There are a number of ways to ensure your playing is up to scratch but none more effective than recording yourself and listening back.
I remember the first time I did this – only a few months after I had begun playing. I considered myself a decent player given the short amount of experience I had. I also remember embarrassingly cringing after listening to the playback – what’s worse is there wasn’t even anyone else around and I was still embarrassed.
Though without that rude awakening, I wouldn’t have realised what I really needed to improve upon; after all, to my ears alone, I thought I was doing pretty well at that point.
Today, I’m still finding the technique comes in handy – there are some errors you just don’t notice while you’re playing that only become apparent once you stop and listen.
Some players record themselves with old tape players which is quick, simple and efficient. However, it would not surprise me if many of you young aspiring musicians have never even owned a tape. I use the microphone on my computer. The best part about that is I can share my (better) recordings with supportive friends and family who only want to here more.