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GDan's picture
Nov 2002
3 years ago

I went to a friends gig the other day at a small pub. Not many people had turned up I was VERY last minute so they hadnt really promoted it. There was a tiny crowd and you ended up going to the front just out of sympathy for the bands playing.

So I'm watching this band (Generic emo. REALLY generic emo, The lead singer even had Those Emo Glasses.) And it occurs to me that I know how pretty much every song is going to go from the opening two chords: Heavy bit, shouty bit, quiet melodic breakdown bit, Next Heavy Bit. And the three chord trick.
So I turn to my friend (non musician) and start telling him about the three chord trick, It then occurs to me that he never even noticed or cared until I pointed it out to him.

A little bit of a rambling story but heres the point: How much do you reckon learning music affects the way you listen to it? I think back and wonder if I even cared about tone before I picked up a guitar and noticed that some bands just have better sounding guitars than others. I used to think Tool was too "Murky" sounding, now I love it. I used to listen to tom morrello and think the guitar was like a kind of wooden synthesyser and you could make it sound like anything if you tried hard enough.

How do you reckon learning guitar has changed the way you think about songs, bands, tone and players?

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i used to be amazed at simple chord progressions before i became a musician.

chris g's picture
Retired from the Guitar
Jul 2003
6 years ago

I think that being a musician sometimes takes some of the fun out of just listening to a song for the sake of enjoyment. I find myself analyzing sounds, tone, guitar players style etc., instead of just enjoying the music and vocals. I find it hard to just sit down in the house and listen to a CD. I'd rather have it on while doing something else, so I don't focus on the aspects I mentioned.

At the same time, being a musician and listening to music can be fun because you can pick out chords and progressions and really enjoy the way a song was constructed or written, much more than someone who is not a musician.

jonnyload3's picture
Bridgewater, VA
Jan 2003
6 years ago

Being a music major and being exposed to all of the so-called "classics" has really helped me to analyze and pick apart chords and solos and other tricks people use to write music.

It has also helped me to discover just how boring and mediocre mainstream music has become. In a way its been a blessing, as Ive discovered a pile of innovative bands who challenge my mind and the way I perceive music. On the other hand, its been a curse, as I tend to get very frustrated with most of the music I hear day to day.

To answer your question, I suppose non-musicians just hear sound. Ive been a musician for a long time, so its hard to remember back when I listened to music on a strictly casual basis.

Dan the Man's picture
Redding CA
Oct 2002
7 years ago

The thing that really makes a difference is learning about production. Most nonmusician/nonproducer/muggle types can't tell the difference between a song with basic value and a recording that was produced well and has good timbres in it.


Originally posted by Talent?!
Definately Dan the Legend.


Originally posted by CicadaSilence
Atreyu makes me want to kill myself. But if I did that, I'd fall into their target demographic.

You can see my dilemma.

nullin's picture
Eastern Iowa
Mar 2004
5 years ago

Seems like it's kind of like being a magician watching another magician's act. You know how the rabbit got in the hat, you know how and why it works, but you can still enjoy a good performance and a good show.

And it's a good way to learn some new tricks.

" . . . if I knew where I was going, I would already be there."


Originally posted by thee_dug
I can't wait until ICP's followers drink the ****ing Kool-Aid...

SantaCruzMack's picture
Santa Cruz, Cali
Mar 2004
7 years ago

I think when you are a non musician you see the tip of the iceberg, when you become a musician, there is a whole new dimension to the song you hear

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thepagerage's picture
Mar 2005
9 years ago

a friend of mine had been playing for around a year but hadn't developed too much, and when i showed him simple scales it blew his mind. i'm sure that non-musicians have no comprehension of the simplicity or the sheer complexity that alot of good music out there has in it.

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GDan's picture
Nov 2002
3 years ago

I agree you it does add anothr dimension to listening to songs but its annoying in ways. I reckon I could write much better songs If I found a way back from "Musician" headspace to "Listener" headspace.

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thefuryiswithin's picture
down under baby!
Sep 2003
3 years ago

i feel that non-musicians find it hard to appreciate all types of music. for example, you see so many kids that think 'im a punk kid' and then wont listen to anything thats not punk because they have an 'image' to uphold. being a musician, i find that even though the music that really touches my heart is metal and hard rock, i still listen to and appreciate radiohead, incubus, rhcp, tommy emmanuel, coldplay, the john butler trio, prodigy, snoop dogg, nas, ice cube, N.E.R.D, silverchair, even some britney and greenday to an extent! its hard to find a non musician who can put on coal chamber or slipknot one minute, and then be chillin coldplay or john butler the next. even if some non musicians do listen to a variety of genres, most of the ones i know only scratch the surface of the other types of music and listen to whatever is going on the radio at the time for that genre. they dont truely appreciate the value of the song - they dont 'feel' the music like a musician does. a greatly composed and well written song can shake my soul, send shivers up my spine or bring me close to tears; for a non musician most of the time they just see it as a good song, not an emotional and spiritual experience.

I'm a rock 'n' roll outlaw, never needed anyone!

Amsterdarn's picture
Apr 2003
3 years ago

I know a couple. And at least one borderline case. What matters is making music a vital part of your life. I feel obliged to point out that I know some very skilled musicians who listen to music very badly.

Member of the Grammar Nazis.


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