During lockdown, I played my 'acoustic' (aka pimpocaster/not really an acoustic) plugged in - but I got the gain staging wrong and had the GR-S convertor set to 'line level' and not 'amp' - which meant it 'felt' realllly sensitive (I think it was a +4db boost into the signal chain). It really showed up string noise and any (in my case...ALL) sloppy technique.
Easy fix, just play
line amp level. But it got my thinking that one should really play acoustics plugged in as part of one's practicing. There's subtleties/nuances you'll just not hear when the sound hole is pointing away from ears - so I found it really interesting and super useful to have that highlighted.
Roll forward to this week - I hadn't done any interface based recording in the longest while (cell phones don't count!) - and there I was with headphones one tracking something. And boy did I struggle. It was something slightly ambitious, but still I was hacking away just not feeling it - usually I'll get it eventually, but not this time.
Went for a stroll before I broke something and figured...that I hadn't played on 'phones in the longest time and all those little things I hadn't been hearing were there all the time (or crept back in). If I had been playing loud (99% of the time I don't), that might of helped, but I think playing on headphones is more immersive.
So the note to self is : remember to -at least- occasionally jam on headphones - keeps me honest for sure.