I am playing the guitar, and noticed a strange phenomenon: once I learn how to play/ sing a certain song, I no longer want to listen to it.

Has anyone encountered such an issue?

Usually the process goes the following: I like a song and listen to it very often>> I start learning that song, usually by ear, listening and repeating difficult sections in it, even slowing down the speed if needed>> once I learn it, I keep playing it, but never listening to the original again.

Is that a good or a bad indicator?

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    It could be an indicator of mastery. That's not such a bad thing. – Richard Barber Jan 11 '19 at 11:56
  • How do you feel about the song when you continue playing it? – Michael Curtis Jan 11 '19 at 18:32
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    I feel good about it. I am glad that I managed to create my own rendition of it, and it becomes an additional "skill" for my playing. – Riddle-Master Jan 11 '19 at 19:04
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    I have the opposite problem. I am not interested in music I haven't played (at least not since childhood). Once I play through the sheet music I become obsessed with finding as many versions of it I can. – ggcg Jan 13 '19 at 0:19
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    I also get bored sometimes of pieces so I put them away and 40 years later I play them with even more enthusiasm as I understand and discover always even more about it , especially of Bach and Bartok.. – Albrecht Hügli Jan 13 '19 at 10:58

"Has anyone encountered such an issue?" : Yes!

I get the same thing, but I find that after a while (sometimes months) I like to hear the original again because, inevitably, my own version won't be identical.

"Is that a good or a bad indicator?": I think it's neither. It's just how it is.

It's probably just overfamiliarity, but with a twist:

It seems to me that when learning a song, you have to listen to it a LOT, unravelling how it's constructed and kind of de=mystifying it. A bit like knowing how a magic trick is done, but with less subterfuge.

Once you've done that and learnt to play the song, it represents less the thing that you enjoyed just because you liked listening to it, and more of a technical set of things to get to grips with.

I find that eventually, once I'm comfortable with playing a song, I start to enjoy the orignal again as that set of technical guitar stuff becomes just 'yes I can play that', and not so much a dominating factor.

I even get this with songs I've written: After recording them, I listen to the recording a lot for a day or two then don't put it on at all for ages. Then, some time later, maybe weeks/months once the intense familiarity has died down a bit, I really enjoy hearing it again.

In a nutshell: give it a whlie, I bet the enjoyment of listening to the original will return.


It may be odd to you, but I generally do not encounter this problem. I didn't encounter this problem when listening to music I had to play for piano lessons (with one exception that I'll provide details for later), and I've never encountered this problem when listening to music I've transcribed and/or rearranged. I've also never encountered this problem when listening to music I had to play in school bands, although it's hard to make out individual instrument lines in these recordings. (I can figure out how to sing practically any song within relatively few listens, although not always completely accurately.)

The one exception I mentioned earlier is my experience listening to the 3rd movement of Beethoven's Tempest Sonata. My mother once restricted my in-car music listening to only pieces I needed to play for piano lessons, and I'd created a cassette tape with its only such piece being this movement. So, I ended up listening to this piece several times in a row every weekday for months. I finally accumulated a slight distaste for this piece by the end of that streak. I think my love for this piece has recovered by now, but it's been nearly 10 years since I last took piano lessons.

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    For pieces I've transcribed, though, my ability to like others' transcriptions (and often arrangements/covers) generally goes down. Every inaccuracy in them that I know I've accurately transcribed myself sticks out even more to me than before. The more the arrangement tries to be faithful, the more the inaccuracies stick out. (I usually only transcribe pieces I've found zero other accurate transcriptions of, though.) – Dekkadeci Jan 11 '19 at 12:00

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