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Any help with this please?

I just did some very raw recording straight into the iphone mic using the voice recorder as I wanted to put myself on the spot and play some short riffs/licks etc as I have never played myself back. I don't have any other recording facilities yet, however the results from the guitar and amp were surprisingly clear.

It was incredibly difficult to get riffs/licks/Song Parts right that I've played a 10000000 times, it was like on the moment of pressing the button to record, I felt like I was on the Starting Blocks of the 100m Final.

As for the BREATHING, I noticed I sounded like a Nuisance Caller, my breathing was erratic taking deep breaths and sort of holding my breath.

It kind of put me off a bit to how I will react Live if I get into a Band as I can play the stuff I wanted to record very easily and I did it in the end but it was how nervous I was at recording it, it's not like someone was watching me. 


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  • randomhandclapsrandomhandclaps Frets: 20464
    edited October 2013

    Playing live and recording are two very different beasts went it comes to nerves.

    Playing live makes most musicians nervous but has two main differences to recording nerves which you are conscious of even if not aware -

    Firstly you are usually not alone.  If you're in a band not only have you got moral support, but you do not feel so exposed.  We have worked with plenty of bands who come out with the stock 'We want to play together to capture our live vibe.'.  Whilst that can be true, virtually all polished recordings require overdubs.  It's when you come to the overdub stage you realise the desire to record as one unit was far more about being exposed.  You isolate the guitarist from the band and suddenly his fluffing two note riffs.  The singer just cannot get in the zone.  The drummer is struggling because he conscious that my ears and eyes are only on him.

    The second reason which is intertwined with the first is the knowledge that this will be played back.  A lot of live performance nerves are tackled with a 'let's just get through this' push.  When you get through a gig, good or bad, you get to the end and think 'Phew, we got through it.'.  You may have dropped a note here but the chances are your band mates were busy in their own part and the crowd we just loving that atmosphere.  In the studio you hit rewind and the band, and more so you, get to here every misplaced squeak and fart.  It really is under the microscope time.

    By and large I find solo performers take to recording far quicker that those used to being in a group as they are accustomed to being the absolute focus. 

    Like anything it takes practice.  For some, playing live and recording become easier and for others you become more confident in your ability to cope with the nerves you feel.

    With specific regards to breathing when recording, the key is do not rush yourself.  When a lot of people record themselves they hit record then give themselves two bars to get comfortable before playing.  Digital memory cost nothing so hit recording with a really good count in and give yourself plenty of time to not only get comfortable with your guitar, make sure your sat comfortably of you feet are positioned well if standing and the take a moment to get your breathing under control.



    My muse is not a horse and art is not a race.
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  • monquixotemonquixote Frets: 8916
    "Red light fever" is completely different from playing live. 

    I know people who can be throwing rock shapes while entertaining a pub full of punters, but go completely to pieces in front of a copy of Pro Tools.
    Handsome_Chris said: Like white Nile Rodgers. 
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  • BarneyBarney Frets: 391
    i think both playing live and recording stuff just comes easier the more you do it....i think recording things makes you a better player...where as playing in a band makes you better at playing with other people ...

    when you record something its there forever unless you edit it you will probably find yourself more self critical ...any little things in your playing.. note choice ..tone ..timing..ect will become really obvious..because you will listen back and be more critical in what you hear, so thats got to be a good thing ...and thats for a player of any level

    on playing live its not as critical cos when you play you dont have to listen back so any bad note choices...timing ..ect is gone a soon as you have played it but both things are as important as each other..

    so its very healthy to be self critical because it makes you aware and makes you want to do better next time ....i think as far as being nervous when you record, you will get more comfortable the more you do it ...same as you will playing in the band...
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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1118
    I absolutely agree with the sage comments above.  So rather than repeat what has been so well expressed, I'll just add a "bit" to it.

    The brain can only handle so many stimuli and tasks at the same time.  The more primitive parts of the nervous system keep things ticking over without conscious effort, like keeping your heart pumping (somewhat vital) and walking (which used to take absolute concentration when we were learning to do it, and is somewhat less vital).

    When you are out of your comfort zone, your adrenaline levels rise (to help you cope and think and react quicker), and your brain switches more capacity to the task which it believes to be the most important, and reduces the capacity for non essential tasks.

    It is testimony as to how important you, (your mind, and psychology), believe recording your guitar part is, that it is even taking preference over the normally automatic survival task of breathing.

    The brain also has "pattern matching" built in as a way of reducing the processing needed to react to an almost infinitely complex and changing world around us.
    "Sounds like", "looks like" and therefore "probably is" all cut down the processing and time needed to react and maybe stay alive.  ie "looks like a Lion running towards me, run like fcuk".

    I believe it is totally natural to find this stuff happening to you the moment the red light comes on, even if that is only your iPhone in total privacy, your brain goes into overdrive.

    If you think about it we are only too culturally aware that the nature of a recording is that it is around for posterity, and usually publicly accessible, otherwise why would we do it?  You know that you can just delete it anytime, even right after the take, but your subconscious makes it a much bigger deal than that.

    And the adrenalin is a bit of a double edged sword, it's all too easy to significantly up the tempo, and the need for uber focus makes any distraction take on too much significance, your mind is continually testing whether that thing that just popped in is important or not, and you can find your mind racing.  That is verses the calmer focus of being in "the zone", which is a great place to be when it happens.

    As @randomhandclaps  @monquixote and @Barney have said above, virtually everyone goes through this, even hardened professionals.
    You are putting something of yourself on the line.  If you care, why wouldn't you be nervous and want to perform at your best?

    Live is actually so much easier, nerves are the bodies natural way of preparing you for giving your best, and focussing you on doing well, but in a live situation it is played and past.
    Good gig, bad gig, it's onwards and upwards the next.  Every major atrist has had good and bad gigs, so you will always have very good company, no matter how you play.

    Why do we put ourselves through that then?  Think about what makes you pick up a guitar, and what makes you want to record or play live.
    Passion for music, love of playing, the act of creation of something beautiful or something very personal, and the desire to share, the ability to express yourself in ways a non musician just couldn't fully comprehend, there are so many motivational forces.

    Add that to the adrenaline of performance, whether live or recording, and the feeling of elation and achievement when you have done well.  I recon that's the thing that drives most, if not all of us, whatever level we want to work to.

    Just imagine coming off stage after a killer arena or stadium gig, it will take days to come down off that high !!!

    If you've got this far, well done, sorry it was such a long post.  I've always had this affliction - "why use one word where three will do".  Still I hope it made sense and I do hope it was useful, if not now, then maybe somewhere down the line.  :)

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  • @ChrisMusic




    Thanks a lot for your help. I did read every word of your posts. I think I probably picked the worst way to record something even though it was just for curiosity more than anything.

    I was involved in a Band back in 1994 and we did do 2 days recording a Demo Tape back then and I enjoyed it a great deal. It did make a hell of a difference having the tracks (Bass, Drums) to keep time with and I think I didn't have to do too many retakes ;-)

    I know what you're saying about overdubs and stuff, you can just layer so many things in the Studio. If there is a Guitar fill your struggling to get right I suppose you could just keep the "Tape" rolling until you get it right then splice that bit out (bit of cheating etc).

    Listening back, I realised I was playing the stuff too fast and Like Chris said, it's probably the Adrenaline doing that. I'll just have to overcome that through time. I'll have plenty of practice once I get my UX1 and stuff rolling.

    Thanks again.



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  • Red light syndrome is least personally it's almost always some random really simple thing that I can play with my eyes closed that I continually fuck up when Im recording. I think sometimes you just get a sort of mental block around a particualr riff or part.

    I find often its best to mvoe on and come back to it rather than power through though.
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  • JAYJOJAYJO Frets: 1022
    I think recording yourself  lets you hear what you really sound like. Everything may sound rushed hows the vibrato, bends arent quite right etc. As has been pointed out the red light syndrome is common as is not being as good as you think you are (not talking about you personally). Recording yourself is a great way to improve your playing. As for breathing keep doing it. :)
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  • If everybody recorded themselves and listened back to it then the first round of X Factor wouldn't be half as funny.
    My muse is not a horse and art is not a race.
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  • when recording, a good trick to get in the zone is loop record:

    record through once, knowing that's not your only attempt, then the recorder starts again at the start without a pause, so you go straight back in without dwelling on it -  run it through 2-5 times

    Since you didn't think the first take was "the one", you will usually relax more during it, second take is usually nice and relaxed.  

    Eventually you need to listen to the takes.

    This will need dedicated recording software, Reaper, Protools, Logic, etc

    btw there are some 4 track and 8 track recording apps on the iphone & ipad worth trying - but they are limited

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  • @ToneControl

    Thanks, I will be getting a Line 6 ux1 soon so there maybe something similar on the recording software that comes with that? or I can try one of those instead if they are compatible.

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