Listening carefully can lead to very profound experiences. Our listening abilities have got lesser because of the noise we are surrounded by especially living in cities makes us avoid a lot of sounds. Getting used to the noisy environments. Our listening was not always this way. As hunter-gatherers, we were more aware of our surroundings in terms of hearing and recognising different sounds hundreds of years ago. Therefore this can be challenging to be able to listen carefully and recognize pitches, scales or harmonic intervals but not impossible and you will be glad you did.
Starting with listening carefully. Following tips can help any beginner. Give some time every day, a couple of times a day.
- Learn scales (Major and Natural Minor are the common ones.
- Listen to songs and find Scale degree One (Do or Sa)
- Learn modes of Major scale (Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian)
- Search songs online that belong to major scale modes (Yes, Google them. There are plenty)
- Try to replicate on voice or any instrument whatever you hear or think of.
- There are a lot of apps on play store or Appstore where you can practice intervals and scales. Do that!
- If you have Spotify, download ear training albums and listen whenever possible.
- Learn Harmonic and Melodic Minor modes. Play them. Search online and listen to songs that belong to these modes. They have their distinct sound.
- Listen to Oud, Sitar, Sarod, Rubab, Violin (Indian and Western), Kora, Santoor, Saxophone, Guitar, Piano, Voice or electronic music etc. I mean different instruments from all over the world because that is how you will hear music in the real world. DON'T STAY IN YOUR OWN BUBBLE WHEN IT COMES TO LISTENING MUSIC.
- Try remembering phrases, melodies, rhythm patterns
- This all is learning and boring part. Just enjoy what you are doing. Music is to play and enjoy. Always remember that.