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Recording without stress - And as a tool
Recording can be stressful. It can produce the same performance anxiety that performing in front of an audience can produce.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (2 votes) 
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Sasha
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December 21, 2023 - 10:32 am
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First, thank you @SharonC for inspiring this post! I really enjoyed your out-take video, and please, this is not meant as a commentary on your video in any way! I am sitting here smiling and remembering having many, many, many of the same experiences myself when recording.

That rarely happens for me now, but my approach has changed a lot and rarely do I find it stressful any more. And I wanted to share the things I have found and done that have made recording a fun process vs a stressful one. And I also hope to hear others stories and experiences on this.

The first thing to know is that recording is a skill and must be cultivated over time as well. While gear such as camera and mics do matter to getting a good video or audio recording, experience matters too. The point of this post is not to go in to detail on the technical end of things, just be aware that it can take time to develop that skill as well so be gentle with yourself and enjoy the learning process.

The second thing is that it can just take time to get more comfortable recording. 

And now: The Three Take Rule.

In any 'session' I limit myself to 3 takes. That is 3 full takes/performances in a row. I hit record, don't hit stop, and play the piece 3 times. 

The only time I will stop before the 3rd play though is done is if I completely bomb out. I accept it, and then go practice the part I am having trouble with. But that is only if I completely bomb and it's obvious that I am not ready for the part. A missed note, or other recoverable error, I just keep right on going.

I have found the 3 takes no stopping to be really helpful. Sometimes on the first play there is a bit too much of that nervous energy, but usually the 2nd play I have just settled in and I am just playing the song, not thinking about the performance, any of the recording mechanics whatever they may be.

And after the 3, I review them and choose the one I like the best. If I do not like any, or each one has a mistake in I don't like, I set it aside and come back later after getting in to the right head and heart space, more practice, or working out the feel I want, whatever it is. The point is, to just walk away and come back later.

This approach works really well for me, and also has an added benefit. I sometimes use it to test if a piece is 'performance ready'  If I don't get 3 in a session that I am happy with (or at least find acceptable) I know I do not have it 'performance ready'.

If only I could do that with an audience.... please everyone, just remember the best one. Feel free to delete the rest. :D

What are your tips and solutions for dealing with recording anxiety?

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SharonC
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December 22, 2023 - 2:05 pm
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@Sasha Great post! 

I think your “Three Take Rule” is a good one.  Getting your practice time in before you get in front of the camera is a good way to avoid a lot of frustration.  Doesn’t mean your playing will be flawless (mine certainly is not)—just less apt to find yourself frustrated in what you’re trying to do. 

In front of camera vs Live Performance:  Yes, similarities. . . but also differences.  No do-overs when you play live.  Also, playing along with live people is definitely different than recording and putting multiple recorded parts together. 

Solutions to deal with recording anxiety?  Nothing can replace experience—practice doesn’t necessarily make perfect, but it definitely makes it less stressful smile

Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.

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ELCBK
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December 23, 2023 - 3:34 am
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223900-Have-A-Merry-Christmas-And-A-Happy-New-Year.jpg@Sasha -

Great topic! 

My recording routine is similar, but it depends on what I'm recording.  I might record a couple extra takes if there's a deadline... but if I'm just not playing as well as like a previous practice, it's definitely time to stop & just try the next day (if time allows). 

I owe a lot to the GP's & 'Parties' here - they helped a lot, made 'playing in front of a camera' more goal-oriented for me & successful. 

If I'm overly enthusiastic about a piece, especially when I really want to show someone who's visiting, 'something I feel is special' - usually something 'big' I've challenged myself with... it can make me nervous.  But, if I stop & think - honestly, most folks who don't hang out around Fiddlers, or have a specific interest in violin music, don't have a clue what's going on!  Maybe they've seen some Live, or TV concert with virtuosic soloing & that's the extent of their violin experience... if someone expects professional playing out of me, I'm screwed. (lol) 

So, I try to remember what I feel is important for any audience (even me) - I like to see a confident musician, who enjoys playing music.  That's one thing I keep working at.

'Confidence' isn't something we've specifically talked about on the forum... have we?  I don't think it's something that automatically happens just because we learn to play the violin. 

"Is Confidence A Skill You Can Learn?" - Psychology Today  Many other good articles on 'confidence' at this site. 

 

🤔... I've been having much more trouble coordinating 'quiet time', along with some 'energy', to record this past 6 months - can't seem to find both at the same time!

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