Aural imagination - Hal Galper Masterclass

Anon La Ply

Check out this Hal Galper Masterclass

"If you can't hear it you can't play it"

"It all depends on the intensity of your concentration and the vividness of your aural imagination"

"How many think you have trouble playing what you hear? [pause for responses] ... Well, you are all wrong. You all play exactly what you hear"

"You're not going to hear in the ten years' time the way you're hearing now - guaranteed"

PS. It also includes good questions to ask top players at around 3:00 and another at around 4 mins :)

I love the way Hal finds and explores the fault lines that lie between musicians and their music. Here's an embarrassing admission - I first tried this after first seeing this video a year or more ago.

But I was too influenced by the way he shouted to get the point across about "hearing loudly". So I get on the drums and I'm hitting hard - shouting - and that's not what I like to do much these days. So I let it go.

Coming back to video I see the childishness of my previous response - it's not about loudness in the mind, but being all encompassing.

Has anyone thought about concepts like this, taught it, or discussed with with teachers?


Staff member
His observation on intuition resonated with me the most. Effectively, if you have to think about it, you're probably going to mess it up on some level. I've lost count of the number of times that has become reality.


Well-known member
I've watched a few of his Masterclasses and have loved them. I'll check this one out later today when I can turn on the sound to listen (family's still asleep).

I was told by a teacher many years ago if you can't hear it you can't play it. I have come to believe that as well over time.

Looking forward to watching this.


Well-known member
Just had a chance to watch it. Great, great information which I completely and totally agree with. Again, my teacher used to say if you can't hear it, you can't play it. He also used to mention about hearing it clearly making the comparison to when you talk - mumbling versus with distinction.

Love his phrase regarding intelligent people not making good jazz musicians. Now I know why I gravitate to jazz....


Platinum Member
Amazing to see someone put into words what you have been thinking or trying to understand subconsciously.

I find that, to his point about turning off your brain and playing untuitively, that it takes me a good 30-45 mins to get in the zone where I can really let go and play without trying to think ahead. Turn off my brain and just let my brain and muscles do what they know how to do.

Think I am holding on too tight....