No, really, record yourself

Ok, so, you know how @JoshFossgreen says a couple of times during the course that you should record and listen to yourself as part of your learning routine?


Do that.

For reals.

I’ve always had a good sense of timing, and for years I thought that had come through in my playing. I got an iRig for Christmas and I’ve been playing with the different software options and recording my playing and… let me tell you, when I listen on playback? My timing is WAY off. I sound like Noob Josh. Oy.

Anyway, just confirming that it’s really good advice to record and listen to yourself.




This is a really interesting part of the human condition. We all have a tendency to overestimate our abilities. There are interesting cultural differences in this field but on the whole we do. One of the reasons for this is that we don’t receive accurate feedback on our performance. So no accurate feedback, means we think we’re doing better than we are.

I read a study where they asked people to rate themselves in various fields. One of which was ‘hands on practical stuff’. The average mark they gave themselves was 8/10. They were then asked to draw on a piece of paper how a modern flush toilet works. Oh dear, see me after school. Very few people could do it.

What @JustTim is experiencing is solid unfiltered feedback. He records himself, listens back and immediately can tell how he’s doing. This isn’t the same as playing and listening at the same time. Strange how that works.

I used to teach skiing and as part of an advanced program we would video clients skiing through a race course; so we could all watch the replay and look at areas of improvement. I once had a lady burst into tears as she’d never seen herself ski. In her head she was skiing a certain way but the cold hard truth was she was completely in the back seat just like Jessica Tandy.

The best thing for working on my crappy timing is to do all my exercises with a drum machine. It’s a great tool to develop a sense of internal rhythm.

So yeah, record your playing because you can’t bullshit yourself :wink:


better yet video yourself as well.
The whole cringey thing can be gotten over, and both hearing and seeing yourself is huge in progressing.
No band starting out sounded like they do when they are super famous, its all constant refinement of technique.

This is also a good reason to have an instructor. I was gonna bail on mine, and we had a really good discussion and I decided to carry on with him after tweaking what we are doing. Things he is doing are improving my playing, albeit slowly, but they are.


I’ve seen the same thing, but they had to draw a bicycle instead.

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Oh crap. I am in deep do-do then. I don’t regard my playing at all, if I were to record myself-- could be devastating!


Me too!!!

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Getting one of those is first on my list, if we ever get past this crazy pandemic thing.


Spot on @Barney…. My best critics are the people I play with - they have no problem telling me when I’m screwing something up…. Honest feedback and good constructive criticism goes a long way….


This is so true. We do this to ourselves. Good example is golf. Ask a guy what’s the distance to his target he’ll tell you much closer than the actual yardage. Especially true when you ask how far he can hit a certain club, it would be over exaggerated and usually based on the best shot he ever executed.

The funny thing is ask the same guy same question but about his partner’s distance, he’d probably tell you a more accurate answer

Yep!playing instruments is like driving. Your subconscious takes over most of the time it’s very difficult to play with 100% of your conscious effort.

You are talking fretting finger pressure
Plugging finger pressure in addition to which finger to plug
Dynamic level note value and above all else, keep time.

I used to care a lot about using alternating plugging fingers, then I saw myself on the video on one of the gig. It’s not even close. My middle finger is supporting at best, and in my mind it was almost 50/50 give sn take a few, lol.


I absolutely agree with the sentiment of recording yourself for improvement.
The only thing I want to mention: You can use that method for other things you want to improve on, too. Public speaking, sports, even games if you want to play competitive in a serious manner.


That is absolutely correct. Back when I was in the corporate world (IE: before retirement), and was preparing a presentation that I had to give to an audience, I would record myself as I memorized the script, to check for timing, inflection, color, etc. It really helps a great deal.
It’s really difficult to determine how well or poorly you are really doing while you’re playing, singing, speaking, etc. Recording and playing back is the best measure.


Just promise me you won’t cry if I show you a video of you skiing. I couldn’t go through that again :wink:


In a side note about self assessment. In 10+ years of teaching one thing was consistent. When you ask men and women to assess their skiing ability. On average men would over assess their competence and women would under assess.
We’d spend a morning watching everyone ski and inevitably move some guys down a group and some ladies up into a higher ability group :thinking:

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A big part of the reason for that is the same reason that people shoot photographs with poles sticking out of the subject’s head, tilted frames or cut off body parts: when you’re unfamiliar with what you’re doing, so much of your brain is dedicated to performing the task, you don’t have much left to see or listen. That’s why people often turn down the radio in the car when they’re looking for an address, the brain can only process so much sensory information at once.

Once you become more proficient at playing an instrument, you have much more free brain capacity and it becomes easier to listen to (vs just hearing) what’s going on.

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Sure, I have like, three other ways I could record myself, but lookie what I just got:

Just did a quick test with my long suffering condenser mic, and presto, my phone powered the mic! Can’t wait to go wild with practice snippets and whatnot! :heart_eyes:

(I almost forgot to say “Joyo MoMix” explicitly so it comes up in the search for others.)


OK, on it :grimacing: :flushed: :cold_sweat: