I love music, all sorts from classical through Jazz (admittedly the more immediately accessible end) and on through electronica and then into my mainstay, guitar led pop/rock. For me listening to a new album is something to be savoured, to be experienced and devoured and listening to an old album is like putting on your most comfortable pair of trainers or wrapping yourself up in a warm blanket. Today I am going to share a neat trick that will help you listen to the music you love in a new way.
What’s your favourite song ever?
Ok, you might not be able to think of a solitary bestie but think of a go-to classic tune. I’ll bet you know all the words right? and the melody – I bet you know that pretty well too? And if there are any little solos or musical breaks – you can hum along to those too (probably whilst indulging in some air guitar action), am I right?
What about the bassline?… Can you hum that? Mmmm… Less likely.
The baseline or bass notes in a song are the less obvious noises – high resonating frequencies like the vocal line, piano or guitars are much more prominent to human ears and steal our attention. I heard a magician talking about this a while back and he put it very well – If you think about a song as a magic trick, the high notes are stealing your attention and allowing the low notes to go about their business under the radar, unnoticed… Just like the diversion tactics used by magicians in all those slight of hand tricks.
Let’s talk about Billie Jean by Michael Jackson – Now we all know the bassline to this one because it starts the whole song off (and it’s a total killer!) But once those keyboards begin and Jacko starts singing your attention is diverted, and as more and more high frequency sounds layer up the bassline begins to get lost. Or at least our brains ‘forget’ to listen to it.
Practice focussing on the baseline of a song all the way through, this is easier said than done as you’ll find your attentions keep flicking back to the more prominent higher frequencies. Once you can manage it though you’ll actually be hearing the whole song together, as the higher frequencies will always get through to you but you’ll no longer be distracted by them, missing the lower notes. The sounds will begin to layer themselves out and you’ll hear all of the music, all of the magic!
Have a go – give your favourite song a listen with fresh ears! Wearing headphones can also help as all the subtle nuances of a song are made so much more obvious when listening through cans.
Just a little thought for a Friday folks…
I love a good bassline so thought I’d share one of my favourites with you. This is a great rendition of a classic disco anthem – Cake covering Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” Try it now, focus on that funky bass…
P.S The video is worth 4 minutes of your life in it’s own right so what are you waiting for…
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