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I am an experienced musician playing over 30 years. But I have found out after attempting to record myself at home that I have nerves that interfere with the performance.

What techniques do you have to relax the mind and not be so uptight and nervous of making a mistake while recording? Even practiced many times to find myself making mistakes.

Also, do many of you find that you perform a piece all the way through the take or edit to finish the piece?

Thanks

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    One way to reduce the psychological pressure is record everything that you play at home - even the technical practise sessions. You don't need to listen to it afterwards - the idea is to get to the situation where using the recording equipment is just your normal routine. – user19146 Dec 14 '16 at 16:39
  • What instrument(s) are you recording and what method do you use for recording? I believe that this could affect the answers (imagine digital piano with MIDI available vs. acoustic guitar using a microphone). – xnakos Dec 14 '16 at 17:32
  • I am playing guitar on the tracks. Acoustic guitar is giving me a problem. It is clean without distortion and I am noticing my performance is lacking as I worry about my technique. Especially on playback through the studio monitors. – r lo Dec 14 '16 at 17:47
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As a seasoned muso, you've realised that on stage, little mistakes can often be made, but covered up successfully. Either that or blame the bass player.

You also realise that when a recording has been made, it's there to be listened to over and over, so any glitches will get picked up. What you don't appreciate is that any mistakes you make while recording, especially on today's digital equipment, can be rectified easily - and no-one else will know!

Just play through, and after, spot the mistakes, and re-record that one note, one bar, etc. Yes, there are studio session guys who will put down a dozen perfect tracks every time, but us mere mortals use editing facilities to get the same sort of end result. It takes longer, admittedly, but often there's no pressure on home recordings. Only from inside yourself, when you keep thinking 'gotta get it perfect'. You haven't! If you do, what a bonus, but otherwise, keep recording, and with a lot of desks, you can do multiple takes, and even patch bits from lots together to make that perfect recording.

Go into a session thinking 'it won't be perfect every time, 'cos I'm human', and the personal pressure will lessen. Obviously make sure the parts are learned, but then, apart from the time and effort factors, something good will come out.

You ask about one take, or bits, and the answer will be both, probably with more emphasis on the latter, unless you ask an old pro. That's how I work, hoping to save time, but philosophical if I don't.

  • I think you really nailed down the issue. I am going into it expecting to be perfect every time which is unreasonable. Thanks for the answer. – r lo Dec 14 '16 at 17:49
  • 'An amateur practices until he gets it right once. A professional practices unyi; he COULDN'T get it wrong.' – Laurence Payne Dec 14 '16 at 18:09
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The most important thing for taking out the nervousness is blank media. Lots of it. You want to be able to keep recording for hours. In fact, you don't want to wait for the "perfect take" and then stop. You just keep playing until you reach your time limit for the day (or your fingers protest). Either there is a take in there somewhere that you can think of using, or you restart on the next day.

Though it's ok to record a few bars and stop and check. It is somewhat aggravating if you played for an hour and there is nothing on the disk/SDcard/whatever. Or it's of awful quality.

  • Good advice to keep going and get into the groove. I guess it will take more time to get comfortable and used to the process. – r lo Dec 14 '16 at 17:50

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