An essential piece of gear.

     Hello from the couch and in a sling. Honestly didn't think how uncomfortable and awkward it is to type when I made the proclaimation of this blog entry on social media.  The typing course taken in high school that has always made it proficient enough in to make fast headway is out the window as pecking with index finders is the only way on an iPad sitting sideways toward my slung right arm. An iPhone is more comfortable but then too small to see and edit as a whole on that screen.  Also figure in just that little movement of my right wrist, hand and fingers to type this, everything connects all the way up through ones' shoulder which makes for frequent breaks for the discomfort. 
     None of the above is a bad thing...just healing.  Almost 5 weeks after my rotator cuff repair, 3-4 sessions of physical therapy a week with exercises at home 2-3 times a day and it's all stretching my right arm back out slowly. Like I's all good, just a process that was badly needed.

    So, can't do a whole lot of playing while recouping the shoulder but that doesn't stop me from thinking about music or what I could do for myself to make my playing better or playing within context of songs better. I've always thought that way, sometimes going the wrong way but hopefully correcting the path along the way. 

     One of the main ways I've been able to gauge that is by recording gigs one way or another.  Did it some back in the Carolinas, sometimes with my own video camera. Just enough to get a thumbprint of where my playing/pocket was at the time. When I moved to Nashville and began working with national acts there wasn't the technology to have quick control of self reference recording. On opening slots, there usually wasn't time for setting up a video camera for unless on headlining club dates of our own. Also, if the band leader wasn't hip on recording for whatever reason (insecurity/forgetfulness), having a reference was sometimes few and far between because I didn't want to bother the sound guys either to run another line or tape for just me either. 

       Here's where we get to that "essential piece of gear" part.  With the advent of digital technology and larger capacity hard drives, one of the best things every musician can invest in is a small digital recorder.   Around 2010, I bought an Olympus LS-10.  This I could just set up at front of house and ask one of the techs to hit record somewhere in the first couple of songs.  I'd use it on the road or around town every few weeks, make mental notes and any adjustments after listening a time or two to whatever random show I taped and then either keep the show or erase the recorder and do it again.  
     When there wasn't a chance to stick the recorder at front of house, I'd sit it atop the monitor board off side of the stage.  Even that awkward position sounded plenty good enough to get an idea of where my playing was that night, always keeping in mind that it's just a reference, listen and erase and next show.  I haven't taken the time to run it in line with my "mini-me" monitor system but that's next time I get a chance. 
     You can find these types of digital recorders on Amazon from under $100 to over $200.  That's cheap for any player to have first hand reference on their progress and/or performance.   
Do you really want to take the word of someone passively saying, "Hey, sounds great"

Or do you want to be sure??

Thanks for stopping in and reading. 

Groove on!!