I suspect that this effect is even stronger for non-professionals. I enjoy
noodling on hpshcd or piano, and sometimes the results are more satisfying
than at other times. I have no idea in general what my playing might sound
like to somebody else. It is difficult to draw back and be "self critical"
in these situations. On the occasions when I have tried to record these
sessions the results are very discouraging. I find that I tend to "lock
up" and become essentially incapable of playing. I have had the same
experience playing with the friend who sometimes accompanies my fiddle
playing on keyboard, but it may be even more extreme in her case. I tried
to convince her on one occasion to record a long stretch of a given piece,
many times through, then to select the best examples in editing. She
objected strenuously on grounds that we would loose "spontaneity."
So for me, or for us, I have to ask the question: For amateurs of limited
ability, of what value is spontaneity when the results are objectively lousy?
The question gets even more interesting when our little Celtic band plays
for contra dancing. I have on occasion dropped out and listened from the
hall, or recorded the "mix," and found that by objective standards, we
sounded pretty mediocre. Yet the dancers seem to prefer dancing to our
"live" music over recorded music. Claims are made that the synergism
between dancers and musicians adds energy. I tend to believe it.