When I started off playing drums I held back from recording myself. Looking back I'm not sure why I did. I think part of me thought that I didn't need to do it as I could hear myself as I practiced. And if I'm honest - a tiny bit of me didn't want to hear what it sounded like when I played it back to myself as I thought it would sound like a car crash - which in a crazy way seems a bit bizarre on reflection as everyone else could hear what I was playing! That is the bizarre way my mind sometimes works!
There was also a part of me that thought I had it altogether and my playing was great - which wasn't the case. In truth I was probably telling myself a whole host of different things depending on the situation. But if I'd have just succumbed to the thought (and discipline) to record myself at those times - it made a total difference.
If you want to see real improvements in development of your craft and your music you need to do this. It singlehandedly made a massive change to my playing. There's something about hearing yourself from a third hand perspective that totally changes how you critique yourself.
Some of you may be like I was, thinking 'yeah I know this already know this blah blah'. If you know it and you're not putting it in to practice have you questioned why you haven't?
For me this was down to a fear that I didn't really want to hear myself playing - and hearing what I really sounded like - if it sounded bad then this wouldn't do anything for the ego right?
You know when you record yourself speaking for the first time you think 'wait - is that what I really sound like?' that doesn't sound like anything I imagined!! The same can be true for your playing and by hearing it back after you've played you're able to listen subjectively as your listeners hear it and hear things you didn't know you were doing.
Videoing yourself is even better as you get to see and hear yourself and just remember nobody else has to see it - it can be for you to study and then you can just delete it. The first few times it can be hard seeing and hearing yourself but it does get better a lot faster than you think. Remember to be kind to yourself and also keep a log to see how far you've come from that first recording - I find this REALLY inspiring!
So what are you waiting for? Get recording yourself today and start to see improvements in your playing!
Mark is an online session drummer based in Reading UK providing remotely recorded drums to clients all over the world.
His main focus on the drums is to always be musical and listen to the other instruments in the band and support the song in it's development. It's always about the song.
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