Listening to live recordings of yourself

kwolf68

Senior Member
RECORD YOURSELF, but I come at it from another perspective. Some don't want to hear how bad we suck on a particular day.

But.. One day you may not be doing this anymore. One day your 'day in the sun' with that special group of guys you called "a band" may be over. Or maybe that time you first started playing with a buddy from up the road and neither of you could play, but after 2 hours you finally knocked out "For Whom the Bell tolls". Then 2 years later you and he are playing "Eye of the Beholder" perfectly, with said buddy even taking the solo and you yourself knocking down the double-bass like a breeze.

Whouldn't it be nice to hear your progression as skin pounding hack to an actual musician? And despite the limited ability you may have had when you first started recording, don't forget the passion that put you behind the kit...in those crappy recordings is your heart, your soul, your drive and dedication.

I listen to some old practice sessions me and my first band had back in the 1990s and I cringe at the clear inteptitude of the 'musicians' (to include me)...it was BAD, horribly played music, out of tune everything, too fast here, too slow here, random chord out of nowhere...I hate hearing it, but then...the songs stop and you hear us talking, laughing, and carrying on like we didn't give a crap. We knew we were not Rush, but that wasn't what it was about.

Those early recordings always remind me ... what it's all about. Now that I am better, I listen to 'take notes' on what I am doing...however, I never smile, no laughter. Even if I do well, while taking pride in a quality played piece, something is still lost from when you first started. You're more serious now, missing a fill is not acceptable and you scold yourself for sloppy playing. If the bass player says you were rushing the chorus it's 'back to the drawing board'...but BACK THEN, none of that...just you, your friends and music. Yes, it was a time of innocence. Heh Heh
 

mikeg

Senior Member
RECORD YOURSELF, but I come at it from another perspective. Some don't want to hear how bad we suck on a particular day.

But.. One day you may not be doing this anymore. One day your 'day in the sun' with that special group of guys you called "a band" may be over. Or maybe that time you first started playing with a buddy from up the road and neither of you could play, but after 2 hours you finally knocked out "For Whom the Bell tolls". Then 2 years later you and he are playing "Eye of the Beholder" perfectly, with said buddy even taking the solo and you yourself knocking down the double-bass like a breeze.

Whouldn't it be nice to hear your progression as skin pounding hack to an actual musician? And despite the limited ability you may have had when you first started recording, don't forget the passion that put you behind the kit...in those crappy recordings is your heart, your soul, your drive and dedication.

I listen to some old practice sessions me and my first band had back in the 1990s and I cringe at the clear inteptitude of the 'musicians' (to include me)...it was BAD, horribly played music, out of tune everything, too fast here, too slow here, random chord out of nowhere...I hate hearing it, but then...the songs stop and you hear us talking, laughing, and carrying on like we didn't give a crap. We knew we were not Rush, but that wasn't what it was about.

Those early recordings always remind me ... what it's all about. Now that I am better, I listen to 'take notes' on what I am doing...however, I never smile, no laughter. Even if I do well, while taking pride in a quality played piece, something is still lost from when you first started. You're more serious now, missing a fill is not acceptable and you scold yourself for sloppy playing. If the bass player says you were rushing the chorus it's 'back to the drawing board'...but BACK THEN, none of that...just you, your friends and music. Yes, it was a time of innocence. Heh Heh
About 20 years ago, I had just left a band, and figuring I was moving on, I recorded over the tapes I had made with them. Now I wish I had those tapes. It would be great to have them for comparison or just nostalgia sake.
 

kwolf68

Senior Member
About 20 years ago, I had just left a band, and figuring I was moving on, I recorded over the tapes I had made with them. Now I wish I had those tapes. It would be great to have them for comparison or just nostalgia sake.

Yep. While I don't have the recordings of the very first jam session I ever had, I do have recordings of practice sessions soon thereafter when we got a 2nd guitar player and a bassist.

Just a note of interest, our second guitar player was...MikeG.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Yes, a very humbling strategy.. and worth it if meekness is an attitude you hold dear.
Not sure what 'meekness' has to do with reviewing past efforts in order to gauge progress in terms of strengths and weaknesses. For me, analyzing recordings - new as well as old - has always been an important tool for determining where I need to work on my playing.

Bermuda
 

That Guy

Platinum Member
Not sure what 'meekness' has to do with reviewing past efforts in order to gauge progress in terms of strengths and weaknesses. For me, analyzing recordings - new as well as old - has always been an important tool for determining where I need to work on my playing.

Bermuda
I'm using the term in the sense of having a patient attitude when gauging progress. Sometimes when one listens to themselves on past recording they might not find the type of progress they hoped for and can be discouraged. Others might find much progress and let it go to thier heads.

I don't know, maybe "meekness" is the wrong word. Sorry.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Others might find much progress and let it go to thier heads.
I'm certainly not guilty of making too much progress... or maybe the weaknesses just stand out more to my ear. I guess if I hear something that sounds good, I don't think much about it. I'm really listening for the things that need improvement.

Bermuda
 

m1ck

Senior Member
Before our guitarist with the equipment left to begin a new life with his girlfriend, we recorded everything we did at band practice. The mic was almost always on so we got used to it and it was never a source of pressure.

It was highly informative. As others have said, it's a source of both encouragement and humility. Sometimes we'd be listening to our stuff in the background during a smoke break and we'd be surprised by what we heard. Or disturbed.

It's a great tool for drummers or any musician. What you hear is the ruthless truth about your playing. You may not be aware that you're compressing notes in fills - until you hear it. Sometimes you try something new and you're not sure if it works or not - you find out when you hear it back.

I have a high quality digital voice recorder (Olympus DS-40) that records from 50 - 19,000 Hz and I sometimes use it when practicing at home. Listening back reveals all - the good, the bad and the ugly.

As a learning tool, I totally recommend it.
 
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dairyairman

Platinum Member
i record all my band's practices and performances with my zoom h2 recorder. it's a very small device, but it does a great job. when i first started using it i was pretty shocked to hear how bad i sounded, but like others i've used the recordings to improve my drumming. the recordings have revealed all kinds of things i don't hear while playing, like tempo issues, hitting the drums or cymbals too hard or too soft, rushed or dragged fills, timing problems, etc. it's humbling at times, but very useful. it's also helped me hear what my drums sound like from an audience point of view with the rest of the band. i've adjusted my tuning quite a bit based on what i've heard in the recordings. i also use it to record new original songs we're working on so i can play along to them at home between band practices. that really helps with learning new material.
 
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