Vol. 1 | No. 11 | By Grecia Melendez
Practice can come in several forms such as daily warm ups and technical studies. It can be mental preparation, or even listening, for performance practice. There are many ways to approach practice, and it is important to have a combination of different practice methods to be a well rounded musician.
Have you ever tried practicing with recordings? I’m sure you and many others have. Recordings have been around for quite some time. However, with the improvement of technology, having the opportunity to play with recordings during practice has only gotten more creative. Listening to recordings can be a great resource to musicians looking to understand or mimic performance styles. This is one of the basic uses of recordings within a practice environment. Jazz musicians use them to transcribe solos from other great jazz artists, and even classical musicians use recordings to better understand musical phrasing and style.
Now, there are more unique ways to use recordings to your advantage. For instance, using recordings to play along with can really help one practice playing in the style of what music they’re trying to play. From backtracks to piano accompaniment to full blown orchestral recordings, the possibilities are endless when using recordings within your practice session. Now that there are streaming services available, accessing recordings is easier than ever. Similarly, using recording devices to record yourself and play along with is great. Not only would it give you a new perspective in listening while playing, you also get to make music with yourself! Computer Software such as SmartMusic and Acapella provide some unique opportunities to practice with recordings and create wonderful music.
There are many ways that recordings could be used to aid in practice sessions. Whether you’re studying performance styles or practicing along with live recordings, their use in the practice room is invaluable. As technology continues to grow and improve everyday, so do our tools and resources in the practice room. There’s no limit to what you can accomplish with the use of recordings in your practice!
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