Tracking progress using audio and video

So… Infra’s message about taking notes and some messing around with recording myself gave me an idea.

Yesterday, on revisiting Billie Jean, I noticed that, although it felt I was getting nowhere, I did wonder, am I actually doing just as bad as I did a couple days ago? So, I wondered if there would be a way to verify this. First thing I thought of was, what if I’d just record the audio? That would probably also mercilessly point out that, while during playing it sounds ok to me, in reality my playing is riddled with bad timing and artifacts from sloppy technique.

And then I thought, what if I also want to know if I’m getting the plucking down? I’ll need to see what I was doing, so I need video for that, right?

Now, it just so happens that one of my hobbies is photography, and yes, one of my dSLRs is actually capable of filming. I’ve also got some nice lenses to go with that one, so that’s covered. Yesterday, I got audio recording and processing covered using Audacity, so now all I need to do is figure out how to get decent video files using those.
So, today, I downloaded OpenShot, an open source video editor that’s supposedly easy to use and packs all the features I would need and then some. I played around with it a bit and it does everything I want.

Whatever I’m gonna make with it won’t be even close to releasable material… but once I get this bass playing thing down, it might come in handy to illustrate to others how much I sucked, and how this course helped me to get the suckiness out (I guess I’d better be serious about that after having said this, haha).

But the main purpose will be for myself to verify if I am actually making any progress, or if I’m imagining it – and to give myself a wakeup call every now and then because on a recording, my playing will probably suck a lot more than I imagined it did when I was actually doing it. It’s also a nice way to include any notes-to-self I’d like to add.

And of course it’s fun to do.

Now, it’s not gonna happen today, or even this weekend – we’ve got two grandsons staying the night, and tomorrow our granddaughter has her yearly show with the dance school she goes through. But I’ll be having a ball with this next week! :slight_smile: I suppose some Billie Jean bass line mangling will be the first thing that gets recorded.


it’s nice if it helps building some confidence, but if you practice on a regular basis I don’t see how you could not make progress.

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Trust me, my paranoia is capable of making me believe that. :wink:

(Seriously - when I was in my teens, my teacher essentially told me I was a talentless hack, and I was mentally in a perfect position to believe he was right)


maybe you should write a song to express how much this teacher is an asshole.


Maybe do a cover of this dedicated to your teacher… LOL “Get In the Ring” GnR


I was thinking “that would require me to venture into genres which I’m not well-versed in as a songwriter”.

Anyway – I spoke to a couple former bandmates later, and they said I was a talented bass player… to which I thought, yeah, that sounds like somethig you’d say to your former bandmate".
It wasn’t until I heard, from a colleague, that one of them said to him that I was very talented that I started wondering if he was on the wrong drugs, and also if just maybe I was a bit better than I thought I was. It was that, and getting to be very good friends with Sebastiaan Cornelissen (a really really very talented drummer) that made me get a bass guitar again.
And then, fast-forward two years, landing myself in hospital for a flirtation with death and disaster and recovering, to finally take that seriously, and subscribe to “From Talentless Hack To Badass”.

So there - my bass story in a nutshell. In the meantime, I am assuming my music teacher, who was well into his fifties 45 years ago, is now pushing up daisies, so there. :smiling_imp:


^^ this

That just means fewer lawsuits.