Magazine article Acoustic Guitar

Record Your Practice

Magazine article Acoustic Guitar

Record Your Practice

Article excerpt

Making an audio recording of your playing is a great way to double the effectiveness of your precious practice time.

There's a well-worn philosophical riddle that asks, "If a tree falls in the forest, and there's nobody around to hear, does it make a sound?" You can evaluate the event itself - there's a dead tree on the ground - but without anyone to hear it fall, studying the noise that it made is impossible.

Privately practicing the guitar is similar - even though you're around to hear the sound of your own practice, playing prevents you from listening to yourself, and can often lead you to accept imperfections that you would otherwise want to eliminate. Luckily, there's an easy and inexpensive solution: record your practice sessions.

Don't break the bank. When looking for the right device to capture your practice sessions, feel free to save your money for recording your first album - hi-fi audio isn't the ultimate goal. You can buy a cheap cassette recorder (remember those?) at virtually any consumer-electronics store, and it'll do the job just fine. There are a slew of great handheld digital audio recorders currently on the market; they cost a bit more but produce great recordings (and may be more useful than cassettes for other recording purposes). Microphone attachments for portable MP3 players (like Apple's iPod) are another great option for recording digital audio for a relatively low investment. Elaborate home-studio setups also do the trick, but typically require more setup time than you'll want to spend to record a simple practice session. …

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