Three Reasons to Record Yourself Singing Regularly
1. It can help you improve faster.
Recording yourself allows you to stand in the observer role and REALLY hear yourself. If you do this daily or even a few times each week, you’ll be surprised by just how much you are able to hear, evaluate, and correct by yourself. This will help you make progress by leaps and bounds. However, it’s important to approach this with a curious yet nonjudgmental mindset.
Keep a simple notebook log of your daily singing practice/performance training, with the date, song (or song sections) you’re working on. Listen back and write down your observations: what you feel is going well and what you specifically notice needs addressing. Many instrumentalists do this in their practice routine. Singers can benefit greatly in doing the same.
Approach your list one item at a time as you move forward each day in your practice, spending time as needed. Listen back to the recording isolating that particular focus. This makes it easier to stay objective and avoid overwhelm.
Examples of isolated areas to focus on:
- Lyrics and/or melody (Is there a section that needs work?)
- Phrasing (including rhythm, stresses, dramatic breaks, vocal colors, dynamics, etc.)
- Emotion and mindset throughout the song
- Select one of the 7 Dimensions of Singing (7DS) to evaluate in your singing: Flexibility, Breathing, Intonation, Range, Tone, Articulation, Strength
- And more! (It’s possible to discover something new each time you work on your songs and record.)
In my experience, listening back to recordings allows me to slow down and pick out what I need to work out in a particular phrase or section. In that way, one can be an audience to their own singing. By slowing down and isolating aspects of our singing, we make faster overall progress.
If you need guidance in working through any issues you’re having in your songs, work with a Certified Throga Instructor.
2. It’s great performance practice.
While nothing can totally simulate an actual performance, daily or regular recording of your singing/performing offers you a way to ‘practice’ performing. This helps build mental focus, muscle memory, and emotional strength that will ultimately serve the real deal performance.
You can set everything up as if you are actually performing for an audience and sing, standing in front of a mirror. Sing with full emotional connection and stage presence. You can be the only one listening. Having only the recorder as your audience takes pressure off, while giving you valuable performance practice. (For added performance practice, start performing regularly for at least an audience of one when you’re ready to take that step. Then increase the number as you go. And always record yourself and listen back!)
3. It helps you hear your progress over time.
After you’ve recorded your singing for song work and performance practice purposes, keep them! Your recordings will become a powerful way to track your progress and enjoy the improvements you make over time.
When you listen back to older recordings weeks and months later, you’ll be amazed at your overall progress, provided you’ve been doing your Skill Training/Vocal Gym and Singing/Performance Training on a regular basis. And that’s a really good feeling – but it’s one you miss out on if you don’t have the recordings.
Tips for Recording Yourself Singing:
It doesn’t matter how you record yourself. Keep it simple, and use whatever is available and user-friendly for you. ex. Your SmartPhone or tablet’s audio recording app, computer program, or other equipment. (Video recording can be especially when needed evaluate your stage presence.)
- Save each recording with the date and name of song (or section)
- Listen back with headphones to hear it well.
Many singers simply don’t like listening to their voices on a recording. It’s important to understand and accept recording the only way to really know what you sound like. Once we have greater awareness we can begin to make the necessary adjustments. Recording our voice ‘lays our cards on the table’ so to speak.
Tip: Listen to your recordings with this mindset: Imagine a child handing you a recording of their singing, asking for your feedback. You wouldn’t beat them down and crush their dreams! You’d be kind, honest, objective, and encouraging. That’s how we have to be with ourselves. It builds acceptance and trust in our voice. It also strengthens our willingness in doing the work necessary to reach our goals.
Happy singing and recording!