube or Instagram.
And I could feel that I started to get more confident and be “into” the music.
A good preparation for your next live performance!
5. Develop your style
Lastly, recording a video and looking back to it can help you to develop your own style.
In particular, if you do some improvisation, you will notice that you often use particular techniques, patterns, licks.
You can now decide to keep them and use them more consciously in your style and work on your own musical identity.
You may have noticed that the musician you love have their own style.
For example, among guitar players, after listening for a few seconds to Pat Metheny playing, you will recognize his style. The same for Steve Vai for example.
Every musician develops his or her own way of playing. Using recordings, you can actively work on your style.
In the video I shot where I improvise, I identified a few things that I use and I like. I will now include them more often when I play.
I am sure that you don’t like the exercise I propose.
But in order to grow, you need to go out of your comfort zone. The more you do it, the better you will become.
I went through this, and I am not the most confident person. At all.
Trust me, do it and you will find it very helpful.