This is a common sense hobby – you probably don’t need someone like me to suggest it. But I bet for most of you it’s been months or even years since you’ve done it… so indulge while I nudge you a little bit.
Dedicate Time to Focus on Active Listening
Minimize distractions: let the dog out, put the kids down for nap, and silence your phone.
Grab a note book and pen so you can take notes. Scribble what do you like about the instrumentation, any lyrics that stand out, and any emotions you feel.
Consider headphones: this will help you hear the depth and spacing of the instruments better. Any headphones will do, but noise cancelling over ear will help block out the world and let you get lost in the soundscape.
Get comfortable: Dim the lights, light a candle, and pour some wine.
Listen to your favorite tune, or try out something you’ve never heard before. (See the playlist below for suggestions if you’re looking for something new).
Set a reasonable volume: heavy metal should me loud, classical music should be loud enough to hear dynamics, or whatever is appropriate for the tune you’re enjoying.
When the song is over, review your notes in silence- add any final impressions you have. If you feel compelled, listen again.
Move on to another tune. Then when you are done with the session take a moment to reflect. Did you learn anything new about your artist, album, song, genre etc? Can you draw any new conclusions?
Is there something that you’d like to share? Publish on social media or share with friends or consider starting a song club.
The most important thing is that you make the time, because if you don’t, life will get in the way and you’ll miss out. Get listening!