Learn to Listen

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Matt Caranante

If you listen hard enough, you will hear something. What that something is, I can't tell you. But I can help put you on track. Next time you go outside, instead of walking as fast as possible while looking at your feet, or staring blindly at the road ahead of you, LISTEN. Most people are in such a rush to get wherever it is they are going, they are completely oblivious to what is going on around them.

If you can learn to listen to everything, you WILL hear something. For example:

If you live in a city, its a good bet that there is construction going on somewhere. LISTEN to the jackhammer, it has rhythm.

Get on the subway, LISTEN to the sound when the doors are about to close, what interval is that?

LISTEN to the car sputtering down the street, it has soul.

LISTEN to the bird in the tree, he's happy.

LISTEN to footsteps of the runner, with the squeak on every other step.

LISTEN to the wind.

LISTEN to the water.


Anyone can hear these things. You must listen to them. There is a world of difference.

That is the first step. Then you must bring it to the next level. As a musician, you can use these everyday things for inspiration.

USE the rhythm of the jackhammer to create a drumbeat. Build a song around it.

USE the bird's song in one of your solos.

Create a give and take relationship with the universe. Take the sounds given to you, then give them back.

Don't expect to have a song come to you next time you hear a bird chirp. It takes time.


Matt Caranante also contributed to "Guitar Lesson #1."


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