Check Yourself Out!

Welcome to this edition of Fingerstyle Monthly.

This month I'd like for us to look at how we evaluate our own playing.

Knowing the strenghts and weaknesses in our playing helps us to improve. How do you step outside of yourself to observe your own playing? How can you look at yourself like an instructor or member of the audience would?

One way is to stand in front of a mirror. This will let you see things like posture and hand position. This is a good start and a method that can reveal a lot of information.

There are even more efficient methods though. One of these is to video yourself.

When you video yourself, not only do you see yourself, but you hear yourself, as well. It doesn't need to be a MTV video. Just something simple so that you can see and hear yourself.

Another way to observe yourself is by making an audio recording of yourself. There is a ton of information online about home recording.

You don't have to be too tech savvy to figure out how to record yourself. And, you don't have to spend a lot of money on gear.

All that you need for a basic home recording is a way to get the sound into the computer, recording software and a computer.

One of the easiest ways to get sound into the computer is a microphone with a USB connection. This will let you plug straight into your computer.

Another method might be to get an external soundcard that will accept a more conventional mic.

Once you have figured out how to get the sound into the computer, you'll need a way to work with the sound. Recording software-a Digital Audio Workstation or DAW- will handle this part of the equation. This type of software will allow you to manipulate the sounds that you record.

Some soundcards, etc...come packaged with recording software. If the device that you get doesn't, you might like to try Audacity. It's free and most people find it to be easy to use.

The third thing that you need is a computer. Since you're reading this, I think that you've got that covered.

There are quite a few helpful home recording forums online. has a great section for those new to recording.

With a little looking you'll find others. Sweetwater Music has a good artlcle on how to increase the efficiency of a Windows equipped computer:

Home recording is a subject that you can dabble in or really immerse yourself in. It all depends on your wants and needs.

Whichever method you choose, observing your own playing and making changes based on the observations is a good thing.


I thought that I'd be ready to start a free monthly webinar by now but I've hit a snag.

I hope to get it figured out in the very near future so that we can get together in real time. Stay tuned!

Here's a beautiful song by South African guitarist Tony McManus

See you next month.

NOTE Some peoples browsers haven't been opening the links provided in the newsletter. That's why I've provided URLs instead of in line links. Sorry for any inconvenience.

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