why record during practice? well because, make-ups...

working with one of my fav peeps today, i think i found a good analogy for practicing with recorder.  with the heavy technical and scientific emphasis on sports performance training, i often wonder why we, musicians, who are also a physical labourers, do not employ technology with similar level of enthusiasm...

i understand that there is this love of mysticism in arts. it's bit like wine critique.  though we dont really know how to quantify anything, even the basic idea of how ethanol works to get a human being drunk, we all know someone who can go off on qualitative alcohol evaluation (im guilty as well).  but you know, talking about such things as smells and tastes to describe a particular 'terroir,' one builds a set of descriptions that has not been standardized and i feel that in certain field, they would prefer keeping it that way.  bit like vodka fanatics talking about 'different tastes' of plain vodka, but vodka is supposed to have no ether or organic volatiles in the final product, just ethanol and water. there's a speculation that they may be talking about 'feel' of the vodka (as density of the brand may change the taste perception etc)...  bit like 'just play the music,' which kinda drives me insane.

so i digress. anyhow, today, i was talking that there are three things you need in your gigbag: metronome, tuner and a recorder.   she feels that  listening to recording may not be productive- aha. well, it surely can feel tedious and painful (mostly).  and i scratched my head for a bit. then came up with a new analogy.

close your eyes (what?)(please, let's try)
take your right hand, 
with index finger, touch your nose (easy)
now, touch your right ear (easy)
how bout corner of left eye (okay)
trace the curve of your chin (urrr)

so you know what your face's like, you dont need to look at it?

then, would you ever put on a stage makeup without a mirror and head out?

aha. the answer is a no.  even when we understand the structure of a piece (facial spacial map in the head) and came up with careful interpretation decisions (style of make up, how much make up, etc), one would never think about putting it on without checking the mirror-

recording is your mirror. or the closest thing. 

when you are executing, you cannot be a scribe. you are doing things.  so, whenever things get crazy and hard, do take time to do it slower, and record yourself, avoid the compound interest known as disguised practice (basically anything that really isnt practice) IF you are going to be practicing (because, noodling around is also fine option).

and her eyes lit up. her heart jumped. yay.   mine did too. 

it's not that i wanted her to do everything i say. i am not a teacher, i merely wishes to be a friend, to have a 'play.'  and because she's such a hard worker, i wanted to see if we could get more out of her efforts. and i think perhaps, this did convince the usefulness of recorder.

everyone learns differently and everyone has their own lives to live and enjoy.  however, along with the differences, we may share and be enriched. and man, her smile of agreement and curiosity made my day.  what a lucky monkey.

oh and for those of you who are bored, here's a wicked telly show on mind-training.

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