How To Listen to Music: Pt. 1

by guitarkadia on November 13, 2008

in Blog

I put Part 1 in the title because there is no one way to listen to music. Periodically I’ll share stuff like this about how people listen. You see, we tend to forget that what we don’t listen to won’t be there when we need inspiration to write. Makes sense?

Once in a while you need to put aside your guitar and walk away from the piece of music you’ve been sweating over to learn. Then you need to kick back, close your eyes and listen to the same music. You’ll notice there were so many elements of the piece you hadn’t heard of when you were just focused on learning it.

Side tip: this may be obvious to most but if you’re having problems learning a phrase, try to hum it. If you’re stumbling you need to listen to the piece again and hum along to it until you get it. Once you’ve done it, give those finger on those strings a try. It will work.

Listening is an art. It’s more physical and touch-sensitive than you could’ve ever imagined. Evelyn Glennie’s presentaion will open the eyes of your ears. She’s amazing!


Christopher November 13, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Thanks for posting this, very informative. And touches on a subject that pervade traditional music ed: use of studies as music. There’s far too much of that. Especially with guitarists; there’s this idea that we should be able to play certain etude/studies in order to have a good technique. Well…the guitar as a concert instrument is not that old, and frankly most of the etudes suck (from a compositional standpoint). I’m with Glennie on this one: I’d rather play music and really delve into the “how” of making music by applying it to a real rather than artificial context.

Lots of good stuff in here about how the entire body is your instrument rather than just the instrument itself. Especially powerful coming from a percussionist (vocalists and winds tend to be more connected with their whole bodies via air,etc).


Christophers last blog post..Goal Oriented Guitar Practice

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