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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001049.txt from 2000/07

Subj: [kl] Re: kl] Listening for what's wrong
Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2000 09:51:44 -0400

In a message dated 7/30/00 4:15:40 AM, writes:

<< But seriously, what is it about the act of playing that makes us imagine
sounds better when we're doing it than it sounds when we listen to the tape
later? Are we just too distracted by breathing and moving our fingers, the
way car drivers get distracted when they try to use a cell phone and navigate
at the same time? In that case, why do we kid ourselves that our playing
sounds *better* than it really is? I have the impression from what other
people write that this kind of optimism is fairly universal and that the
recording generally comes as a letdown. Why don't we imagine we sound
*worse* than we really do? I've never had a *good* surprise from a tape
recording of myself. I finish making a tape, and I think, "This time I
nailed it," and then I listen to the playback, and -- "BOO!" -- the
slobbering toothy monster jumps out from closet again. "Boo! Hisssss!
Surprii-iise! Hahahahaha! Gotcha! Sheesh, you play like a crackhead
gibbon." Does anybody here ever get "Hey, woo-hoo, I'm better than I
thought!" surprises?

This is practically universal, and I think you have put your finger on a very
important point; tape yourself all the time!!!! If indeed the very act of
playing is so surrounded by areas of concentration on techical matters that
there is not enough brainpower to listen critically (this is common) you need
an objective third party to do that for you. A teacher is one source, but a
tape recorder allows you to do it.

If you are hearing things on the tape that you can't believe you did, you are
not listening enough when you play. Live tapes don't lie.


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