Recording was making me so mad
Yesterday was seriously so frustrating.
I decided to finally take that step and record some piano pieces I’ve been working on for awhile. And as a perfectionist, this is a big deal. I’ve been practicing and planning this program for over a year now and I finally feel ready for the next step.
Then I hit record… and the part of the piece that has been my favorite to play just would not come together. I know I was thinking about it too hard because I was trying to make it perfect... watching my fingers hit every key, thinking about how I “attacked” each note, and also watching and planning for the next note. And ultimately, failing. Try after try.
Then a car would drive by or my dog would scratch on the door and I’d get so mad. Which I knew in the moment was not helping my playing. (And yes, the scratching on the door during the last note of the song was picked up on the recording).
This frustrating experience taught me a lot though. Usually I just sit down at the piano and play through my pieces. I’ll slowly work through the difficult parts but often settle for little mistakes here and there because I know I can do better.
But recording doesn’t allow for mistakes. Suddenly I was hyper focused on pedaling, voicing the melody, timing… all of which I practice, but it’s a new level when recording and you have to do all the things all the way through without missing a note.
Today I’m almost tempted to delete everything I did get down yesterday because I feel like I have a totally new approach to the piece now. I also learned so much from listening back and playing with such focus for a couple hours. Through recording, I was actually practicing on another level!
What this (not so fun experience) taught me is that to get to that next level, you’re going to have to put yourself in mentally uncomfortable situations. You’ll probably get frustrated and feel like you’re not good enough and wonder why you ever thought this was a good idea. But, on the other side of all that doubt and annoyance is so much learning that will result in a much better end product.
If you know you can do better, don’t settle for little mistakes. Lean into the frustration, hit the wrong note, and don’t give up.
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