The simple answer is to hear your own progress and play your recording for others who may enjoy it.And the other simple answer is in the quotes above. To record yourself is to know yourself or at least a lot more about yourself and your approach to music.

Keeping a recorded journal of yourself (audio or video) on a regular basis is a wonderful way to hear yourself improve over the months and years. It is also a reflection of what was happening at different points in your life. It is a tremendous learning tool that was not easily available until relatively recently. Save those recordings !!!

In the beginning it is a way to give joy to other people, whether it is your parents, your friends, a concert audience or anyone else. In the long run it is your business card as well as a catalyst for your career goals.

When I started there was no video taping. it was 78, 45 and 331/3 RPM records and one had to invest in a fairly expensive tape recorder to hear themselves play. As the years went on it was easier and easier to be able to record oneself, until now you can go into almost any big store and find some type of tape recorder. In addition really high quality hand held recorders (no longer with tape) are available at any music specialty shop and on the internet for a very reasonable cost. In addition, with a good microphone you can find recording programs for your computer from free to professional quality depending on your needs. You also get a hint at becoming a recording engineer while learning to record yourself and ultimately your friends.

You can also buy fairly inexpensive devices to video yourself while recording sound at the same time. And of course video recording is the standard these days. People seem to want to see you play as well as hear you. I have always wondered about the idea of listening with our eyes.

Either way these recordings become the scrapbook of your life.

A word of caution! Whether you are recording yourself (either by audio or video means) remember that it is the first "take," that is unedited that is who you really are. That is how you really play. Editing is for perfection and as we know nothing, or relatively nothing, is perfect so never confuse your raw recording and your edited recording in judging where you are really at with your playing. In listening to recordings of others keep in mind whether it was "live" or perfected in the editing booth. It will make you feel a lot better to contrast yourself to live recordings (not common in recent years), as you will not be assuming that you are supposed to sound perfect every time and to put that huge chain around your neck. Remember there is a lot of humanity in music. Be kind to yourself.

Music is huge. Ask any great concert violinist in the world if they can play a good country fiddle behind a singer. Most likely not. Both kinds of music are valid. All music is valid despite our own concept and tastes and the concepts of those that create music.

There is a blog called Jazz on the Tube. It comes out every day with a video, mostly of great jazz masters. The creator of the web show recently asked for any information his listeners may have about great jazz players he does not know about. Then he said " there seems to be as many great players as stars in the sky." Be sure and accept your place in the galaxy of music and know that it is important despite all the other stars in the sky. Your star could prove to be very important for you and others. We never know nor should we judge ourselves by comparing ourselves negatively compared to others We all bring something special to music. Ourselves.

Make your music is fun, not work and understand that though music is time consuming it is not difficult, it is just the speed of the river, and we will always grow and get better and own more of the galaxy of music, just by practicing a bit.

Back to recording for just a moment. It changes every day and there are more opportunities to see and hear it every day, even with the chance of harm to live music.Remember Live music is unique in its sound, its presentation and its importance.

I don't know where recorded music is going but I do know it will continue to change and be here for a long time, so use it wisely and to your advantage by paying attention to it.


I have kept a journal for many years and have collected quotes that I think have a message of some sort. I have also included some of my own musings about life and music. I hope you enjoy them and find them helpful.

I also urge you to keep a journal as it always inspires me to add something new or use the journal to keep my own thinking positive.

The number one skill that all successful musicians have mastered is not giving up.

Zenosyne: The sense that time keeps going faster
...............John Koenig

The dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. Onism: The awareness of how little of the world you will experience
..............John Koenig

The dictionary of Obscure Sorrows The best weight you will ever lose is the weight of others opinions of you.

You only need to practice music for a minute a day. Sounds radical doesn't it? The point is getting your instrument out of the case, sitting down, calming down, forgetting all the things that are pulling on you, and getting started. If you are interested at all you can't just practice one minute. The next thing you know you will be thinking, my chops are getting tired, so i better quit for today. Do that EVERY day.
............... M. V.

He said, "Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety. Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in. Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. This new day is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the yesterdays."
............... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Those that don't want to imitate anything produce nothing
................. Salvadore Dali

To record yourself is to know yourself.
..................M. V.

To be excellent at small things takes the same amount of effort
as be excellent at big things

and to continue the theme

It takes as much time to chase the big money
as it does to chase the small money

Politics is the Entertainment Division
of the Military Industrial Complex
................Frank Zappa

Let no man pull you low
enough to hate him.
.............Martin Luther King

Go with truth and beauty,
and forget the rest.
..............Bill Evans