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How I Record My Performances

Discussion in 'Technique' started by Anonymous, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    photograph

    Hello Chris,

    I apologise for the size of the photograph, as it appears in this thread. As soon as it was revealed to be so prominent in here, I attempted to remove it, but to no avail. You have my permission to remove the .jpg file from this thread.

    Joe
     
  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Someone could make own topic for pictures... :idea:
     
  3. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Re: photograph

    No problems (though I am Robert ;)), I just removed it.
     
  4. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I have been on another forum (chopinfiles.com does no longer exist) where we made a topic name "Post your own picture". That was pretty fun! So go ahead someone but do it in "General".
     
  5. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Lots of great observations all around!

    I have this 15 year old video camera. I started making videos of my playing (practice and performance) exactly five years ago today. I vividly remember my horror at hearing and seeing myself play for the first time. My fingers were contorted every which way and I sounded more like a braying jackass than a musician. Ever since then, I regularly examine my technique and sound with the video (at least three times a week). Even though the sound quality is unpredictable on the old equipment, which is extremely sensitive to harshness (that's probably a good thing), I can interpolate my actual sound by comparative listening.

    The sound needed by and created in a recording, is analogous to speaking with a different accent, IMO. The first priority in recording, is to be able to alter this musical "accent" to suit the recorder, not necessarily your ears.

    Videotaping early and often in practice sessions enables one to recognize, through dissassociation, technical errors before they develop into musical ones. I've improved drastically in the last five years, and believe the catalyst for that improvement, was the unyielding demand for perfection made by the tape. It's quite humbling.

    I'll post some recordings when I get the proper equipment. Unfortunately, all my recorings are on cassette tapes. Perhaps it's time for an upgrade!


    Pete
     
  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    On videotaping practice sessions.

    Hello Pete,

    Happy fifth anniversary on the use of your video camera to capture your practice sessions and performances. I am so glad for you that you regularly examine your technique and sound via your video work.

    I especially enjoyed reading your words in the paragraph that is repeated here verbatim:

    "Videotaping early and often in practice sessions enables one to recognize, through dissassociation [sic], technical errors before they develop into musical ones. I've improved drastically in the last five years, and believe the catalyst for that improvement, was the unyielding demand for perfection made by the tape. It's quite humbling."

    The very technique -- that I called "exploratory" sessions in my original first post of this thread -- is analogous to the way you describe as recognising technical errors, through dissociation from your analysis is what you believe is a major catalyst for your own improvement in musicality. It seems we have come full circle! It is this method, albeit only in audio recording, that I have been using to produce the levels of performance that have been shared with this forum in my submitted .mp3 files.

    Bravo to you in your bold and creative approach to place ego aside, in order to strive for the highest degree of musiciality you are capable of achieving. Restated, do what works for you.

    Cheers,

    Joe
     
  7. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I agree that video taping your playing is a very good way to observe flaws in technique and how they connect to musical flaws. I have only done that occasionally but have an aim to do this as a regurarly routine as it very much provides me the necessary vitamine injection for practising more carefully (not more) and really observe what I am doing.
     
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Viewing one's own performances to improve your playing skill

    Hello to Robert and Pete, as well as other Piano Society members:

    You have each discovered something that I would highly recommend that others try for themselves, in the privacy of their own home studios -- videotape yourself and then watch yourself (with a critical, analytical eye) playing / practicing the piano. The ultimate goal of viewing videos of the most important performer in the world (at least in your own mind) ... is to enable you to improve your musicianship, poise and general performance level.


    The purpose of videotaping yourself is not entirely for an ego boost, but rather as a diagnostic tool -- a safe haven for you to see the way you perform, when other people are not watching. More specifically, videotaping yourself has the ability of transforming yourself INTO YOUR OWN PRIVATE TEACHER. There is no need to get dressed in public performance attire, unless you are using these tapes to prepare you for a high level contest. Rather, this is just for you, and is not intended to be viewed by others -- restated, simply be yourself.

    As in previous threads, you will recall how one is amazed and humbled when he/she views these taped performances, hairstyle notwithstanding. Surely, you will become aware of mannerisms you never knew you had. These mannerisms are described in below in greater detail.


    I would recommend using two camera positions (although they need not be done simultaneously). In fact, I would suggest you do NOT have another person present to operate the camera. As soon as someone else is in the room, your session turns into a recital -- and that is NOT what is being attempted at this time.


    1) Capture your performance with the camera placed approximately 20 feet (6 meters) from the instrument -- or at least as far across the room as you can go with the lens zoomed out. This camera position will show you your "macro" mannerisms -- how you sit at the bench, whether you unconsciously flail your arms as you play, how your body outwardly reacts to your making mistakes, how you hold your wrists in relation to the positioning of your forearms as well as fingers, etc.

    Tape yourself for a long enough stretch of time ... that you no longer care that the camera is running. This is NOT to be a performance, but rather an objective camera's eye view of how you practice a particular piece of music. Yes, I know, the first five minutes or so will be excrutiatingly difficult to keep playing because you are still "performing" for the camera -- get yourself past that state of mind.

    2) Capture a close-up view of your hands as you are playing. In the recommended ABSENCE of a videographer, set the zoom such that you can see your hands at close range, but zoomed back enough that your hands remain in view throughout your taping.

    When taping in close-up mode, you should be watching what happens when you make the same mistake at the same portion of a given musical passage. The camera may capture any number of clues of which you completely unaware:

    A) it may capture some clumsy fingering;
    B) it may capture LAZY fingering (that you finger differently each time you play the same passage);
    C) it may help you discover that a particular type of fingering may be satisfactory whilst practicing slowly, but the same fingering is not the most efficient one when playing up to tempo.
    D) it may verify that the particular fingering is correct, but that the fingering LEADING TO the errant passage is all wrong.
    E) etc.


    Back to the original intent of this posting:
    PLAN: Upon viewing yourself, take notes of the mannerisms you wish to improve.
    DO: Work on improving those characteristics found lacking. Set a timeframe for improvement.
    CHECK: Videotape yourself after you feel you have incrementally accomplished an improvement.
    ACT: Dependent upon whether improvement had actually taken place, either continue on other parts of a musical work, or use this opportunity to go back the the PLAN stage and observe the mannerisms, and repeat the P-D-C-A process as often as required.

    Cheers,

    Joe
     
  9. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello Joe,

    Your method includes one thing that many (wasted) practice hours lack, empiricism. Excellent analysis.

    I really like this:

    "PLAN: Upon viewing yourself, take notes of the mannerisms you wish to improve.
    DO: Work on improving those characteristics found lacking. Set a timeframe for improvement.
    CHECK: Videotape yourself after you feel you have incrementally accomplished an improvement.
    ACT: Dependent upon whether improvement had actually taken place, either continue on other parts of a musical work, or use this opportunity to go back the the PLAN stage and observe the mannerisms, and repeat the P-D-C-A process as often as required."


    p.s. Dissociation, of course. Normully i,m a pertey gud speler. :lol:


    Pete
     
  10. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Joe for the tips. I will begin to tape myself and see how this can improve my playing.
     

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