Watching My Hands Play in Mirror~Single Factor Which Immediately Improves My Playing!

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Lucidology, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    Probably one of the most important MO's which immediately improves my playing both physically and audibly.
    Is to watch & listen to the reflective execution of my hands running over the fretboard in a Mirror.
    Just 20 minutes in front a mirror tightens up everything I'm doing. Trying or learning to do.
    Do you do this too... and/or have you tried it ...?:D
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014
  2. Phletch

    Phletch Member

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    As a matter of fact...I started doing this not too long ago to try to correct some laziness/sloppiness in my right hand technique that was holding me back from playing some more complex, up-tempo lines I was trying to work out. I was able to see just what I was doing wrong, and started to correct it. Things are better now, but I find myself slipping now and again, so I'm still working on it. Old, bad habits die hard.

    Thanks for sharing this tip, Joseph.
     
  3. matte

    matte Senior Member

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    right on. robert fripp introduced me to that practice in 1985. one of the most valuable lessons i have been given, as far the mechanics are concerned. i've learned so much about economy of motion, stored tension, etc.

    great thread!
     
  4. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    I instantly solved several technique issues by doing this. Should prob give it another go.
    No wonder so many classical studios have a mirror hanging on the wall.
     
  5. Dajbro

    Dajbro Supporting Member

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    I used to do this when practicing classical guitar in collage and it definitely paid off. It talk to my students about it all the time and should probably take my own advice at this point. I'm sure it would help.
     
  6. Bryan T

    Bryan T guitar owner Silver Supporting Member

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  7. cubistguitar

    cubistguitar Member

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    wow must try this, thanks
     
  8. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    What needs to be addressed in one's playing ...
    becomes pretty obvious watching one's hands in a mirror.
     
  9. bluejazzoid

    bluejazzoid Supporting Member

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    Keep in mind if you're hanging low like Slash, you'll need a full-length mirror! :D

    I've done this from time to time as well, and it always seems to have the exact effect you're suggesting. I think it works because 1) it forces us to look away from our physical hands while playing [which can actually be a visual distraction subconsciously to mastering a new technique] and 2) it pushes our viewpoint into that of an observer, which is always a great way to learn something new.

    In fact before youtube, the only way many of us could really learn new stuff was to go to live shows and stand as close to the stage as possible in order to see whoever's hands and figure out how they were doing things.... it's kinda the same thing when you practice and watch yourself in a mirror!
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014
  10. RLD

    RLD Member

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    I don't really see anything that sticks out to me.
    I see my self on video a lot so maybe I'm used to it.
    What are the obvious things you see?
     
  11. Toquilu

    Toquilu Member

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    I did this a few times a long time ago, but I had a video camera set up and would use it if I wrote a new riff so I could remember and see how I was playing it. I think this method works better though, cause you can also listen to the audio in a third person perspective and nit pick it to fix any little hiccups in your playing.
     
  12. Banditt

    Banditt Supporting Member

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    I'm going to try this! I can also see where this will help in jam situations recognizing other guitarists chord voicing and bass motif patterns. I find myself sometimes seeing my instrument solely from my perspective...top down.
     
  13. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    Yes... it's definitely helps one to be objective about their own playing...
    To be a witness to what they are doing & where they stand with their own playing ...
     
  14. monstermike

    monstermike Member

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    Ah! I used to do this all the time as a kid (where it helped a lot) and stopped - maybe self-conscious that I was doing it for vanity? I'll have to start up again; I've got a lot of things that need correcting! Thanks for the heads up.
     
  15. RLD

    RLD Member

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    Can you expand a bit on this?
    What did you see that needed correction and immediately improved your playing?
     
  16. BuddyGuit

    BuddyGuit Silver Supporting Member

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    I used to do it a lot. Now the room with my stuff doesn't have a mirror so I sometimes use the reflection of my computer monitor.
     
  17. Ruefus

    Ruefus Member

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    If I may interject. Using a mirror to watch yourself play is similar to recording yourself and listening back. What you think you're doing (or sounding like) is no longer a question. You can see (or hear) it. In all it's glory (or crap, depending).

    No matter how brutally painful it is to see/hear, it's a good idea. It's a very hard thing to do for a lot of us. You very often don't like what you find.:anon
     
  18. Dajbro

    Dajbro Supporting Member

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    On that note, videotaping yourself may be valuable because you can see AND hear yourself.
     
  19. RLD

    RLD Member

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    Actually I don't think it's the same. It really doesn't matter what your hands look like if it sounds good.
    You wouldn't tell someone who had a somewhat ood technique to change what they were doing if it sounded right.
    That's part of an individuals style.
    That being said, my band has videos made of us all the time and I personally don't see anything in my hands that I find needs correcting.
    I'm asking...what it is that some have found that needs to be fixed by watching their hands?
     
  20. Ruefus

    Ruefus Member

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    I didn't *say* it was the same. I said similar.

    If someone were trying to develop a technique that their current hand positioning/approach prevented or limited - yes. You'd suggest changing even if it modified the sound. Hanging the guitar off your knees and trying to play Yngwie ain't gonna get it.
     

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