Mini Exercise: Audacity Slide

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The beauty (and agony) of recording technology is that you can play things back at half speed. At first, this was commonly done with reel-to-reel recordings. Now it can be done digitally.

I haven’t exhaustively studied every program and app out there but one excellent choice is Audacity (Windows or Mac). It’s a free program that can do a lot!

Under the ‘effects’ menu of Audacity, you can choose “Change speed” or “Change tempo.” The “Change speed” option will lower or raise your pitch and is most akin to the old reel-to-reel machines. The “Change tempo” option keeps the pitch the same using an algorithm but your tone on playback will have a jagged quality.  For the purposes of this exercise, I recommend “Change tempo.”

So, record yourself playing the exercise and then listen back at half tempo. Use both your ear and a tuner. When you hear a misplaced note, pause the recording and practice that pattern to retrain both arm and ear.

Do some of this kind of thing daily and diligently and you will see good results.

Here’s a pdf of Audacity Slide.