I'm sure this must have been asked before but I can't find it if it has.

OK. You are messing about on the guitar and you come up with the germ of an idea and start elaborating on it. How do you record (not necessarily sound recording but any form of storing it for later development) what you have so that you can expand it later?

I would like to know what others do, as at the moment little ideas just come and go, never to appear again.

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well if it helps I am usually in front of my computer while playing around on the old CBG.I have sound recorder and have got myself plugged in. Thats how i do it otherwise I guess a cell phone sound recorder could do the same for ya.

Hi Eric.

Thanks for the reply. Do you transcribe into written music or tabs afterwards or just go back to the sound files to develop it further?

Anyway, thanks for the info.

just back to the sound files if it gets real good or involved i will just tab it on paper later
That's great. Thanks for the help. I can plug into the 'puter instead of the amp and record that way.
I've just started recording my playing too. I have a free program called audacity on my laptop & a microphone plugged into the laptop. I sit in my bathroom (great sound and very quiet) and record the guitar. I can dub with that program so I put on my headphones and then do the singing. Sometimes i just record while i'm goofing around playing guitar. Great until the phone rings or the dogs bark. I've had a lot of fun playing around with audacity. it doesn't do a lot but it's good to get your feet wet with recording..and if you are like me, I come up with licks and then forget them by the next day. When I record i save them with names of what chord I was using or what tuning. I hope this helps.
I try variations on the same idea and tab out the best one.

Thanks Dobrohobo Brown.

Apparently I am the same as you. That's exactly what I was doing.


Dobrohobo Brown said:

..and if you are like me, I come up with licks and then forget them by the next day.


Thanks Vaughan.

We seem to be getting a consensus. Record and then tab or notate when finished. Looks like the way I am going to go.


I too have to start recording.  I only get 15 or 20 minutes to practice at at time and sometimes I'll get half into something good and have to leave it for the next day, or the end of the day.  And by then it is evaporated or displaced by other nonsense in my brain.


I use my Droid phone or I have a cheapy Kodak digital video recorder.  I have trouble with the phone mic when I'm inside as it can't cope with the echo very well so that's why my better vids are from the back porch.  I'd like to pick up a mic for my old laptop and see if I can do better.


Even though I played guitar, piano, and all the brass instruments as a kid in school, I was hardly interested in really reading music in detail.  Somehow I faked my way through all the lessons, concert band and stage band. I learned to pick it up by ear and memory.  That's stuck even now so I can hardly be interested in reading a tab or sheet music for anything other than basics.  I definitely can't be bothered to actually write something down.


I just remembered teaching a kid to play tuba at band camp.  I'd never played tuba before that week.  Hahahahaaha.

I just play in front of my mac using imovie-most of my vids are like that-I'm old,hey there maggie,even black dog (the music) etc etc- its all just picked up through the tiny built in mic and built in webcam-its great cos you dont have to faff around setting up tracks in garageband or anything like that-you literally just play in front of the computer.This is very useful for songwriting-because you just play and play your new riff and mouth any old words or even just syllables-when you play it back you'll be amazed how many good lyrics will appear..it starts to form, like clay, as you fashion and modify what went down on computer-its great cos its simple-the technology helps rather than hinders the process.

Hi E D and Hollowbelly.

Thanks very much for the replies. This helps a lot.

E D. Your 15 to 20 mins sounds very much like my pattern. It is so easy to lose track of what you have done even an hour ago.

Hollowbelly. I hadn't thought of iMovie. Great idea. At the moment all I am doing is instrumental as my voice is really rubbish (not in a good way though), but you never know. I might find a style that works with what I have, but I can certainly see how iMovie would make it much easier. Thanks.

Now anyone who plays knows that once in a while.... very rarely lately in my case, magic just seems to happen.
Now honestly, I can do an audio recording, video AND tabbed notation..... and still cant reproduce it.

But sometimes I get a few bars of something good and I can loop and repeat it and create something that passes as a backing track or something.

I use an inexpensive DAW and USB interface, but I am thinking of buying one of those newfangled handheld digital audio recorders too.

Hi Mark. There you are getting all technical again. Am I the only one who had to Google what a DAW is (digital audio workstation apparently)? They look very technical. Anyway, thanks for the suggestions.

For those who want to write it out fully (notation) I found a freeware ap. called MuseScore (for Mac or the dreaded Micro$cum software), which looks promising and has several comprehensive tutorials. I haven't tried it yet, so I can't tell if it is really any good.


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