How To Get The Listening Skills Needed For Amazing Music Production

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This is a guest post by Kiley Rorrison – Read the guest post guidelines if you wish to contribute.

One of the most indispensable tool to great music production are our superior listening skills.

For many musicians or engineers, having phenomenal listening skills come naturally. For some, listening skills need to be learned. Luckily, even if you have no listening skills, you can still train yourself. However, it does take practice and time to implement.

Once gained, superior listening skills will bring your work to a higher level. Here, are 5 ways to get the listening skills needed for great music production.

Relax

When listening to music, relax. Take it all in. Many people hear music, or hear the sounds, but to listen is entirely different. To take in the music, set up a separate area to listen. This can be an area of a room, or a different room. A great way to listen to music is to set up a room that has a comfortable listening area.

Noise

When trying to take in the sounds, minimize outside sounds. This can be done by sound-proofing a room. An easier way is wearing a pair of headphones. Many headphone companies now make noise cancelling versions that block out excess noise. Anyone living in a city will no doubt hear plenty of noise, whether it is cars, neighbors or even planes.

To get into the listening, it is important to have no outside annoyances. [Björgvin’s note: It’s also important to make sure your room isn’t lying to you with unnecessary sound coloring. Acoustic treatment helps reduce the room sound so you really hear what the music sounds like.] 

Concentrate

You can’t listen if you’re not concentrating on the music. To listen, rather than hear, it is pertinent for anyone to concentrate on every note.

Like I said before, you can do this by relaxing and avoiding noisy areas. When listening to music, make sure to make this the only task at hand. The room should be free of distractions. The only goal of listening to music is listening intently to every part of it: the melody, the production, the individual instruments and the overall sound.

Comfort Zone

When listening or working with music, to gain knowledge, you should get out of your comfort zone. This can help you listen to music beat for beat, word for word.

When listening, find some music that you normally don’t listen to. Either from a different era, or from a different genre than you normally enjoy. This can cause your brain to work overtime to hear the beauty of the music.

Enjoy Your Music Production

Anything that is done with enjoyment will be done much more efficiently. Make sure when listening to music to get something fun out of the activity.

If it is done purely to improve, you’ll get bored. Get out of your comfort zone, but also try to really listen to music you like. This shouldn’t be difficult because you probably love different kind of genres if you’re working in music or audio.

When trying to become an incredible musician or engineer, don’t neglect listening to music. This can have a significant, long term effect on your abilities. This can open your minds up to different melodies, while helping you improve your skills. Any great listener of music should in time, become an accomplished musician.

Kiley Rorrison writes about business, the arts & more.