Stress while making recordings for AVOYP causes constant mistakes, how to get over this?

I’ve seen that one before but that is talking about audio recordings whereas this thread is a about video recordings, not that matters much I guess. I did actually try an audio recording in the first few weeks of starting JG’s lessons but the results where so bad that it’s really put me off.

@Stuartw good feedback for Justin. I’m sure he’d agree that in addition to hearing yourself, being able to see yourself play is equally valuable.

In what sense, quality of your play or the recorded sound quality? If the former, I guess that is pretty much to be expected, and I expect it would be different today as I know from posts you have made that you have improved. If the latter then I would suggest try making a video recording with your phone. In my experience, and I can’t explain it, the audio quality of a video made with my phone has always been better than the quality of an audio-only recording made with some kind of audio recording app.

Anyhow, up to you. I support the benefits to be gained as others have said, and believe you get additional benefits in sharing, either in a Learning Log or in AVOYP. As a minimum, I have found the encouragement valuable and the confirmation of my own self-assessment of my play. As an extra bonus I have sometimes received an improvement suggestion that is pitched at just the right level and time to be useful, but that I view as a bonus.

Gertjan, lots of good comment and suggestions already made. To add to all of that …

One thing I became aware of and have worked to eliminate is that inner voice saying something like “so far so good, you’re almost there, now don’t mess up”. And sure as nuts, within moments of hearing that in my head, I mess up.

It is almost like “don’t mess up” is a command to self to mess up. So over the years (yup, a long duration journey for me) I have worked hard to try and silence the inner dialogue and stay focused on the playing, just concentrating on the song, the chords and lyrics.

My mind is prone to wandering off and getting distracted, so still a work in progress for me. But as others have said, record frequently and slowly it improves.

I’d also suggest that if you make a small mistake then keep playing rather than stopping and re-starting. It is a skill to learn to be able to play through mistakes. Learn not to telegraph that you made a mistake through a facial expression. Just try to keep going. So maybe you start record and play through Mad World with the App on loop (can it loop? No idea as not an App user). Having played it through a few times stop and if you want to share, share the best take. Or if you play one through and no it is as good as can be, then stop and share the final take.

Once you become more comfortable than you can try the process of recording with intention to share the first and only take. I found that this change in mindset did mess with my mind at first, less so but still so now. And of course, you always no that despite the intention, nothing forces you to share that one take.

Note that this is about recording performances, rather than a comment about practice. In practice if you make a mistake it is better to stop and start again. And when learning a song, you would be focusing more time on the bits where you are more prone to making a mistake. For example, if the mistake often comes when transitioning from verse to chorus. Then don’t go back to the start when you make a mistake, rather start again from a natural point a few bars before the chorus. This ensures that you practice that transition as much as possible in a practice time slot.


ABR = Always Be Recording.

Flip on an audio or cellphone recorder every time you play or practice.:

  1. You WILL capture lightning in a bottle on a day when the juices are flowing.
  2. Recording will become second nature.

Hello Gertjan,
lots of great advice have already been given.
I can absolutely relate to your issue.
When I tried to record one of my latest AVOYPs, I made mistake after mistake. I don’t know, how many times I started from the beginning. Very often, for sure. Finally, I gave up and gave it a new try the next day. And miraculously, I managed to make a quite nice recording without serious errors.
So maybe sometimes it’s only not the ‘perfect day’ for recording :hugs:.
I hope, that one or the other advice will work for you :smiley:.

Recorded sound quality.

I may be able to record on my phone but would need to get it off my phone to view/listen back.

Not with my ears it isn’t. As I have said before my ears are shot so a tinny sound from a phone isn’t going to work. This is one of the main reasons why I have never recorded anything.

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@Stuartw Have you tried headphones plugged into the phone, Stuart?

I use ear buds for Teams meetings (so could use them in a phone) but this means that I have to take my aids out so therefore don’t get the full range of sound. Don’t have headphones that would go over ears/aids. This is a constant problem that I live with due to deteriorating hearing with not a great deal I can do about it.

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Aw man, I’m sooooo with you on this, Gertjan! Have always struggled when it comes to stage fright (for lack of a better term). Whenever tasked with performing in front of other people, whatever the context, hands shake, start to sweat, feel like I can’t function as a normal human being! :joy: Funnily enough I also found this the exact same when I started recording AVOYPs a couple of months ago. Sections of songs that I normally had no issue with all of a sudden fell apart due to uncontrollable nerves, fear of failure and bl**dy trembling digits! :sob:

However, have I got good news for you!! :smiley:

I adopted the approach many have recommended above, I recorded myself every time I played a song, knowing that I would probably just delete it afterwards. For a bit, the symptoms continued but within a short space of time (days? Maybe a week or two?) they slowly faded as recording become normalised into my practice regime. I encourage you to try the same, I’m sure you’ll find it of great benefit, not just to overcome Red Light Syndrome but also to help identify areas to work on.

I suspect this process will also translate to playing live in front of others, but maybe to a lesser extent (from feedback many have posted here), given that the downside with this is that real people get to see you mess up and you can’t just go delete their memories unfortunately (e.g. Men in Black styles) :rofl: So I’ve left that in the to hard basket for now… :wink:


I also struggle with this. Almost every time when I start recording even the simplest shortest riff it’ll be messed up a few times for sure. The last thing I recorded was Carol of the Bells (my first AVOYP) and I was frustrated because I just couldn’t play it right. So what helped me to record it almost Ok is to set the tempo higher than usual (from 130 original to 140), play it like this few times to make myself comfortable with it and then lower the tempo (130 to 120). It really helped and I was finally satisfied with what I got. Try it, maybe this tip will help you too.


I also play with hearing aids. I have a set of AKG 92 headphones - an “over the ear model”.

They work pretty well with the hearing aids - though I have to put them on carefully to avoid hitting the volume buttons on the aids.

I went to my local music store and tried several different makes and models. I found the round ear cups of the AKG brand much more comfortable than oval ear cups. But you might find the opposite.

You might have to buy an adapter for your phone - here in Canada they are about $15 at WalMart.

If you have a set of computer speakers, they will also sound much better than the phone speaker, and work with your hearing aids. Ditto for a home theatre system or sound bar.

Is posting a recording something you want to do or something that you feel compelled to do in order to say that you have completed the beginner course?

If it’s the latter, I wouldn’t bother with it. Skip it, move on, keep playing songs for fun, move onto the next module.

If it’s the former I would also skip it, move on, keep playing songs for fun, move onto the next module and in a few weeks/months time have another go at it.

The more you record the less you’ll worry about the red light being on. I think the best way to tackle recording anxiety is to start recording as much you can (even if you throw it away). Record at least a “take” every day. You could even record every practice session if you want to. Get used to the red light being on; make it routine.

I feel your pain. I was just trying to record myself playing the song Hurt. I was trying to record my progress. I kept messing up things I could do fine when I am practicing. I have recorded my playing several times and I often feel like I mess up my playing when I record it.

I think it is mostly a mindset thing. I had periods where I recorded entire practice sessions and those went fine, probably because there was no intent at all to upload them for the public (I did upload my first guitar practice session ever and forgot to put it on private. I was pretty embarassed when my friend mentioned him seeing it to me).

The instant there is even the slightest idea of MAYBE uploading a video for others to see, the mistakes start rolling in unfortunately.

I too have an old pair of Phillips over the ear headphones but they are too tight. I’ll have a look at the AKG 92 headphones.

For those mentioning pick spinning/dropping trouble… I don’t use picks really, but could be worth trying ones shaped like an equilateral triangle. That way if they spin in your hand, you can rotate it either way and get quickly back to a tip. These Dunlop Tortex ones also have a nice texture sorta like velvet that helps for sweaty hands, I’ve used them in the past:

(They may feel a bit big and clunky to some though)

I have the same problems recording or playing live. Hands/arms turn to jelly, loads of sweat, and it all compounds when the sloppiness increases jarring string noise, sloppy dynamics, and bad rhythm. To some extent though, I think we can celebrate the imperfections in music, and enjoy the human aspect of an organic instrument in a generation of precision aligned pitch and rhythm :older_man: . Thinking that ways helps me get over quite a bit of anxiety, hope that helps others.


Hi Gertjan,

You can try to record small pieces first, 10 sec, 20 sec ect. Once you are happy with it extend the piece length. Recording whole song in one go without any mistakes can be very stressfull and frustrating.