It’s pretty common for people to have a bad reaction when they first listen to themselves recorded. Even if it’s your own voice, it often sounds weird at first.
Use recording as a tool to discover what needs the most work. Then spend extra time on the trouble spots. Be kind to yourself. It probably won’t sound as good that recording of your favorite fiddler. But in time, you might become more endeared these recordings. 🙂
Message in a bottle
Another great thing about recording yourself is that you can listen to it later (in a few months or a year), and clearly see that you have made some progress.
This one plugs right into an iPhone. I have a stand-alone mic by zoom that I like a lot. I just ordered this one! I’ll be using it to record ideas as well as improve the audio quality on videos I shoot with my phone. I think it might also improve the audio for Zoom video chats (different company).
Here is a quick way for you to access the essential practice tools you need. Under each tab you'll find play-along tracks, tabs and condensed teachings to help you as you practice. This is an evolving idea, so let me know in a comment below if it could be better.
Here's a newer version of the Notefinder which is based on sheet music. If you're interested in learning to read, this will be an invaluable reference. I'll be posting lessons on this in 2020.
Note: the brackets indicate notes that are the same pitch but spelled differently. For example, AH3 (D#) sounds the same as AL4 (Eb). Without going into too much teory detail here, this will be determined by the key of the tune or piece you are playing.
Here's he original table version of the Notefinder. Sometimes people learn in different ways...
Sawmill tuning Notefinder
This is used to find notes in Sawmill tuning (when the G string is tuned up to A and the D string is tuned up to E). If you're a beginner...best to ignore this! Learn more about sawmill tuning in the Appalachian Fiddle course.
Here are some common scales used in fiddle tunes. Each runs through a series of variations: two bows legato, two bows staccato, four bows, tucka (4 shorts, two longs), hoedown (1 long, two shorts), throwaway bow, triplets, tremolo.
G Major, starting on D3
Practice a tune with its scale (Kerry Polka is in G major, so practice a G major scale). Practice scales before, during and after practicing tunes.
Always return to a good sound, even if it means playing quarter notes on the D string. You can do this! You just have to remember to pause on practicing the challenging thing and just get a good sound on single notes.
Why do this? Because it will bring you deep joy. And it will build your confidence which will inspire further practice.