Everyone of us learning an instrument needs to spend hundreds and hundred of hours for what...? The answer is clear - to play some nice music for our own pleasure and hopefully for others' too. That is the final goal of all practice. Whether it's live gig or it's studio recording session or just family party... You must get there one day prepared to do your best and perform with your full potential what you practiced.
In order to be ready on time it's good to practice regularly a real performance situation.
So we have to structure our practice sessions and go sometime for "miscroscopic practice" - learning a note or a set of notes, learning articulation, accents or specific technique. The other time we have to change altitude and go for "telescopic practice" - play a piece of music from beginning to the very end in one take. Of course it takes plenty of takes before it's good enough.
Well structured practice routine is a very precious tool itself and there are books written just about it. Just check the short article here. And check my upper-structure of practice planning H E R E.
How can you practice your performance ability? Simply - just record yourself as much as you can and listen back. If you never did it you can be surprised :)
Recording only audio ? - no, it's not enough as preparing for live gigs. It can be fine if you only go to record in studio but even there are people who will be watching you play. Better option is video recording. Start doing this for your own evaluation, show it to your family, friends and teachers. if you think you're good enough then start making it public.
That's how I started a couple of years ago and recently I've decided to make one performance video per month and post it on YT. Deadlines are good, without them we can be making one assignment all our life.
OK, that's how we do this:
- guitar (or other instrument you want to play) with cable into:
- amp then a microphone into audio interface (more tricky, I will write another post about soon)
- directly into audio interface - simple, that's how I often do it
- computer built-in camera, another cam, iphone, ipad or anything with camera built in.
- if your using Mac computers you're ready - you have Garage Band, iMovie and Quick Time player on board
- if you're PC user - then find a good forum about home recording, your life would not be easy. That's why I changed everything to Apples years ago, I just want to play and record, not to install the drivers all night long ;)
I am pluging the guitar directly in TC Electronic Desktop Connect which is compact, cheap and easy to use. It has direct monitoring with some sweet TC reverbs, so you won't waste precious CPU for that "more talent" effect.
About soft - I use Logic but any DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) will do the job. Some of them are free so no excuse, man.
I used to utilize an old webcam for video capture and image was really bad. (See this)
One day I made my "eureka!" and started to use my iphone. Case closed.
Why I record audio separately from video?
Well - three reasons: 1. Quality 2. Quality 3. Quality
Iphone cam is nice but the built-in mic is not! Moreover, you will need sometimes to mix your recorded part with backing tracks, or other parts you record later. What means MIX? Adjust the proportions, put on some effects and make the final bounce so that it's loud enough. Search out the web for info about all these actions.
OK, enough talking, let's do it - oops - forgot one small thing - choose to play the music you love the most. I did for my 1st performance video here Pat Metheny's LETTER FROM HOME - which I practiced for some 10 years and I can practice other 10 and still be not as good as you guys probably are :) But it's so great music I CAN'T resist playing it.
Why took so long ? Because I play 3 guitars at once!