By Maciej Lenartowicz
Over the past decades, musicians experienced an unprecedented increase in availability of home recording equipment. Recording studios of the 1980s based on cassette tapes redefined the way how music is created, spawning such masterpieces as Bruce Springsteen’s “Nebraska” - intimate, dark, emotional and most important – created mostly outside of professional recording studio. In the digital age, there’s no need to rewind and erase – there’s plenty of recording space for hours of high-quality audio on your hard disk. Thanks to this pivotal change the difference between studio and rehearsal space becomes more and more insignificant.
There are very different ways of rehearsing – from a tightly organized practice of previously composed pieces to “chaotic” jam sessions. It doesn’t really matter how your rehearsal looks like – every single one of them is worth recording.
If you’re passionate about something that you do, it is very likely that you will want to do it better. Recording rehearsals let you (and other band/project members) review your progress on a certain piece of music. Some errors may go unnoticed while playing, especially when you are focused on your part and less concentrated on the piece as a whole. If your session is recorded everybody has a chance to take their time, re-think and highlight the most troublesome parts of a song. If rehearsals are recorded there’s no worry that somebody will forget their astonishing idea that came spontaneously. You can also record different versions of a song and then chose the best afterward, with a clear mind.
This type of exercise is a good way to introduce a new member of your band/project to already existing songs. She/he can learn all the songs prior to rehearsals without involving other band members and thus save their precious time.
To conclude, I think that in this case, it’s acceptable to answer a question with a question. Why shouldn't we record our rehearsals? Due to aforementioned advantages. enormous storage space for recordings and simplicity of making them I strongly believe that there’s no reason not to.