Today almost everyone walks around with a device in their pocket capable of recording. This easy access has given us an extremely powerful tool to help us on our musical journey, but only if we know how to use the information we gain.
Last weekend I enjoyed several hours with the Skylark Horn Quartet recording some new works at Eastern Illinois University. Our awesome recording engineer Chris set up headphones for us, and we were able to listen back to takes to see what we liked, and what we wanted to fix. Sounds really helpful, right? It is, but only if we were able to maintain the right headspace to process the information in the recordings without emotion. Easier said than done.
As our session progressed, I noticed a few times that I reacted to the playback in a way that was not helpful to myself or the group. Luckily, I noticed these few instances and was able to remind myself of the purpose of listening back: to gain information in a non-judgmental way.
I cannot express how useful recording yourself is, and how quickly you can make corrections using this approach. But as I mentioned above, this is only helpful if you approach the listening process in a constructive way. Here’s how to get the most out of your experience.
Also, here is a nice layout of the form I use for this process. One of the instructions on this form says to 'prepare for a Magic Line performance." You can learn more about that technique from Jeff Nelsen. And I have to mention that the inspiration for this concept came from observing a masterclass with Randy Gardner.
Following the guide above, record something and listen back. Write down your findings in a practice log. Look closely at the language you use in both the positive and negative, with special attention to the way you phrase the parts of the recording you want to fix. This should be constructive, not condescending.
WELCOME TO THE BALANCING ACT BLOG
I will be sharing new ideas and great information on lots of different topics every week. If you like the content, click the button below to find out more about this project and sign up to receive new weekly releases. You can click the link below
Please leave comments below if you would like to contribute to our conversation.