This is something that can be really useful for your guitar playing in many ways. What you’ll find is not many guitarists realise this or do this for themselves. Doing this will separate you from the other guitarists you know and you will likely make much more progress much faster by doing this. How can recording improve your skills as a guitar player? Well first let me tell you what types of recording I mean.
There is audio recording and there is video recording. These two things can improve your playing different ways. Let’s go through the ways that these two things will improve your skills.
Video recording- Improve your performance skills and stage presence
This is useful if you are a solo artist, in a band or even if you are still improving your guitar playing. Your performance skills is important if you want to play in a band at all even on a hobby level. You need to be able to get practice performing standing up, without looking at your instrument, in the dark, while it is cold, while it is hot, performing while walking or running, jumping etc.
Of course playing in gigs is best for this but you can shed a lot of stage fright if you have any by recording yourself on video using your camcorder. Perform either a cover or a song of your own. You can also self-critique your performance noting down what was good and what particular area you can improve on. Do you struggle playing in the dark, playing without looking at your guitar or do you struggle playing while walking or running?
If you have a band or you play a gig as a solo artist, record the gig and make a self critique of your performance and your stage presence.
Video recording- improve your technique
If you practice your guitar or whatever instrument you play, anything to do with technical abilities whether it’s your chord playing, strumming technique, picking technique, legato or whatever the case is, if you video record yourself you may discover holes in your technique which is holding you back that you not have spotted before. You can also spot any particular practice habits which are good or habits which are not good for making progress.
Audio recording- improve your rhythm playing
Aside from the fact that recording yourself improves your recording skills which are good for a variety of reasons, this really improves your ability to play in time if you record yourself playing. It is easy to spot flaws in your rhythm playing if you record yourself as you will find that you may sometimes be ahead without even realising it. Or maybe you are behind a few measures but you don’t realise it until your see the bars on the recording software.
Audio recording- improve your phrasing, vibrato and bending
If you record yourself doing vibrato, your technique may be pretty good but you may still occasionally be playing an out of control vibrato. If you play a vibrato and record this you may find that the vibrato sometimes does not move back in forth in the same length. You may do a whole step vibrato but come back a half step or 3 quarter step and then go up half a step and it just is inconsistent. This is find if you want to do it this way, but there is a difference between doing it consciously to get across a certain effect and doing it because you have no idea what you are doing.
Same thing with bending. Record yourself bending and it is possible that sometimes bend too far or not far enough. An out of tune vibrato or bend will ruin your solos.
How about recording yourself doing a bend and adding a vibrato on top of the bend? How does that sound? You may find that it needs more work than you may have realised. Think about how great your phrasing will be when you improve your vibrato and bending technique and become more expressive as a result!
About the author: Shredder and guitar fanatic Jake Willmot has been teaching guitar lessons in Exmouth for quite some time now. And not by trial and error either. Jake Willmot has been receiving training on how to teach the guitar ever since he started and on top of that he can really play! Don’t think that you can’t learn to play the guitar since there was a time where Jake could not play either.