I promise I don’t sit around watching videos of myself performing.
But sometimes the videos just end up in front of my face. And I don’t regret it.
My wife and I recently held a fundraising event for our adoption fund — we had an art auction and my band and I played the music. The weather was perfect, we had a nice sound system and a helpful sound guy, tons of people came, and there were no glaring issues.
But then my wife showed me the video above (my song “Play A Little”) and, man, my voice is so flat.
I’m not looking for reassuring compliments and I’m not being fakely humble. I actually hear the flatness in a lot of my notes.
This is a common occurrence after I play a show — someone will post a video of us playing, I’ll watch it, and quickly turn it off when I hear how off my voice gets at points.
For example, at this concert, we jumped into the bridge of “Be Like Friends,” and the note I hit was WAY off. I couldn’t find the right melody, so I said, “Let’s just skip this part of the song,” and we moved on to the verse as people laughed.
Now, some people might think watching a video of yourself is egotistical, and they’d be right — it can be. But it might not be. It depends on your motive. Ask yourself: why am I watching this video of myself?
For me, I wouldn’t know how to improve my singing, stage presence, or guitar playing if I don’t look at things realistically.
And that’s what videos provide — a dose of reality.
If I hadn’t seen this video (or the many videos before this one), I would go on thinking my voice sounded flawless and that we just put on the most amazing performance that people will be talking about for years, telling their children and grandchildren about the time they saw Caleb J. Murphy the Great.
That’s why musicians (like me) should watch videos of themselves performing. Not to build their ego but to break down their often false perception of themselves.
That way, they can begin to rebuild, strengthening their performance skills.