Want to grow into a music guru? Here are nine ways in which you can broaden your musical horizons.
Music is an art that has so much power, and it is very much like a universal language that everybody can understand. One song can make us all feel sad about a past relationship, move us to tears, or make us dance like no one is watching, even if we don’t speak the same language.
Music can be consumed anywhere, at any time, and there’s almost always at least one song that suits even the weirdest context you may find yourself in. Isn’t this cool?
Yet, the sad part of it all is that most of us aren’t really listening to music the way it should be heard. And this has nothing to do with the choice of music but rather the way we experience what we hear. Luckily, there are ways to make sure you get the most out of music.
Here are nine ways to grow into a music know-it-all and enhance your experiences with music.
1. Explore other genres
If you want to be a music guru and actually be able to have nice conversations about music with others, don’t be the “I only listen to *insert music genre here*” person. When you choose only one music genre and stick to it no matter what others recommend, you’re losing a significant part of what music really is.
There’s nothing wrong with only listening to one music genre. However, it limits your options for having new and enhanced experiences with music. So, if you want to broaden your musical horizons, start by exploring other genres too.
2. Learn to play an instrument
It’s not uncommon for people who learn how to play an instrument to see changes in the way they experience music. It all comes down to understanding the intricacies of how the music they listen to is made, including the physical and mental skills and efforts that go into it. Simply put, this helps you get a whole new dimension of appreciation for each sound you hear.
3. Choose experiences instead of songs
If you were asked to think of a song that’s an instant mood booster for you, you’d likely be able to think of at least one jam that lifts your spirit. Similarly, you probably would be able to think of a few songs that you can resonate with when feeling sad. Essentially, there’s likely a song in your playlist that suits all the moods and feelings you experience every now and then. That’s how powerful music can be!
4. Go to live concerts
There’s something so magical about the music-listening experiences you get at a live concert that no quality videos can replace. When you experience music in live shows, you connect with the entire audience and experience just how the artist or their music makes an entire crowd cry, laugh, think of long lost memories, or dance. If you do not want to damage your hearing during the concert, it is recommended to wear music earplugs.
5. Use quality tools
Truth be told, the experiences you have with music are significantly impacted by the tools you use to listen to it.
Think about it: music earplugs have the ability to transform the way we hear music completely. If you’re using quality ones, you almost feel like the artist is singing right into your ear. In contrast, poor quality tools make your music-listening experiences really annoying since you have to strain your ears to hear the song.
If you’re really serious about having the best experiences with music, you can even invest in tools that suit different contexts that you’re in. For example, if you want to listen to loud music in your car, you’ll need some quality speakers. Or, if you want to stay connected to your favourite jams even when riding a motorcycle, you can invest in ear plugs.
6. Use music apps recommendations to explore new stuff
We know the drill: you have your own saved playlist, and you only feel comfortable shuffling those songs whenever you feel like listening to music. Yet, truth be told, this is the antagonist of broadening your musical horizons simply because it keeps you from discovering new stuff.
When you want to grow your musical knowledge, again, you need to have an open mind about exploring other things too. And, this is where music apps’ recommendations sections shine! Here, you’ll find the “new stuff” that has just been released and what others are listening to, and it’s very likely you’ll find something that suits your musical taste as well.
What does meditation have to do with enhancing your musical experiences? Sounds strange, we get it. Yet, studies show that there’s a pretty big connection between listening to music and meditating.
You probably already know that combining music and meditation helps deepen the positive effects of both, resulting in a powerful stress relief solution. But, the two are also a good combination when it comes to enhancing your experiences with music. A study from the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance has found that students who engaged in 15 minutes of mindfulness meditation had better experiences with listening to music.
8. Understand the lyrics
Sure, singing gibberish is fun when you’re at a party, and none of you or your friends knows the lyrics of a song. Yet, that’s not how you truly experience a song. One of the best ways to connect with a song is to understand the message it sends through the lyrics.
Whether the song talks about love, sadness, joy, success, or even politics, understanding its lyrics is truly how you fully experience the music.
9. Pause and go back to listen again
Suppose you’ve noticed that one sound that gave you chills and made your heart race faster. Don’t let that moment go right away. Pause and go back to listen to that sound or part of the song again.
One way to tell if you’re listening to quality music is when you feel the need to pause for a second and listen again to that sound or part of the lyrics.
10. Protect your ears
As weird as it may sound, protecting your ears can significantly impact how you experience music. Exposing your ears to loud noises and using poor-quality tools can lead to a hearing problem that can really ruin the experiences you have with music. So, it’s essential to invest in high-performance hearing protection earplugs, such as those from Shush Earplugs. Using the right tools, especially in noisy environments, be it on a train or an aeroplane can also help you by protecting your ears when you may feel the need to turn the volume on.