Videoing yourself playing guitar with a phone

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BRISTOL86BRISTOL86 Frets: 715
I want to record videos of me playing on my iPhone - I don’t need sound as I’m taking care of that on the laptop, but the laptop camera isn’t good. 

How does one go about it? Obviously the camera screen is pointing away from you so you can’t frame the video/focus/start/stop easily

I’m probably making it more difficult than it needs to be but is there a simple solution (other than using the rubbish ‘selfie’ camera on the front face of the phone?

Also for the iPeople amongst us...is it then easy to import that video into iMovie to sync up with the pre recorded audio?

Any tips appreciated! 
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  • WhitecatWhitecat Frets: 929
    Will likely take some trial and error.

    You could do worse than this for audio if you do want to be lazy though and not go dual-system -

    https://www.gear4music.com/Recording-and-Computers/Focusrite-iTrack-Pocket-Audio-and-Video-Recorder-for-iPhone/13CV
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 1488
    First, select the forward facing camera! ;) This will allow you to aim the camera and monitor yourself.

    Use a stand of some description to keep things steady.

    Allow a few seconds before and after the performance that you wish to record. Edit these out before presenting the finished video recording to the outside world.

    This self-recording process is a method that a collaborator and I sometimes use to communicate guitar riff ideas and chord fingerings.
    I fear the Geeks, even when they bear GIFs.
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  • MayneheadMaynehead Frets: 971
    Get a mobile phone tripod like this one, then you can pre-frame your shot correctly. The autofocus should take care of the focus when you start filming.

    Most phones or video editors will allow you to trim the start and end of a clip so you don't need to worry about walking up to your phone to start/stop it. If you don't want to get up every time though you can just get a mobile phone remote like this one.
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  • BRISTOL86BRISTOL86 Frets: 715
    Thanks all. Trouble with the front camera @funkfingers is that I play in a small room, often when dark outside so the light is naff, front camera comes out pretty grainy - same issue with the webcam on the MacBook - it’s fine when the light is good but otherwise not great! 

    Might just stick to the webcam to be honest and record only when the light is good, the less faff the better to be honest. It’s only for sharing with family and friends on Instagram and the likes so it doesn’t need to be amazing!
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  • adamm82adamm82 Frets: 185
    edited November 13
    BRISTOL86 said:
    I want to record videos of me playing on my iPhone - I don’t need sound as I’m taking care of that on the laptop, but the laptop camera isn’t good. 

    How does one go about it? Obviously the camera screen is pointing away from you so you can’t frame the video/focus/start/stop easily

    I’m probably making it more difficult than it needs to be but is there a simple solution (other than using the rubbish ‘selfie’ camera on the front face of the phone?

    Also for the iPeople amongst us...is it then easy to import that video into iMovie to sync up with the pre recorded audio?

    Any tips appreciated! 
    some other ideas I've used are a sat nav style phone holder stuck to doors and cupboards, or a simple phone stand I bought in ikea it was just a piece of wood with a groove cut out.

    http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/products/small-storage-organisers/paper-media-organisers/bergenes-holder-for-mobile-phone-tablet-bamboo-art-30358875/


    I've also sellotaped a selfe stick to a chair so it wouldn't move. all work ok but not ideal.
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  • thegummythegummy Frets: 103
    I do this all the time with a tripod. Just aim it roughly at your seat, record a test clip and adjust accordingly.

    Watch out, some phones have different ratios for photo than video so if you use the viewfinder to set the frame, it then chops some out when going into video mode.

    I fixed this by changing the photo resolution to 16:9 or you could compensate for it using the test clip.

    Post result!
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  • thegummythegummy Frets: 103
    P.s. I got a converter screw for a mic stand so I can screw the phone holder into a mic stand. Does a good job.
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  • BloodEagleBloodEagle Frets: 2598
    Make sure the front camera lense is clean, often they're really grubby/dusty
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  • BucketBucket Frets: 6359
    I use my front facing camera and lean it up against something on my desk.

    Here's the result:


    - "Health and family are the top two most important things. Followed by outrageous guitar solos." - thomasross20
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  • NomadNomad Frets: 442
    Just prop a mirror up behind the phone so you can see the screen.

    Nomad
    Nobody loves me but my mother... and she could be jivin' too...

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  • if you say there is a problem with lighting, use an additional light, an anglepoise or desklamp might work and give a nice moody effect if off to one side
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  • BRISTOL86BRISTOL86 Frets: 715
    Thanks all, very helpful as always :) 
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  • 57Deluxe57Deluxe Frets: 4311
    I just film a few takes and edit. I crop my face out anyway cos I find me dribbling drawl all over the shop tends to put people off watching...
    <Vintage BOSS Upgrades>
    __________________________________
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  • andypandyp Frets: 159
    I use one of those Focusrute iTrack Pocket things that's posted above. It's very quick and easy to use and import into iMovie on the phone. However, the Focusrite app doesn't work with iOS 11 so I just use the Apple camera app and it's more than fine. Sound comes across very well using the mics on the iTrack Pocket and you can adjust the volume sensitivity so it doesn't clip. My only bother with it is the front camera being a bit rubbish, but I'm going to try using the main camera next time.

    I got it for £20 and it's well worth it.
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  • Video, just like photography, is all about light. Any camera will get grainy if you leave it on auto and don’t have a well-lit space. 

    Tripod, pre-frame, do several takes each time you hit the record button then edit later
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  • BRISTOL86BRISTOL86 Frets: 715
    Thanks all. The Focusrite thing looks good but maybe unnecesary as I have a MacBook in the same room! 

    My issue stems from lack of light I think as suggested above, so think I’ll just stick to the webcam and record when the light is good! 
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  • skunkwerxskunkwerx Frets: 489
    The focusrite ipocket is good, but, only as an upgraded external mic for your phone. 

    The app hasnt been updated in 3 years and doesnt work at all with my iphone 5. 

    So I use it as just an external better quality mic, and just use my selfie front facing camera and record video through the iphones standard camera app. 

    I use a small gorilla style tripod, which is designed for phones, got mine through currys a couple years ago. 

    The picture quality isnt great, but the audio is pretty darn good for phone shot stuff. 

    In your case, if you have audio recorded seperately, it should be as simple as uploading your footage to your movie editing software, muting the videos sound, and then importing the audio and line it up with the video so its synced. 

    I’m an absolute amateur, so no doubt theres a better way to sync seperate audio to video in a movie editor. 

    Andertons currently have the focusrite pocket for £18 as part of their black friday sale if it was of interest to you. 

    Lack of light will deffo make things grainy. 

    Even on my £500 camcorder, the difference between video quality shot outside vs shot in my bedroom in daylight with the lights on is slightly noticeable. Once darkness falls outside, the lights in my room really arent enough and the picture has degraded/its auto thing adjusts shutter speed (i think)... 

    Still good enough for a thicko like me to use as it is, as I can never get my head around anything unless its simple enough for a 5 year old, but man, light is so key to better quality!  
    The only easy day, was yesterday...
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  • thegummythegummy Frets: 103
    I videoed myself playing guitar with a phone:


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  • skunkwerxskunkwerx Frets: 489
    thegummy said:
    I videoed myself playing guitar with a phone:


    Is that a samstrum?

    The only easy day, was yesterday...
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  • thegummythegummy Frets: 103
    skunkwerx said:
    thegummy said:
    I videoed myself playing guitar with a phone:
    Is that a samstrum?

    It is indeed - I never liked the tone when using iPhones as plectrums
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  • BRISTOL86BRISTOL86 Frets: 715
    Brilliant! 
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  • LesbianWithAGunLesbianWithAGun Frets: 124
    edited November 16
    Love my iPhone 4 and iPhone 5.
    I suggest getting a gel case, makes the phone able to stand  independently on its side.

    Then it's just stand and point.
    I film all my videos now on these, more for Instagram, but yeah, it's a pretty nifty camera once you can get it to stand on it's own.
    Have something sturdy behind it so when you press record (mirror image so your shot is on the screen) the camera/phone doesn't fall over;.. Stand back, hit record and go.

    'I thought people knew this already?'
    (Oh wait, they do). Edit*



    (As long as my guitar's in shot, I don't care)...
    I film my guitars, not me. Not yet.
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  • LesbianWithAGunLesbianWithAGun Frets: 124
    edited November 16
    I remember I filmed that when there was Hurricane Harvey and Houston was still under water and Bangladesh and Mumbai was under water too.
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  • LesbianWithAGunLesbianWithAGun Frets: 124
    edited November 16
    thegummy said:
    I videoed myself playing guitar with a phone:


    Oh yeah, well, as awesome as that is... I would have done that and pressed record on the iPhone too so you'd have something like I did with my Digital Flip many years ago now on a Samick Built Epiphone custom/rebuld I have.



    Using the recording device as a guitar pick.
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  • thegummythegummy Frets: 103
    thegummy said:
    I videoed myself playing guitar with a phone:
    Oh yeah, well, as awesome as that is... I would have done that and pressed record on the iPhone too so you'd have something like I did with my Digital Flip many years ago now on an Samick Built Epiphone custom/rebuld I have.

    Using the recording device as a guitar pick.
     =) I can see you pioneered the technique!

    P.S. nice VHS tape!
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  • thegummy said:
    thegummy said:
    I videoed myself playing guitar with a phone:
    Oh yeah, well, as awesome as that is... I would have done that and pressed record on the iPhone too so you'd have something like I did with my Digital Flip many years ago now on an Samick Built Epiphone custom/rebuld I have.

    Using the recording device as a guitar pick.
     =) I can see you pioneered the technique!

    P.S. nice VHS tape!
    I see hope yet Young Padawan.
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