when is something "good enough"?

wilson_smyth

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Im a bedroom player for the moment, getting back into playing.
Im learning Hideaway and i have it down as well as im going to have it for some time.

When i try and record it, every mistake is amplified in my headphones and i start again.
Giving up for the night after 20 takes, with only 1 thats about 85% there.

For all the non pro's, at what point do you move on?
At what point is something eating too much of your time?
 

nvilletele

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I had the same problem. I was recording myself using really simple recording apps. I would always get nervous when recording, and would mess up so I kept trying again and again to get through a track without (too many) mistakes.

Then I started using Garage Band, and saw how easy it was to figure out the basic functions. I recorded myself a number of times, on separate tracks.

Then I would put all the best parts together, cutting out the bits where I made mistakes. Also added in some basic effects, like reverb.

That didn't cure my poor playing, but it improved my recorded tracks a lot. I also added reverb etc.

Garage Band is so easy to use. I know that some of the more advanced stuff has a steep learning curve but for crappy players like me, Garage Band does the trick.
 

ChicknPickn

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Im a bedroom player for the moment, getting back into playing.
Im learning Hideaway and i have it down as well as im going to have it for some time.

When i try and record it, every mistake is amplified in my headphones and i start again.
Giving up for the night after 20 takes, with only 1 thats about 85% there.

For all the non pro's, at what point do you move on?
At what point is something eating too much of your time?

I know that for me, there is what I call the "Golf Swing Phenomenon." I'm not very good at golf because I don't have time for the game, but occasionally, I'll have a day when I can drive the ball hard and straight. That is, until I think about what I'm doing - - the mechanics of it. Then, the natural qualities of my swing start to suffer as I think about my grip, my foot placement, shoulder rotation, etc. Then, I fall apart. It's when I relax and let muscle memory take over that the swing becomes a thing of beauty.

Guitar playing is like that. When I start thinking of how my fingers are arched, or are not; when I think about where my thumb is on the neck, etc., etc., I become mechanical and not musical, and mistakes start happening - - which, in turn, leads to frustration and more mistakes. Letting go makes all the difference. I have a relative in the classical performance world who swears by meditation before practice or before performing.
 

telleutelleme

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Buy Reaper. You can edit out the clams or even change the notes or cut and paste tracks. I found playing with a backing track or a click track helps a bunch getting the feel and timing down. Still we aren't 10,000 hour pros so the clams will be there. 20 takes is too many for one session. Usually your best will be in the first couple.
 

boxocrap

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Im a bedroom player for the moment, getting back into playing.
Im learning Hideaway and i have it down as well as im going to have it for some time.

When i try and record it, every mistake is amplified in my headphones and i start again.
Giving up for the night after 20 takes, with only 1 thats about 85% there.

For all the non pro's, at what point do you move on?
At what point is something eating too much of your time?
when enough is...too much
 

Killing Floor

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Nothing is perfect. If you are hearing your mistakes (or your uniqueness) that means you are expecting to be better or different or you are like many artists, their own worst critic.
Don’t stop trying but don’t be hard on yourself for not sounding like someone else’s lucky strike. If it really bothers you take a day away from it and play something else then come back to it.

edit
What sounds good in an edited mix often sounds like hot trash when it’s isolated.
 

Happy Enchilada

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I have this same problem recording my voicemail message. After a half dozen bad takes, I end up typing up a script so I remember the words, and even then it takes another half dozen takes to get it somewhere near what I had in my head to begin with. Such is life - we edit as we go, and if we're lucky, we get something we're OK with. If you're in the studio with a band, you have the help of a team of recording professionals, which helps immeasurably, but when you're on your own, it can drive ya nuts.
 

teletail

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I never “give up” but I do set things aside when I hit a wall. You can only play it as good as your current playing level allows. Sometimes we need to up our entire game to improve on a song.

I’ve been making a serious run at upping my game for the last 3 or 4 years - 3 hours of practice a day or more. There have been a lot of things I’ve set aside and when I come back to them several months later I play them better the first time out than I was playing them when I was practicing them every day.
 

Peegoo

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If you do five takes in a row and you're not banging on all cylinders, set everything down and walk away. Have a sandwich and cup of tea. Put your feet up for 30 minutes.

The problem with multiple takes is your frustration begins to accumulate and that creeps quickly into your abilities and you get hamstrung. It sabotages your performance, so you need to decompress.

Relax for a while or do something completely unrelated to guitar; read a book, unload the dishwasher, etc. When you pick up the guitar again, you'll be in a better mental place to nail your parts.

This is the primary reason most good recording studios have a lounge that contains a few pinball machines, foosball, a pool table, etc.
 

TokyoPortrait

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Hi.

I never give up, I just redefine things as 'demo.'

And, that's only half a joke.

As others have said, in a proper DAW to can do multiple takes or passes and edit them together. Either by cutting and pasting parts from separately started and stoped successive tracks, or as a function of the software, looping and repeating that one part / section / whole song on that one track which you later select areas from to keep. What are you using to record with?*

For a finished recording, this is fine. There are plenty of great and famous musicians, session people, etc. who get things right straight through, but there are also a bazillion examples of spliced together parts too, from way back until today.

Recording can be a bit like dealing with your children, sometimes you have to take a breath and walk away for a bit to get a result that is useful rather than just an escalation.

Pax/
Dean
* Edit: like @Peegoo says above, looping tacks or doing multiple takes should be done when you are not frustrated - don't sweat it and go round and round in a relaxed way a few times, and then just pick each good bit later. Otherwise, take that break.
 

kbold

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Perhaps you could analyze your mistakes.
Listen back, concentrating on the mistakes: why and where did they happen.
This should give you specific sections of the song that need polishing/correcting.

When you're listening back you become a 2nd person critic to your own work. Mistakes will be more apparent than when playing.
For myself, I find my singing is better when singing than when listening back. But it does help me correct my bad technique and habits.

I think stress is also a factor when recording: JL_LI's recommendation to address this may also help.
 

beyer160

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Regardless of whether you're a Beatles fan or not, it's pretty well established that they were very successful and highly regarded.

With that in mind, take a look at this site:
http://wgo.signal11.org.uk/html/alpha-index.htm

For some reason, someone has seen fit to catalog all the myriad mistakes found on Bealtes records. There are a LOT of them. The average listener is probably not aware of ANY of them. Don't sweat the petty stuff, and don't pet the sweaty stuff.
 

Skully

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Record the song in sections. One way to combat red light fever is set up the part to loop, so it records and records over again on different tracks until you push stop. You can give yourself a bar or two of intro or outro space, if you'd like. When you're done, use the best take or edit (comp) one together from the best parts.

I don't have red light fever anymore because I don't even consider the fact that I'm not going to do multiple takes.
 
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