Friday, December 7, 2007

Guitar Practice: Qualitative Methods to Measure Progress

The qualitative aspect to your playing is where the rubber meets the road and relies on the technical elements you measure with your practice log as well as your ear training and development of tone. The best way to measure progress on qualitative elements to your playing is to record yourself.

Recording oneself works great because the recording will not lie while your ear might. My love of Jimi Hendrix’s version of “Hey Joe” was a catalyst to me starting on the guitar. Every nine months or so, I record this song. This has become a hobby in itself as I record the lead, rhythm, and bass tracks and mix them. The advantage of recording multiple tracks and mixing them is that it becomes brutally apparent if you are not keeping good time with the beat as the mix will be muddy.

Each time I do one of these recordings, I have another reference point. I am on my forth “Hey Joe” now and I check my progress by playing them through oldest to newest. Each time I think the new one is great and the previous one sounds like a cat coughing up a hairball. In other words, you can really detect improvement by recording yourself!

The recording approach has another advantage as you can put it out for critical review to your friends. If they are true friends, they will be honest with you! This is a failsafe approach to avoid your ear trying to lie to you.

You measure progress in everything from golf to skeet shooting. Make sure to do the same in your guitar endeavors and you will see tangible evidence of your efforts.

1 comments:

vernplum said...

Hey Pete - excellent blog you got here and great advice on recording and re-recording a favourite track to measure progress. I think I will adopt this approach now I've started with my new teacher. :)

Cheers

Vernplum

http://gitbuddy.wordpress.com/

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