Why you should actually listen to music you hate.

As musicians, we often have lots of opinions about what music is GOOD or BAD. Sometimes we even go so far as to say we HATE a certain artist or genre of music. I want to let you know that that bad music can still teach us lessons about what is good. In fact, you should listen to music you hate in order to learn from it.

Listening to only the music we love can be very enjoyable. It also puts limits on what new music we hear. Take the time to look for new genres of music and new artists. I would even suggest taking the time to listen to the artists or songs that you know you don’t like.

I don’t want you to try to survive something horrible or put yourself through misery for no reason. You should try this exercise with the mindset of learning something new. When you listen to that song or artist, you should think about it in an analytical way. What makes this song different from what you like? Are there instruments that are different than the songs you normally listen to? Are the lyrics different or about different topics than you are used to? Try to pick the song apart piece by piece.

Really dive deep into the pieces. If the song has drum samples, for instance, figure out more about them. Is the bass drum sound really boomy, or thin, or punchy, etc.? Do this sort of thing for everything. Don’t think about your opinion of the song at all. Think about each little factor like a scientist.

Taking your opinion out of the process allows you to start learning what makes the song what it is. This is where you, as a musician, will start to see the GOOD things in the music you hate. You might hear a riff in the chorus that is super cool. There might be a new instrument sound that is the best thing you’ve heard in a long while. You might actually appreciate a new genre of music!

Some of the best music created was a mix of two totally different genres. It wasn’t just a rehash of something that has already been done before. Those artists took the good of a genre they already liked and added something else they liked from a different genre. Creativity flourishes when we take the limits off. Don’t limit yourself because you think you hate certain music.

My assignment to you is to listen to some songs that you KNOW you do not like. If you don’t have a specific song or artists in mind then pick a genre. Start with one song to get yourself in the mindset to learn. Remember to take your opinions out of the process and just analyze. Be a music scientist and learn!

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