Hi, first I wanted to post this as a reply in a thread, but I figured I’d create a new one because I believe this is a good advice for everyone
film yourself throwing, making tricks. if you have the equipment to do it, it’s an incredible learning tool.
filming yourself will allow you to look at your yoyoing from the outside and actually see the elements you have to work on. Sometimes we do moves that “feel” great but when you film them, you can see when they actually don’t look as good as they feel when doing them. you can see which particular parts of a trick need to be improved and it makes it easier to understand what you got to do in order to make your whole style look better.
filming yourself will give you an unique way to compare what you’re doing with what others are doing, and it’ll help you understand what to do in order to make your style grow in the direction you want it to.
it actually works very well with other activities, like for example, if you play with a band and do gigs, film your rehearsals as well and use the footage the same way. I’ve done it, it works.
If you ever perform in front of people in any way, including giving speeches and presentations, music, skill play, comedy, whatever, video of yourself in invaluable. For musical practice, an audio recording is a great help too.
Just about anything that gives you better feedback about what you are doing is a huge aid to improving. This is why a metronome is useful for practicing songs. You get feedback about your rhythm that is missing if you’re practicing without an external reference.
Be aware ahead of time that it can be discouraging! You think you’re doing a trick perfectly, and then you look at video footage and see that you’re slouching, you’re frowning, your eyes are half closed, your hands aren’t level, you’re moving too slowly or too quickly, etc. etc. etc.
It can be so uncomfortable that you may be tempted just to go back to only practicing without the video again. But remember: you are already doing whatever it is you don’t like. The only real choice is whether to accept it and change it, or pretend that you’re already doing it great.
I recently read an excellent book called Talent Is Overrated by Geoff Colvin. In it, he outlines the characteristics of deliberate practice, which include:
It’s specifically designed to improve performance, often with the help of a teacher
Feedback is continuously available
You can do it a lot
It is very demanding mentally
It’s often not very much fun!
When I first wanted to start recording music on my computer, I looked and looked for a good audio interface. Probably spent almost a year, between researching, saving, and life in general. Then I got the interface I wanted, and it was great. But I asked a friend of mine, who had been making music in the meantime, what interface he was using, and he said he just plugged into the mic in on his computer, and sure it was noisy, but it worked and he had tracks laid down to listen to while I was waiting for my better equipment.
The moral for me has been, just start. Yeah, I want a nicer camera, but I can take pictures with the one I have. Yeah, I want a DNA, but I can play with hubstacks with my Grind Machine. So I hope someone sends you a great camcorder, but until then, turn on Photo Booth or iMovie tonight and record yourself with your webcam!