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“We want to help people become better listeners and help them identify and understand the music they actually love, so they can confidently find more of it.”

Music psychologist Carol Krumhansl once argued that when we listen to a song, “How the parts are perceived depends on their functions in the whole.” So we’re going to hear a song differently depending on whether we hear the verse or the chorus first. And if we jump into a song halfway, we’ll get a completely different experience all together.

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Just like your mind and your muscles, your ears also have a shelf life. Go too long without taking a break, and you’ll run the risk of not being able to separate good takes from bad ones. It might sound odd to recommend taking breaks as a time-saving tool for home-recording, but keeping your dexterity as well as your listening skills sharp will protect you from making costly recording mistakes.

“This is a fundamental truth about any sort of practice: If you never push yourself beyond your comfort zone, you will never improve. The amateur pianist who took half a dozen years of lessons when he was a teenager but who for the past 30 years has been playing the same set of songs in exactly the same way over and over again may have accumulated 10,000 hours of ‘practice’ during that time, but he is no better at playing the piano than he was 30 years ago. Indeed, he’s probably gotten worse.”