Back in the dim and distant past, I carried out the first half of an experiment that I’ve thus far failed to complete. Depressed about my apparent lack of progress, I recorded myself playing a piece and promised to record the same piece a month later, compare the two, and report back. For six months I failed to do this because:
(a) I was afraid I wouldn’t have improved
(b) Listening to a recording of yourself playing an instrument is almost as bad as listening to a recording of yourself speaking, and
(c) I’m not very good at following things up
Then moment of truth finally came last night when I did the second recording, then listened to both in quick succession.
The original November recording was absurdly bad, like the audio from some awful St Trinian’s music lesson sketch: terrible tuning, erratic timing, no redeeming features whatsoever. Tonight’s attempt was only slightly less bad, I did notice a significant difference in tone and vibrato but the tuning with still really off in places. So, there has been improvement but rather less than I’d hoped for. Thank goodness I dithered for six months, the results after one month would have been crushing.
Moral of the story: listening to a recording of yourself, however painful, is a useful exercise, – it’s been a timely reminder that my tuning needs some work, and that if I want to make a better sound any time soon I’ll need to practice a bit more regularly and a bit more efficiently (more on that soon).