Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
Joined
·
5,384 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I recorded last week 2 convalescent hospital gigs, One rehearsal, and two dance band gigs. OMG, all the things I thought were okay in the moment are now things I really want to fix. I hear myself as a teacher listening saying, Out of time, note sharp, why did you play that scale, why dont you rest more and play less in that solo. Really eye opening. So for those of you who don't have teachers telling you all this. Use your voice memo on your phones or buy a good /cheap tascam recorder and record yourself for a week. Now the hard part in all of this is you have to listen like a critical listener. Someone in the audience who is a good musician but not you, not related to you, not a friend of you, you have to allow yourself to hear all the things we talk about that make a good solo/performance or detract from a good performance. anyway I did and OMG things I thought I had fixed I'm not nearly as far along as I thought. Anyway, this has been a humbling but good thing for me to do K
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,336 Posts
I do as you suggest, Keith.......on occasion. I was actually just contemplating a little recording session, in the next day or two, so I could objectively hear the differences between my new 10M and my old Cleveland. But actually, I wanted to hear how I sounded on them, more than how they sounded in comparison. My guess is, from what I read here that both will sound pretty much the same.......and from my past experience with self-recording, I won't sound nearly as good as I think I do when I'm playing away in my living room! There's no misinterpreting the sad truth.
But on the brighter side.......I've come a long way from where I was!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
17,962 Posts
Just for the sake of conversation.....is recording several consecutive playing sessions (whether practice or performance) gonna be the most enlightening ?

I would posit that recording one, say, every month and then listening/comparing might be more enlightening ?

Just a thought.

But yeah, I hear ya...we get into our habits and think it is OK, when perhaps we are actually slipping a bit....
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
Joined
·
5,384 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
J last week my teacher (of 4 years ) shared that he recorded and listened to all his performances as objectively as possible so I've been trying it for a week. Regular Im sure is best whether that means once a month or week or whatever. But what a dose of reality K
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
This is what my best all-time most favorite teacher had me do, record everything, even practice sessions. Sometimes it's just a matter of not doing that can make a whole lot of improvement. Once not too long ago after I couldn't play for a couple of months because of dental surgery I recorded myself after I healed, and the first thing I noticed was that I was starting every phrase on the first beat of a measure, arghh! But it wasn't really all that hard to fix as I just concentrated on not doing that. I also noticed I was bending certain notes way too often so I stopped doing that as well. It's all these little things that you can stop doing that can make a huge difference. Excellent post +1 and two thumbs up! The recorder isn't your enemy, it's your best friend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Recording practices is something I've just started doing, and I'm finding the brutal honesty of even a phone recording to be a valuable aid. I have been trying a few new mouthpieces, and the objectivity is refreshing when otherwise the excitement of NEW STUFF!! can cloud my judgement. On my new-to-me horn I even discovered I had a neck leak (fixed yesterday) because I heard the hiss on the recording, when I normally would have blamed my lack of ability. (still lacking)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,207 Posts
Recording yourself regularly and listening back can make a huge difference. When you're in the process of playing, especially in an ensemble, there's just too much happening in the moment to process all the information.

I had a lightbulb moment when I was listening to recordings of rehearsals and I realized just how..."flexible"...my intonation was. It was a painful discovery, but working on this issue became a primary focus of my practice routine and it's definitely changed my playing for the better.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
Joined
·
5,384 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
So for this week I recorded one rehearsal, two convalescent gigs, and have a couple of gigs from a few months ago on the recorder. So rather than listen to boring sports talk or he said she said stuff on political talk I listen to older gigs. Its good I'm driving and not have the horn in my hand because with some recordings I hear I thing damn it and almost would chuck the horn against a wall. So its good to just listen and not be able to immediately do anything about it. Good practice. and that tascam recorder I have was cheap (100 bucks) and records well enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
Totally agree, Keith! I record everything I do and listen the next day when the afterglow has gone. Trouble is, I sometimes end up depressed because I’m only listening hard for the errors, fluffs, poor intonation and not the good stuff if there is any. I Dropbox the recordings (I use a Zoom H6) to the other guys in the bands I play in but they don’t seem to be interested in analysis. Listening to my own playing, I frequently groan and paraphrase that butter substitute ad; “I can’t believe it’s not better!”, but I do work on it as a result and feel that I’ve improved because of that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,407 Posts
I record myself and think - yuck.

Then I play it again and record and listen again and say- still not where I want to be, but better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
715 Posts
I record myself often and typically get quite frustrated when I listen to myself. Then I remenber what Samuel Beckett (?) said: "Fail better."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,580 Posts
This is important but I do it at less frequent intervals. I do the ToTM recordings and some other things.

It actually helps desensitize myself — I used to be frightened when I hit record now I’m “only” nervous. I’m hoping to move up to comfortable.

On a related note, I got a rehearsal recording of a community concert band I play in and was amazed at the sound. This is on Ghost Train 2 (Eric Whitacre). It’s an interesting composition.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2013-2019
Joined
·
1,010 Posts
I have been recording every practice and every performance with my several bands (2 jazz, 1 R&B, 1 jam band) plus a few bands I sit in with for the past 10 years. The typical result for the practice recordings is that I listen to see if I Incorporated the things I have been working on (e.g., more space in solos, more even articulation, use of licks, more fluid or interesting solos, better blend with the band, whatever), realize that I did none of what I intended, delete the recording and vow to apply those things more effectively next time, rinse and repeat. But every now and then it comes together nicely, and I keep those to help me recall what I should be doing. Regarding performance recordings, the band likes to hear how we did (although it always seems to sound better at the moment), and evaluate/diagnose any particularly good or bad performances. We tend to learn way more as a band and I tend to learn more as an individual from our performance tapes. And occasionally we have a great performance, and it's nice to go back and listen to those to remind myself it's possible. Interestingly, the more I push myself to try new things the worse I've played in the practice recordings over time as I suppose I am taking more risks in practice, but the better my playing on the performance recordings. So I guess something good is happening.

I also mix up my saxes, mouthpieces and reeds and record those to hear the difference. Although it seems that every different venue and sound man/woman seem to impact my sound more than does my set up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Be careful listening to cell phone recordings as the internal mic does not pick up what the audience really hears. Our big band has open rehearsals and I had a solo that I really liked. The band sounded great. I noticed that someone was recording with an ipad and found out they were live streaming on Facebook. Found the site and we and I actually sounded horrible. I was amazed at the difference when I started recording the next rehearsals with my iphone 6 plus and a Shure iphone mic (https://www.guitarcenter.com/Shure/...01461545-sku^[email protected]^PLA). The band actually sounded great so I started posting my videos. I now use eq and reverb using Reaper and have had really great results. Learning a lot about video editing so the venture continues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Be careful listening to cell phone recordings as the internal mic does not pick up what the audience really hears. Our big band has open rehearsals and I had a solo that I really liked. The band sounded great. I noticed that someone was recording with an ipad and found out they were live streaming on Facebook. Found the site and we and I actually sounded horrible. I was amazed at the difference when I started recording the next rehearsals with my iphone 6 plus and a Shure iphone mic (https://www.guitarcenter.com/Shure/...01461545-sku^[email protected]^PLA). The band actually sounded great so I started posting my videos. I now use eq and reverb using Reaper and have had really great results. Learning a lot about video editing so the venture continues.
3dogie, have you tried the app that goes with the microphone? If so, can you lets us know what you think of it?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
12,707 Posts
Excellent post Keith.

In an age where it is so easy to record it is critical. Not doing this is basically like an artist not looking at his work. If I sounded like I thought I sounded Id be famous! I know I dont : )
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2017
Joined
·
6,086 Posts
In the age of inexpensive, high quality digital recording devices - Why wouldn't you record every gig? The band I work with most, shoots every gig video and audio - We used to devote the first practice after every show just to watch the playback and discuss the 'issues'. It really helped.

These days I just get an email with a link to the show files, but I do eventually watch most of them, even if I just forward through to the good bits - sometimes I'm surprised, but mostly I know what I'll hear. Sadly, the cats who need to listen the most rarely ever do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,206 Posts
I've recorded every rehearsal, 'jam' session (I hate that term), and gig since the late 80's.. you're right, it's the the way to go for many reasons: to get better, map progress, and preserve your history.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top