How to Collaborate – Lessons From Jazz – Lesson #2 : Listen

This is the second of a series of new posts that explain how you can apply the lessons of jazz to collaborate successfully.

Listen

“My first relationship to any kind of musical situation is as a listener.”
Pat Metheny

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Pat Metheny listening

Collaboration is all about listening. Listening for needs, listening for opportunities and listening for cues.

Jazz musicians live in sound, and listening is their lifeblood. When they play together, they are always actively listening to one another, and listening utterly without judgement. They listen to the flow of the collective improvisation, to its changing shape, to its shifting energies, its rhythms and trajectories.

It is by listening as actively as possible to these patterns that they are able to identify moments and places where their voice is needed, and to identify the nature, tone and shape of the contribution that is needed from them.

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When collaborating, always listen with open ears, an open mind and an open heart to the patterns of possibility that are being generated.

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