In a previous post, Feeling Good vs Sounding Good, I mentioned the necessity of recording yourself practicing to have any hope of really knowing what you sound like.  A portable digital recorder is the best tool for the job.

There are several other uses of digital recorders for musicians, and I recommend that you incorporate a digital recorder into your musical life as soon as possible.

Here are a few ways digital recorders can be incredibly helpful in your musical life:

1.  Recording Lessons:  Being able to go through a lesson again is very valuable–both educationally and financially.  It’s like getting an extra lesson for free!  I know from personal experience how much can be forgotten at a lesson.  As a bass student, I used to record lessons.  As I listened back to each lesson, I was always shocked that I had forgotten at least half of what my teacher told me–even though we used a notebook during the lesson to write down important ideas.

2.  Recording Rehearsals:  Much like in the practice room, it is extremely difficult for musicians to listen to themselves while they rehearse.  With a digital recorder, the group can listen back at the rehearsal and make improvements in their playing.

3.  Archiving Performances:  It’s nice to have a record of concerts.  You can listen to the performance at home and decide what can be improved for the next time.  Live recordings can also be added to your website, Facebook page, and iTunes offerings.  For many world-renowned jazz artists, live recordings have become album releases.  With digital distribution, this option is now available to all musicians.

4.  Saving Ideas:   Leave yourself verbal messages for song ideas or for something to try at your next rehearsal.  Record yourself practicing as you create new licks for songwriting, cadenzas, or solos.

5.  Writing Songs:  Whether a song idea hits you in the car or in the middle of the night, you need an immediate way to record the idea before you forget it.  For bands that spontaneously create songs during rehearsals, having a clean recording of these budding songs is essential.  A digital recorder is perfect for both these scenarios.

Any one of these five situations makes purchasing a digital recorder worth it.  Having the ability to create professional, clean-sounding recordings will change your musical life for the better!

If you have other ideas for musicians using digital recorders, please leave a comment on this post.