Listening Music Objectively As A Musician: Why Is It Important For You To Do It
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Even though music is kind of a subjective experience for every person out there, and we all take it and interpret it according to our feelings, moods and current situations (which is always good and healing), sometimes we aren’t just listeners of music. We’re also creators. Writers, producers, performers, managers. The people who stand behind it. And from this position, we always take it more personally than anyone else out there. But how important is it to get out of the subjective bubble as a musician, and start listening music objectively every now and then?
How does it help with our job as musicians, and how does it affect the final product we deliver to a listener’s ear? The one that can’t experience it from our perspective? That one that has it on repeat, but not while in the making.
Listening music objectively: the good things about it
Trapped in our flesh, we kind of learn how to see the world and experience things from a standpoint that more or less becomes our usual state of mind. Now, this is good (otherwise we would go crazy), but it is also bad. Especially if you stick to it every time and all the time while going through a creative process.
It might result in losing a little touch with whether what you do as a musician meets the rest of the world somewhere out there. And you don’t want that.
Listening music objectively helps you give your music a better critique. It helps you improve and get better at what you do. In healthy doses, it can’t do any harm, but it can do a lot of good.
How to listen to music objectively?
Listen, but don’t over listen
When you are working on something, you will hear it all over and over again. Billions of times. And that’s normal. But give yourself some space while doing so.
The more you hear it, the more you adapt to it. And the more you adapt to it, the harder it will be for you to fix things. After all, adaptation kept us alive through evolution, so, careful there! 😉
It doesn’t have to be your ears only
Even though it is about you learning his to objectively listen to music, a great help along the way, again, would be listening, but to someone else’s opinion. A friend or a relative that you can trust can help you observe how others experience your music. What is it that they think sounds right or wrong, good or bad. This is that perspective you might learn a lot from, so don’t be afraid to try it out.
For a moment, imagine that you don’t own this music
This one thing helped me in listening music more objectively. It sounds like a bit of a crazy thing to do (also an impossible one), but with fair amount of training you will find it in you.
A good idea is to try and compare if you can find in your piece what you usually find in the pieces of your favorite artists.
If you already have a fanbase, imagine playing this in front of them. How would they react if they heard it? Would they be satisfied? Even if it’s so much different from the rest of your work.
I strongly believe you shouldn’t fear making music that sounds different from everything that you’ve done before. To me, music has its own DNA. It comes from the personality, who we are as people and as artists. If we have that true genuine approach to our art – then the core of what we do will always stay the same, it will only get stronger and stronger so we can grow as artists.
This means don’t get too objective or too subjective. You shouldn’t be on the extreme of the one or the other. Finding the perfect balance between defining what you do and giving it a proper critique is a work in progress that should always be on your mind.
Learning to listen to music objectively is a process od training.
Happy listening! 🙂