Saturday, April 21, 2012

Record Yourself

Recording yourself is another one of those simple things that can be easy to forget.  We are lucky enough to have Wenger Virtual Acoustic Practice Rooms that have their own recording devices built in.  I highly recommend before you do your next run through, you reach over and hit the record button.

There are many times we make mistakes while running a piece and swear to ourselves we will remember.  Then after the run through, we make the same mistake again.  It is good to be able to hear yourself without a horn on your face and it can certainly make other things more obvious like timing inconsistencies you may not notice. 

Another thing I have recently been thinking about is who you play for.  I challenge everyone to find new people to perform for.  Go find a string player friend or a clarinet player friend to hear you or your group.  Often times, we are only heard by professors colleagues who have heard us play for years.  Some mistakes are often overlooked because they "know how we play."  I feel like new ears would be more likely to grill you for the one chipped note your friend or professor may overlook.

1 comment:

  1. Dr. Schendel says much of same things in the trumpet studio. She also encouraged our graduate trumpet ensemble this semester to record ourselves as a quartet/quintet as well (and we learned a lot from doing that). Recorders don't lie. Often, we get so used to our bad habits that we do not consider what an audience member unfamiliar with our playing is going to hear. Recording yourself is also motivating, because you often realize you don't have everything figured out. For instance, I was preparing Bitsch's Fantasietta for trumpet and piano for my recital earlier this semester. I thought I was playing it pretty well, until I decided to record myself one afternoon only to realize that I over-articulating all the sixteenth note passages. I realized I didn't want to articulate like that, so I began working on developing a lighter tongue in my fundamentals, and I was much more satisfied with how I played last night than I was that day. However, if I hadn't hit the record button in my TA office that one afternoon, you might have heard me use way too much tongue during that piece last night!