I am learning to listen analytically to music (listening to try and figure out what is going on) but I tend to get lost in the music quite easily.
For example, when I start counting in my head, at some point I'll lose track (I try to count the beats and sometimes also try and count the bars and phrase lengths). I'm also trying to figure out the chords and rhythms.
I'm probably trying to do too much at once and that is the problem. But I also tend to have distracting thoughts (such as what time it is, what I have to do tomorrow, etc... you know, useless stuff that modern society forces on us).
If there isn't a good answer (since it is probably pretty vague), what is the best thing to work on first? Counting so much that it becomes innate, which would then make learning all the rest of the stuff easier? (since you then know where everything is at)
Also, is counting bars useful? I tend to think that counting them might be a bad idea, because if I get out of sync then I have to start the song over to make sure I don't associate wrong numbers with specifics in a song (e.g., chorus starts at bar 37 but I counted it wrong at 38... Then I think the chorus is at bar 38 and next time I count I get confused because I'm unsure of myself). Or are these mistakes just part of learning?