As a music teacher, time and time again, I get asked by the students “I’m not sure if I’m really making any progress,how am I doing?”
A few years ago, I started recording students once in awhile to track their progress and the results have been amazing.
Now, when I get asked that question all I need to do is play it back to them and they can instantly hear the improvement.
Recording as a practice tool
Part of the benefit of going to a music teacher is that they can give you instant feedback on whether you are doing something correctly or not. However, you don’t need a teacher for this. If you get into the habit of recording yourself during a practice session you can then listen to yourself afterwards.
This is beneficial because it is very difficult to actively listen at the same time as playing. So, once you put your instrument down and attentively listen to your own playing, warts and all, you can start to make a list of things that you need to work on as well things that you are good at.
The horror of hearing yourself
The first time you hear yourself talking on a recording it is cringeworthy. This is the same for everyone. However, the more you do it and incorporate it into your regular practice routine then the more comfortable you will be with the situation and can start benefiting from giving yourself critical feedback.
What equipment do you need
You don’t need to get studio quality recording equipment for this exercise. I quite often record on my iPhone using the voice memos app. However, you can get really nice quality stereo audio recorders if you want something a little better.
I regularly use my Zoom H5nto record practice as well as high-quality demos. I even use it for video lessons.