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5 Steps to Effective Practice Recording

  1. KEEP YOUR SET UP SIMPLE

For the purposes of recording your practicing, a phone, tablet, or computer is fine. Don't fret over having a studio quality product. The more you stress over your set up, the less likely you are to actually record yourself practicing. Keep it simple and you will greatly increase your likelihood of following through on this exercise.


2. LESS IS MORE

While there certainly is benefit to recording entire movements, pieces, recital run- throughs, etc. most practice recording should focus on small sections no longer than a few lines at a time. The goal is to able to put your playing under a

microscope and zero- in on small details.



3. FIRST, POSITIVE FEEDBACK

When you listen back and analyze your recording, first acknowledge what went WELL. Otherwise, you risk falling into a pit of despair and feeling like you can't do anything right.




4. THEN, AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT


Next, evaluate your recording in at least ONE of the following areas:

RHYTHMIC INTEGRITY

INTONATAION

PHRASING

DYNAMICS


Be specific, "good, bad, can't play in tune, etc." doesn't cut it. Descriptive feedback like: ""half- hole D pushes sharp; second line G sags at the end of the phrase.." or "8th notes push ahead in bar 3" is far more beneficial.



5. MAKE A PLAN TO FIX THE ISSUES

Write down HOW you plan to fix the issues you heard. For example: "stay open and maintain a relaxed embouchure on half-hole D, maintain airspeed through the end of the second line G," or "keep steady and relaxed through the 8th notes."






Remember, KEEP IT SIMPLE. Focus on solving ONE PROBLEM AT A TIME. Do your best to remain calm and objective. The goal here is to become your own teacher so be sure to talk to yourself with the same empathy and compassion you would use when teaching a student!

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