Recording your practice

There is always a psycho-acoustical difference between how you hear yourself as you play, and how you hear a recording of the same moment.

Listening to your own playing is complicated by the resonance of the cavities in the head and the flute, the proximity of the flute to your ears and the often inaccurate mental perception of what you really are playing. Recording your own playing is a direct way to train yourself to listen intently to tone, pitch and modulation, because it provides the necessary distance for critical listening.

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Recording your practice sessions is like inviting an informed teacher (yourself) to assess your efforts. It’s amazing how much information you can glean from a recording about your pitch control, rhythmic accuracy and tone color. Particularly if you allow some time to pass before you listen. Of course self-judgement can rear its head. If that happens, plough onwards with the intention of recording your practice and you will go through that judgement period and become used to listening to and owning your sound, whatever it may be like.

Listening to recordings doesn’t yield all the information all at once. You may become super aware of your tsu-meri pitch for a while, and it may take its place front and center in your practice. Later on, you may pick up on other issues that you hadn’t noticed before. Working on a couple of issues at a time is a reasonable way to proceed without losing focus.

 

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