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I record much of my practice for my own study and it tends to be interesting at least to me when I make mistakes. However I find some of my errors are valuable teaching tools for me to learn from. Except sometimes when its not a perfect recording I allay revisiting my recording preferring to forget that I was working towards a goal. Is it good to share your journey with learning a song with your audience sacrificing that you may appear unprofessional because it was executed perfectly or one may seem not yo be an expert? Is it wise to share what your working on even though it may have errors? Or could it become more detrimental when there is no context other than what we set as a reasonable boundary?

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6 Answers 6

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I did actually debate doing this very thing with my guitar teacher once. An online practice journal.

We came to the conclusion that it was going to be a lot of effort to create a series of the most boring youtube videos ever.

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Maybe this is just my age, but…

This seems to be a very modern penchant - spend half your life posting things online that are not yet perfected.

Why not just get it right first?
YouTube, TikTok et al are not short of forgettable footage.

Honestly, no-one will care. Your family will say it's great. Your friends will scroll right past it. You'll end up spending more time trying to get the video right than the performance.
All in all, it's a distraction you don't need & no-one else will care about at all.
Work on the work, not the distraction. Even when it's good, you'll still face a world of ambivalence… that's another hurdle for another time.

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    "Is it good to share your journey with learning a song with your audience?" - No. I came here to drink and get laid; your job is to play the music. Oh, by 'audience' you mean random people on the net? Yeah, they don't count. +1
    – Mazura
    Sep 27 at 1:41
  • To be fair, for some the sharing part of it can be very motivating for a variety of reasons. Sep 27 at 5:48
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    @DavidMulder - you really don't want to share your mistakes with the interwebz at large. It is remarkably cruel behind its anonymity.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 27 at 8:50
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I would consider this oversharing.

However, what might be helpful would be a short demo of how to solve a particular problem. That is, a demo of a particular practice technique.

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We can definitely learn "along with" other people—learn from their mistakes, share our solutions, etc. This works best in small communities, when the learning can flow both ways. Many music teachers hold "studio class," in which their students perform for each other, and often offer critiques and suggestions to their peers. Sometimes we hold masterclasses, in which a "master" gives a student what is essentially a public lesson, and an entire audience of spectators is there simply to learn by watching someone else learn.

For the masterclass to be useful to the spectators, though, they have to be able to see what was learned. Hopefully, they can learn the same lessons. If you share your difficulties, and also share the solutions you find (in a way that is concise and easy to consume)—and if your sharing reaches others who are having the same challenges—then it could be helpful. If you simply share challenges with no solutions, then it's useful only to keep others from feeling like they're the only ones who face these challenges.

Now, if you're trying to help yourself—say, hoping that you share a challenge and that the general public will provide a solution—I would warn against "reading the comments." A studio class is a "safe space" (well, supposedly) of friendly colleagues. The general public, and especially the internet, is a terrible place for getting useful advice, and is incredibly eager to offer you undeserved abuse. I strongly advise that you try sharing with a small number of people you know and trust, especially teachers, and that you absolutely ignore random strangers.

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When I practice I play;

  • scales in different keys
  • long notes while watching the tuner
  • long notes getting louder and softer
  • tricky twiddly bits over and over
  • difficult stuff at half speed
  • impro along with iRealPro
  • the whole piece with interruptions to find and correct mistakes

I cannot imagine anyone wanting to hear that. I have an insulated cellar room for practicing so I don't drive family and neighbours mad.

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Sure. Make some and see what the reaction is. Maybe you will have the knack of making informative, helpful and entertaining recordings. Maybe they'll just come across as recordings of someone playing badly! You won't find out until you try.

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