He told me that he is disappointed in himself that he is not able to play like the teacher can.
The teacher told him that after 3 months of total guitar playing time, if he is able to play as good as the teacher, then all the years of the teacher is wasted.
He said “touche” and agreed to keep practising.
Had he forgotten that it was just 3 months before that he had started trying to play the guitar? That he couldn’t play anything at all 3 months back when compared to playing something (about which he was expressing his unhappiness)?
We forget how it was.
What we can’t now becomes the focus, while the acquired skill or position is taken for granted.
Deliberate gratefulness in life is said to be a useful practice for the same reason. A regular gratitude self-shake will keep the tendency to Discount the Positives in check while clearing up mind space to include more the future possibilities and its subfolder: strategy, tactics, micro moves, details, patience.
Recording your playing each week or so will automatically let you do this by being a very clear proof and feedback, without having to make any derivation or conclusion.
Maybe you want to record each song or piece or exercise that you are pracitising. Else, like we said, maybe once in a week, a general recording of something you like. A particularly tough piece often serves as something to go back to every month and see the improvement.
That is the mind part. The music part is also about feedback, which is probably more obvious.
Slowly we all need to develop a kind of trance where we are listening ourselves playing while we play. Listening to our own recordings makes it easier at least during the learning process.
Listening to ourselves immediately induces learning at a level below the conscious, and changing focus within us, instinctively making us aware of what aspects of our playing we need to focus on.
Record on your phone (am.in). I did and do it on my camera (am.in) and laptop (am.in). Camera has the added advantage of seeing yourself play – that can smooth out a lot of tension and unnecessary or unaesthetic stuff without we even being aware of the change. (Laptop recording detailsg)
Are you practising something these days? Next time after you play it once, turn on your device, record it, copy it on your hard disk to be viewed later, especially on evenings when you feel that you aren’t able to play as good as some other guy, conveniently ignoring the fact that he has been playing 20 years longer than you, or such similar self-talk that adds no value to the wonderful growing experience of making life out of non-living material by making them ring with beautiful music that matters.
Recording with the laptop onto a sequencer
You can stitch the phrases. Play a part of the phrase or a phrase. Pause, move the cursor back, enable auto input or record and edit in…
Whatever it be, using a sequencer like Reaper has the above mentioned added advantage.
Then when you are comfortable with it, you can start layering them. Add more and more tracks to add to the already recorded and playing music.
The use? You make a perfectly edited recording, without delays and mistakes. Now you have a feedback that will run along with you and let you know your mistakes each time you make one. Knowing your mistakes is not a bad thing, is n’t? In fact for learning isn’t that one of the best things one can hope for? To have a constant feedback.
Shyness and audience replacement
This one wasn’t very intuitive for me. The student told me that since he had never played before in front of an audience, he was shy to comments.
And that recording himself somehow was like practising and displaying in front of an audience. I think according to him the complete process would include sharing the recorded material to his friends, thus getting feedback, still not as scary as live audience.
Free resources at musicianself.com/rlo