Many Artists & Bands are faithful to record their rehearsals and performances as a means of tightening up loose ends and smoothing over rough patches. It can be tough to sit through the taping of a show where the drummer and bass never really locked or where the guitarist constantly played over changes before they arrived or the lead singer…well, you know.
More Often, we listen for technical reasons. Is the Mix Right? Is the EQ On Point? That’s Not the Right KEY! and my absolute favorite, the Drums are TOO LOUD!
But the type of listening I am speaking of transcends the preparatory, technical and reflective.
While vital to our craft and careers, when we constantly reduce our listening to the rudiments of only hearing the imperfections, we’ve lost the essence of why we create music in the first place.
It’s the Soul, the Heart – that Sacred Place inside someone’s spirit that needs to be rejuvenated, challenged and inspired. Isn’t that the reason you wrote the song? To transform a life – or if that’s being too mellow-dramatic, perhaps simply to make them get their groove on (groove being synonymous with several definitions!) The point is, we should first listen to retain that initial spark which overwhelmed us enough to inspire others.
For far too long I’ve possessed the terrible habit of not listening to my projects once they were finished. You spend months creating it, additional months rehearsing, recording, mixing, mastering and releasing it. Weeks more promoting and performing it. When the cycle ends you’re happy you are through and are eager to get on with something new.
Yet, lately, I’ve found it important to revisit those projects and listen as I would to any other artist in my collection. To simply embrace and enjoy the music, removing myself from the process has presented a new level of encouragement and afforded me a higher sense of confidence. I’ve been surprised, startled and grateful that God would choose to use me as a vessel to express His musical heart to someone, to anyone – and to many I’ll never meet.
What About You? Have You Listened to Yourself Lately?
I am sure you’d be amazed. If you’re on Sound Cloud, send a link to your music in the comment section so we can all listen.
Here’s a link to one of my more obscure ideas: