I’ve posted quite a few listening recommendations so far, and I’ll continue to do that. The reason is simple: listening to music is a very important part of growth as a musician.

It has been my observation (and experience) that the majority of a musician’s education comes not from lessons/books/videos, but from LISTENING. This makes sense, given that music is an art form. Art has always evolved through artists – not teachers and books, but the artists themselves – as they experience each other’s work and therefore inspire one another to push the envelope with new ideas and new directions.

How often do you listen to music? How many different kinds of music do you listen to? How CLOSELY do you pay attention to the music you listen to? Listening is like your gas tank as a musician. Of course practicing is VERY important, but I like to think of practicing as an oil change, or brake maintenance, or transmission work, or even a wash. But the day to day FUEL comes from listening. Ok, sorry I stuck with that analogy for so long.

That’s it. There’s not much else that needs to be said about this. Some of the aspects of your playing that will grow immensely as you increase your listening are: musical instincts, feel, creativity, musical personality, versatility, tone awareness, and contemporary relevance.

In addition to the great records I’ve listed so far in previous “Recent Listening” posts, I also have a more broad encyclopedia of general recommendations from my own library, past and present… the Albums Every Drummer Should Know list.