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Old 10-11-2009, 01:37 PM
wcap wcap is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 4,372

If I have something crop up that I really like I'll sit down in front of the computer and use the built-in mic to do a quick recording. Maybe I use the built-in camera on my Mac to capture left hand fingerings too (I use QuickTime Pro to capture the recordings, though maybe GarageBand will also capture video????). The sound quality stinks, but all I am really aiming for is saving the idea for future reference. I can spend an hour or more working on an idea on the guitar and then lose it the next day if I don't do this (though some of these things get rediscovered!).

The truth is though that I hardly ever go back and listen to these clips! The reality is that I tend to operate more the way Howard described, though it makes me feel much better that I have those clips!

I have a half dozen or so fully-developed original fingerstyle pieces that I particularly like, and I almost lost one of them 6 months or so ago. I had not played it in some time, and had been working really intensely on learning some complicated classical piece (this sort of concerted effort on a new complicated piece seems to erase older pieces from my memory - really really frustrating!), and I realized one evening that I didn't remember quite how to play the older original piece. It took me a few days of playing it off and on to reconstruct the fingerings for bits of it.

My daughter has really gotten on my case about me not recording the things she hears me play all the time. So now I have built-in computer mic recordings of most of my stuff, and I'm slowly working on getting recordings using good quality mics.

I've been thinking of making a list of all the things I play (not just original compositions or original arrangements, but EVERYTHING I have mastered) so that I can make a point of running through them all at least once a month or so for "maintenance" purposes. As things are now, I tend to neglect some of them, and then, as described above, I discover one day that I have forgotten how I used to play something that I used to play all the time. An equilibrium between acquisition of new pieces and forgetting of old ones seems to develop, resulting in me having maybe about 18 full fingerstyle pieces that I can play from memory reasonably well at any given time, with the "playlist" gradually changing over time. This is very frustrating!
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