Keep a Listening Journal

You've probably been told that you should listen to lots of music if you want to develop as a guitarist and as a musician.

True. But if you want to get the most out of your listening time, I suggest you keep a listening journal.

After all, "the shortest pencil is better than the longest memory", as someone somewhere once famously said.

This listening journal doesn't have to be complicated at all. I use an excel-style google doc with columns for artist, song title and comments.

You can write whatever you want. This is your journal. As long as your comments mean something to you, go for it.

I love recording guitars, and I'm very much interested in production in general. My comments are often about guitar tone or effects, how parts are layered, grooves I like and the overall structure of the recordings.

Your particular interests may be different. That's fine. Write down the things that grab your ear and capture your imagination.

Keeping a listening journal will sharpen your ear. You'll learn to listen deeply and put into words the sounds you're hearing.

An additional benefit is that before long you'll have a library of creative ideas to pull from.

Now go listen. Then write about it.

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