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> Practise Tips For Rec, Let's add up our advice
Ben Higgins
post Oct 18 2014, 01:59 PM
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I think this would be a good place to collate some of our knowledge and experiences regards practising and making improvements for REC takes.

I'll give some thoughts as an instructor and please feel free to add some input of what worked for you.

One thing I do see a lot is that students don't give themselves enough time to let improvements take place. For example, if you are working on a challenging piece which makes use of vibrato and your vibrato skills are in their early stages of development, then you have to be prepared to maybe give a few weeks to really see improvements that are effective enough to make a difference to a REC take.

A couple of days isn't really enough time for anyone, including us guys, to make any significant headway in a technique. That's why we sometimes seem like we're pushing the same piece of advice... it's not that you're not listening to it because you most certainly have listened and are trying really hard, but it's often just a case of you've come back with another take too early. Way too early for any improvement to take place.

So that's my first piece of advice: Be prepared to put more time in to see results.

The next piece of advice is one that we use a lot: Play along to the original lesson (including the guitar solo) so you can hear when you go out of time and phrase things differently to the intended lesson.

Hopefully this should help you hear when you haven't quite got the same groove goin' on. Try to emulate the instructor's timing as best as you can. In bluesy lessons where 'it's all about the feeeel, man' this is harder to do because the blues is all about laying back and dragging the phrases behind the beat or adding a sudden flurry out of nowhere. How can one teach this stuff ? To be honest, blues phrasing is hard to compute into exact note values. It really is a case of 'putting the time in' and letting it happen over many years. But that doesn't mean you can't learn them. Of course you can, and of course you should smile.gif But understand that developing feel is a journey that will take time and, as we do, mature and grow as we live our lives. It just sort of 'happens' after a while. So don't feel bad or be hard on yourself if you can't quite get the feel or groove right on one of those types of lessons. No one person will ever play it the same.

On a more straightforward lesson with defined note values, playing along to the backing track will definitely yield results. Another thing that might help is to have the backing louder than you might think. Often we drown out our accompaniment with our own guitar sound but being surrounded by percussion makes it easier for you to feel where you are in a track. So try not to let a backing track be just background noise and instead be part of the track yourself !

That's just a couple of the most common pieces of advice we give to anyone working on REC takes. This can, of course, be applied to anything you guys are working on. But to make things interesting and increase the value of this thread, what things have helped you with working on a track ? Please share your experiences and advice here.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 18 2014, 02:35 PM
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Great tips here, Ben!

Practicing along with the original recordings, has helped me into nailing those very subtle details, such as microbends or various dynamics related elements and I totally recommend everyone to use it. Recording over the original will also help out a big lot, because you will be able to compare your take with the original in real time.

See, when we play, we are mainly focused on what is happening in the NOW and we are not able, mostof the time anyway, to tell if we are grooving nicely, or articulating as expressive as possible and so on. Once we have recorded against the original, we can sit back and listen:

- after listening a few times, take a piece of paper and a pen and write down all the sections that need work and what sort of work is needed, of course. Isolatethose parts, slow them down and nail them as close to perfection as possible. Once nailed, implement them back into the context and raise the speed, trying to remember them as accurately as possible, in order to play them likewise.

This is the drill mainly wink.gif Keep it in mind when practicing and your playing will receive a lot of benefits from this approach smile.gif


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Rhida
post Oct 18 2014, 08:04 PM
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Excellent topic.

Yeah Ben I know I've been guilty of that for one or two lessons (maybe more wink.gif !).
I will speak for myself. Sometimes I feel that I no more progress with one lesson and feel that something is holding me back.
And because you guys are full of advices, suggestions, kind words and encouragements I keep coming back again and again and sometimes not letting time makes its magic on my skills. And for that you're right.
Also my ears are not yet that developped. I've been aware of timing issues, bending and vibrato on pitch, finger pressure causing tuning problems on my playing only since I've been here.
For these reasons REC has become an important part of my development.

Anyway here are 2 tips that seems to help (for me at least) and that I 've applied for two days now.

1. Cosmin always suggest to play along the lesson. I did that but with limited results it seems . So now I record myself (right pan for example) and the lesson (pan left) when I'm practicing. It helps to better hear what I am doing above the original lesson when playing then after when listening and I can really compare my playing with the instructor's and adjust these little details that make all the difference.

2. Read more then once the comments on your REC take. I sometimes forgot to do that and it shows on the next take tongue.gif !
So from now, I read the comments everytime before practicing the lesson again so I know wher I must keep my focus.

But I must add that you will still see at least one REC take from me per week, as it is my short and immediate goal/challenge in my practice routine.

Very interested in what other GMCers have to say!
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Ben Higgins
post Oct 18 2014, 08:19 PM
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QUOTE (Rhida @ Oct 18 2014, 08:04 PM) *
1. So now I record myself (right pan for example) and the lesson (pan left) when I'm practicing. It helps to better hear what I am doing above the original lesson when playing then after when listening and I can really compare my playing with the instructor's and adjust these little details that make all the difference.


That's an excellent suggestion. This is exactly the kind of things we like to hear from you - this will hopefully help others here as well smile.gif

You're doing a great job in the REC by the way, your hard work is paying off !


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klasaine
post Oct 18 2014, 08:43 PM
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I'll add that as a student, you absolutely have to self-police.
If you think, even a little bit that you're not nailing something(?), you aren't. Fix it.

Don't play anything faster than you can play the hardest part.
For example: if there's a lick or a riff that is mostly 1/4 or 1/8th notes and is relatively easy to play - until the part that switches to 16th note triplets ... you can't play the easy part any faster than you can cleanly negotiate the hard part in time.

When you do finally 'nail it' in time at tempo remember, up until that point you've played it wrong and or slowly most of the time. In other words you've played it wrong more times than you've played it right. You need to (re)balance the wrong and slow with the right and correct tempo. For me personally, I have to play something correctly and up to tempo 20 times in a row before I won't blow it on a gig (or a recording). Everybody has a number. Mine's 20.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Oct 19 2014, 04:33 AM


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Monica Gheorghev...
post Oct 19 2014, 08:10 AM
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I will say how I work for a lesson smile.gif

First of all I never hurry with a lesson because my main goal it's to learn the technique behind the notes, to be able to apply this in my compositions. So, I don't care if a lesson take me 1 month or more. I know that after I will finish the lesson I take 100% benefits from it wink.gif Details and "no mercy" are the things that define my mentoring with Darek. We work every bar from lesson separately and we spend a lot of time doing every single detail. Sometimes are tiny ornaments which seems easy, but are hard as hell to play them. But I love details and even if I play just one bar an entire week for many hours/day I not giving up, I never became boring and I not go further until will not sound good.
Also, before to start a lesson I make experiments and I try to make a similar tone as in original lesson. I'm a little obsessed and ambitious to try to do all things as close to the original. As an example for the lesson that I work now, I spent 1 week just to achieve a similar tone as in original lesson. If you ask why I do that, it's because some lessons are made purposely with a particular sound, that puts your playing in difficulty. You have just one choice, learn to play on it wink.gif

For me a lesson it’s ready in the moment when my instructor didn’t find any mistake in my playing and he tell me that I’m ready for REC. From that moment another week I play the lesson every day for many times before to make the video. This is because I want to add relaxation in playing, to give myself an extra confidence and also to ensure me again that all details are fixed forever. After I make the recording for REC, I watch and listen for millions times the take and I try to find mistakes. Until to put the lesson in REC, I let 24 hours and I listen next morning the recording with fresh ears and I sent to Darek the video to be sure that my playing is for 10 grade. When I have his verdict I post the video smile.gif

If you guys think I'm crazy....yes maybe a little, but I try to be a perfectionist and sometimes I make again the recording just because I didn’t positioned the camera perfect in middle and I'm with 1cm to left or to right in video or one light make some shadows on my face. So.....yes I'm totally crazy laugh.gif

As a conclusion, from my point of view the perfect formula for a good REC lesson is: patience, similar tone (always can be find in lesson description), focus on details, very big attention at pick direction and angle of pick (this gives that particular sound from some notes and the feel for all the lesson), work for each bar and don't go further if this not sound perfect, split the lesson in many parts and send each part to your instructor ( because if you learn something wrong it’s very hard to correct this), put the video in Rec only after you listened for hundred times the recording and you are sure that sounds perfect.

This post has been edited by Monica Gheorghevici: Oct 19 2014, 08:15 AM
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Ben Higgins
post Oct 19 2014, 09:12 AM
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QUOTE (Monica Gheorghevici @ Oct 19 2014, 08:10 AM) *
I will say how I work for a lesson smile.gif

First of all I never hurry with a lesson because my main goal it's to learn the technique behind the notes, to be able to apply this in my compositions. So, I don't care if a lesson take me 1 month or more. I know that after I will finish the lesson I take 100% benefits from it wink.gif Details and "no mercy" are the things that define my mentoring with Darek. We work every bar from lesson separately and we spend a lot of time doing every single detail. Sometimes are tiny ornaments which seems easy, but are hard as hell to play them. But I love details and even if I play just one bar an entire week for many hours/day I not giving up, I never became boring and I not go further until will not sound good.
Also, before to start a lesson I make experiments and I try to make a similar tone as in original lesson. I'm a little obsessed and ambitious to try to do all things as close to the original. As an example for the lesson that I work now, I spent 1 week just to achieve a similar tone as in original lesson. If you ask why I do that, it's because some lessons are made purposely with a particular sound, that puts your playing in difficulty. You have just one choice, learn to play on it wink.gif

For me a lesson it’s ready in the moment when my instructor didn’t find any mistake in my playing and he tell me that I’m ready for REC. From that moment another week I play the lesson every day for many times before to make the video. This is because I want to add relaxation in playing, to give myself an extra confidence and also to ensure me again that all details are fixed forever. After I make the recording for REC, I watch and listen for millions times the take and I try to find mistakes. Until to put the lesson in REC, I let 24 hours and I listen next morning the recording with fresh ears and I sent to Darek the video to be sure that my playing is for 10 grade. When I have his verdict I post the video smile.gif

If you guys think I'm crazy....yes maybe a little, but I try to be a perfectionist and sometimes I make again the recording just because I didn’t positioned the camera perfect in middle and I'm with 1cm to left or to right in video or one light make some shadows on my face. So.....yes I'm totally crazy laugh.gif

As a conclusion, from my point of view the perfect formula for a good REC lesson is: patience, similar tone (always can be find in lesson description), focus on details, very big attention at pick direction and angle of pick (this gives that particular sound from some notes and the feel for all the lesson), work for each bar and don't go further if this not sound perfect, split the lesson in many parts and send each part to your instructor ( because if you learn something wrong it’s very hard to correct this), put the video in Rec only after you listened for hundred times the recording and you are sure that sounds perfect.


Wow you are very dedicated !! That's very interesting to read. I think splitting things up in to bars is a useful way of managing the lesson. It is essentially why the video lessons are divided up into smaller parts.. for a student to digest a small chunk at a time.

REC can be different for each student. For some people, like yourself, it's an opportunity to work on perfection and get every aspect right. Of course, a student does not have to wait until they're perfect to post a REC... one of the reasons for REC is about gaining feedback that and knowing what their weak areas are.

But either approach is good smile.gif


QUOTE (klasaine @ Oct 18 2014, 08:43 PM) *
I'll add that as a student, you absolutely have to self-police.


That's a good phrase. I think it could form a life message.. self police rather than self medicate !


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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 19 2014, 10:17 AM
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QUOTE (Rhida @ Oct 18 2014, 07:04 PM) *
Excellent topic.

Yeah Ben I know I've been guilty of that for one or two lessons (maybe more wink.gif !).
I will speak for myself. Sometimes I feel that I no more progress with one lesson and feel that something is holding me back.
And because you guys are full of advices, suggestions, kind words and encouragements I keep coming back again and again and sometimes not letting time makes its magic on my skills. And for that you're right.
Also my ears are not yet that developped. I've been aware of timing issues, bending and vibrato on pitch, finger pressure causing tuning problems on my playing only since I've been here.
For these reasons REC has become an important part of my development.

Anyway here are 2 tips that seems to help (for me at least) and that I 've applied for two days now.

1. Cosmin always suggest to play along the lesson. I did that but with limited results it seems . So now I record myself (right pan for example) and the lesson (pan left) when I'm practicing. It helps to better hear what I am doing above the original lesson when playing then after when listening and I can really compare my playing with the instructor's and adjust these little details that make all the difference.

2. Read more then once the comments on your REC take. I sometimes forgot to do that and it shows on the next take tongue.gif !
So from now, I read the comments everytime before practicing the lesson again so I know wher I must keep my focus.

But I must add that you will still see at least one REC take from me per week, as it is my short and immediate goal/challenge in my practice routine.

Very interested in what other GMCers have to say!


Hey mate - I also wanted to congratulate you for your perseverence in the REC zone and your progress as well! usually, playing along with the recording develops your senses, but it does that in time. Don't expect results to show up immediately, and usually recording alongside the original will mirror the things which you need to fix, if any. The one thing you need to do in order to progress even more, is to put in some more time in the lessons, by using the suggestions and the learning procedure which you have yourself built very thoroughly! wink.gif

QUOTE (Monica Gheorghevici @ Oct 19 2014, 07:10 AM) *
I will say how I work for a lesson smile.gif

First of all I never hurry with a lesson because my main goal it's to learn the technique behind the notes, to be able to apply this in my compositions. So, I don't care if a lesson take me 1 month or more. I know that after I will finish the lesson I take 100% benefits from it wink.gif Details and "no mercy" are the things that define my mentoring with Darek. We work every bar from lesson separately and we spend a lot of time doing every single detail. Sometimes are tiny ornaments which seems easy, but are hard as hell to play them. But I love details and even if I play just one bar an entire week for many hours/day I not giving up, I never became boring and I not go further until will not sound good.
Also, before to start a lesson I make experiments and I try to make a similar tone as in original lesson. I'm a little obsessed and ambitious to try to do all things as close to the original. As an example for the lesson that I work now, I spent 1 week just to achieve a similar tone as in original lesson. If you ask why I do that, it's because some lessons are made purposely with a particular sound, that puts your playing in difficulty. You have just one choice, learn to play on it wink.gif

For me a lesson it’s ready in the moment when my instructor didn’t find any mistake in my playing and he tell me that I’m ready for REC. From that moment another week I play the lesson every day for many times before to make the video. This is because I want to add relaxation in playing, to give myself an extra confidence and also to ensure me again that all details are fixed forever. After I make the recording for REC, I watch and listen for millions times the take and I try to find mistakes. Until to put the lesson in REC, I let 24 hours and I listen next morning the recording with fresh ears and I sent to Darek the video to be sure that my playing is for 10 grade. When I have his verdict I post the video smile.gif

If you guys think I'm crazy....yes maybe a little, but I try to be a perfectionist and sometimes I make again the recording just because I didn’t positioned the camera perfect in middle and I'm with 1cm to left or to right in video or one light make some shadows on my face. So.....yes I'm totally crazy laugh.gif

As a conclusion, from my point of view the perfect formula for a good REC lesson is: patience, similar tone (always can be find in lesson description), focus on details, very big attention at pick direction and angle of pick (this gives that particular sound from some notes and the feel for all the lesson), work for each bar and don't go further if this not sound perfect, split the lesson in many parts and send each part to your instructor ( because if you learn something wrong it’s very hard to correct this), put the video in Rec only after you listened for hundred times the recording and you are sure that sounds perfect.


I know how much you work for a REC take and the proof is always visible/audible in your recordings wink.gif Congrats and thank you for being an example! You guys should pay close attention to Monica's method of practicing as it always pays of on the long run, even if it's extremely tedious and it requires something difficult - patience biggrin.gif


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Monica Gheorghev...
post Oct 20 2014, 06:41 AM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Oct 19 2014, 09:17 AM) *
I know how much you work for a REC take and the proof is always visible/audible in your recordings wink.gif Congrats and thank you for being an example! You guys should pay close attention to Monica's method of practicing as it always pays of on the long run, even if it's extremely tedious and it requires something difficult - patience biggrin.gif

Thank you so much Cosmin for your appreciation, you are too kind smile.gif I will try to keep always the same rough training and to ask more from myself wink.gif
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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 20 2014, 10:54 AM
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QUOTE (Monica Gheorghevici @ Oct 20 2014, 05:41 AM) *
Thank you so much Cosmin for your appreciation, you are too kind smile.gif I will try to keep always the same rough training and to ask more from myself wink.gif


Just like a true samurai lady! Well, I may seem kind, but I am just appreciating the effort really and as I said, people should look up to you as an example of ambition and dedication to true development smile.gif Keep it going!


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