How to Listen

Tutor no longer registered
Classical Guitar By: Tutor no longer registered
Subject: Guitar » Classical Guitar
Last updated: 18/02/2017
Tags: concentration, guitar, how to listen, listening, music

When was the last time you listened to music? I mean, really listened?

In our contemporary urban living we are surrounded by music, sounds and noises 24/7. It engulfs us everywhere, so much so that often when we are in a place which is truly silent we can feel uncomfortable, uneasy and confused. This can make it hard to train our ears to listen to music effectively both on a technical and emotional level.

Often when we listen to music nowadays we do so alongside another activity. Perhaps you listen to music in the gym, while driving, commuting or cooking? We all do this and should continue to do so, however, it can be counterproductive to our development as musicians to not take some time to really listen to music properly.

Listen to a piece of music every day. An instrumental piece, a song, a solo, whatever you like. But take an experiment in truly listening. In many ways it's like meditation. Immersing yourself in the one activity. Listening to the music.

Sit down. Close your eyes. Listen to the textures of the music. Listen to the timbre. How many instruments are there? How many notes do you think are being played? Is the bass line moving up or down or staying stationary? Is there a moving chord progression? Is the melody smooth or angular? How many bars long is that phrase you like? Does it repeat? How many times? Are there dynamic changes? Do some instruments drop out?

Ask yourself these questions next time you listen. Open your ears, then ask yourself the most important question: How do these things make me feel?

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