Being alone with your music

I’ve always enjoyed being alone. Being alone with my favorite tunes playing adds a new layer of ‘Being here NOW’.

I remember well the first time I heard ‘In my room’ by the Beach Boys. That wonderful angst of being young and not knowing my future overwhelmed me. Those emotions we’re trained to suppress burst forward, changing me forever.

From that moment forward music became a personal thing. A private wonderful world that I had control over. It was 1966, I was 13 years old.

When we’re young, very little is under our control. Now music could set us free. It was up there with the first time, 3 years later, when I drove my car alone the first time.  In preparation for the big moment, I installed my first car cassette player (by Norelco). Now I was truly free to be me.

Your stories would be much appreciated.



My experience reflect exactly yours...

Except i was 13 years old in 1964...

Under my blanket hidden with a small transistor radio with Connie Francis ...

It begin my music journey...

But thinking about it all started BEFORE, when i listened choral traditional songs each day on the radio when i was really young around 4-5-6 years old...

I begin serious music listening with classical choral music and Bach.... After thirteen...Not the Beatles and the Papas and the Mammas i enjoyed among few others pop singers in my teen years , but i listened them less as a sacred solitary experience as for Bach or choral music as a mere occasional pleasure ...I guess i was too serious even young ... 😊 Or i disliked being as others people were... It was so in music too... I prefered books to any sports save biking alone and walking ...

There's this stigma of isolation and "anti-social" associated with this hobby that I think may be a little superficial at surface level - think the one chair in a listening room and some of the judgment statements that are made. For some of us, the act of listening is deeply personal and perhaps even therapeutic. Others enjoy sharing music with others, which is just as great. 

I don't know how much I've spent on my system, but it doesn't rival the experience and value of driving a motorcycle through small coastal and mountain towns in South Korea with entry-level Shure IEMs. I was completely lost in my early 20's and that time of soul searching and solitude, which included a run down motorcycle, headphones, music, and a foreign country really helped me figure things out. 

Headphone, speakers, and components, they provide more than just music; more like small opportunities for some of us. 

I enjoy sitting in my recliner , smack dab in the sweet spot ...  ALONE  

Thank you 

You have to listen alone because people cant keep their mouths shut. Even if they could, theres only one sweetspot, the other spots arent worth much.

In 1963 when I was eleven laying in bed listening to the light turquoise plastic clock radio, on came the first time ever Beatles song played in the US. It was on WLS. I was completely overwhelmed with the amazing sound.

Later I would spend late nights with my ear pressed to the 1950‘s tube-based mono dark wood counsol Stereo, instead of sleeping.


An only child, comfortable alone…actually I crave lots of time alone. I probably enjoy being alone the most. Ten years as a Geologist, working alone. I love eating meals alone when traveling. Backpacking alone, bicycling many tens of thousands of miles alone. Traveling as an executive around the world alone. And, executives are really lone animals, you can’t get close to employees or colleagues.


Audiophilia is very commonly a pursuit of folks that like being alone. 

"You have to listen alone because people can't keep their mouths shut."


I see you've met my brother in law.

Eyes open, mouth open. Hasn't shut the hell up for a minute since I've known him.

@thecarpathian ​​@tonydennison   AMEN and thats my wife, yadda, yadda, yadda. But she is the love of my life even if she makes my ears bleed. 😃 


"You have to listen alone because people can't keep their mouths shut."


I see you've met my brother in law.

Eyes open, mouth open. Hasn't shut the hell up for a minute since I've known him.

As time goes on I can't hear others anymore. Its like they are distant and speaking an unknown language. Defense mechanism I suppose. If its really important, they will let me know, I guess. 😏

Alone in the dark late at night. A touch of medical cannabis. Amazing things are in the air..

@mahgister ,

"Under my blanket hidden with a small transistor radio with Connie Francis ..."


You had Connie Francis under your blanket, mon ami?!!

Felicitations and a cold mate to you!! 😄

Not only did she never meet me under my blanket but i never dare to invite her either...

In the meantime i listened to this song with my earpod :

I remember it vividly because it was the first song i listened in this way in my life  through earpod with a small battery radio...

I spare my money to buy a stereo system after that...( i was distributing newspapers doing so each day)

If we think, it was an audiophile experience ....

My first one and probably the best one...

Thank for the mate ... I offer you my best wishes for the kind soul you are...

@mahgister ,

"Under my blanket hidden with a small transistor radio with Connie Francis ..."


You had Connie Francis under your blanket, mon ami?!!

Felicitations and a cold mate to you!! 😄


I spent many years playing music for thousands of people. Now I most often simply enjoy listening alone (sometimes my wife hangs with it), recording in my studio, or just playing guitar. I'm perfectly happy with it.

With me being retired and my wife still working, I am fortunate enough to have most days to sit in the sweet spot and smile.  

When I was 9 or 10, most nights I went to sleep with a transistor radio under my pillow listening to WLS back when they used to play music and have been listening to something ever since.

I still listen alone the vast majority of the time but sometimes my wife joins me since she likes a lot of the same music I do. In fact, we met because of the band RUSH.

I suppose it’s a generational thing-- listening to music as a kid in bed with a radio.

It seemed so magical at the time. And I guess it still is, otherwise why would we spend the effort, time and expense on this "hobby". I put it in quotes because I’ve never felt it adequately encompasses what we are involved in, here.

Garcia said without psychedelics, life would seem very "gray" and I certainly feel the same about music. I can't imagine life without it.




I’m single and live in near recluse.

Very first music listening as this New Transistor radio with a little 9V battery. At night in bed under the covers. Sony reel to reel model 111. recordings made from that a.m, radio. Upgraded to a Wollensak. A Tank of a reel to reel machine. Then my dad helped me build my own stereo units so I wouldn’t touch his Magnavox console.

We have a lot of friends named John. One rides a Ninja motorcycle. He’s Ninja John. Indian John. America Indian. There is Radio John. Goes like a radio with a broken off switch.

Like my contemporaries on this thread, I remember being alone in the middle of the night in the sixties listening to WLS and WWL, then cruising my small town looking for girls guided by John Records Landecker in the early seventies 

my first job out of college was far from my hometown in western Kentucky and I was a kid who had never been anywhere. Bought a stereo rig with the first money I made and spent lots of time alone listening to vinyl trying to figure out being an adult, of sorts. Then a family, kids, work and no time or money for long listening sessions or anything other than cheap consumer equipment from silo or circuit city

alone again the last few years. Got back in to really enjoying music on decent equipment. My job has plenty of stress, and involves law enforcement and often political stuff. Decided a few years ago to swear off cable news and most nights spend 2-3 hours alone in the dark really enjoying music. Good decision. Brings peace at the end of the day. 

retiring soon. I enjoy some great friends and good company in my life, but look forward to a little time each day to close my eyes and get lost in the music. Not everyone understands the attraction but I suspect a lot of you do. 

Born in '55 to an American farm boy and a young sophisticated German girl. Mom loved music, classical, swing, and big band. She had a thing for Herb Alpert... I can't remember when it showed up, probably a Christmas gift, but one of the "kiddie" record players with a steel needle lived in the boy's room, There was a market then for "kiddie" records, seems like most of ours were Hanna-Barbera. Eventually I was instructed on the operation of Mom's Telefunken console.... My best days were staying home "sick" with my collection, The Troggs, Paul Revere and the Raiders, The Beach Boys, Hermann's Hermits. Still my kind of best day, and I don't have to come up with symptoms.

XERB (I think?) on the transistor radio growing up in East LA. My older brother told me Wolfman Jack was in a cage in Mexico and all he had were records and a radio transmitter. 
 I loved the music and the mystery. 
It was around 1963. I was 10. 
Then, American Graffiti came out and I finally saw The Wolfman!

I am sure that most of us are introverts to some extent.  Once realized, it's easy to like being alone without being lonely.  

One of my earliest memories is being (probably) 3 years old and going down for my afternoon nap, crying, because what kid didn't over that, and hearing "Theme From A Summer Place" coming from the stereo. Still can't hear that song without being taken back to that moment.

oregon...small world. I was recently looking at my high school yearbook, and noticed that Wolfman Jack DJ'd at my graduation dance. Miraleste High, LA.

Just remembered the first album that made me realize parents were clueless about 'current' music. Though there was plenty of Tommy Dorsey, Lawrence Welk, Bing Crosby, etc playing at our house, my Mom made the mistake of buying me a Creedence album for Xmas one year. I loved it so much I played it in rotation for hours. First time I heard my Mom cuss, "Turn down that CRAP", she yelled from the kitchen.

For some of us, the act of listening is deeply personal and perhaps even therapeutic. Others enjoy sharing music with others, which is just as great.

During the 70’s , when I, like so many other young people, were experimenting with "substances", experiencing nature and music-listening were our two favorite activities to engage in while high. We’d turn out the lights and everyone would allow themselves to be carried away. I recall the first time I heard "Peace 1" and "Peace 2" off "My Goals Beyond" under the influence of San Pedro. This sort of "communal immersion" can be very enjoyable if all the participants are similarly intentioned.

Group meditation can be another form of "communal immersion".

Although I’m most definitely an introvert (and it’s been decades since I’ve partaken), I still enjoy the rare occasion of listening with someone else who enjoys music as much as I do -- someone, as others have mentioned, who won’t feel the need to talk-- which automatically eliminates most people! 

I can't help but wonder whether this lack of interest/sensitivity is not limited to music but to Art in all forms. Most people just don't seem to be at all interested in opening themselves to art, period. Perhaps this can be explained by Maslow's Pyramid -- too many are just struggling to survive. It seemed to me that this was not so much the case back in the Sixties, but I may be mistaken. I may be simply another old guy bemoaning that "Things ain't what they used to be". 

When I think of my most transcendent moments of music listening, they’re mostly when I’m alone.  
I’m jealous of people who describe concerts this way.  
I’ve been to a lot of concerts, and it never happened with non-classical music.  
I’ve been very emotional at a couple classical concerts, but the best I could say for a non-classical concert was, “uh, that was cool, I guess.”

I’ve had some wonderful times having “concerts” on the couch with my girlfriend, just wonderful and memorable evenings, for sure.  
However, the presence of another person does nothing to change how I’m enjoying the music.  
The other thing is, certain music is not enjoyed by others, so I have to listen to it alone. No problem there for me.

Different strokes...

If live music hadn't consistently provided transcendent moments, I doubt I would've bothered to continue spending the money. I use the past tense because, at present, there are no venues within easy driving distance that offer music that appeals to me. But I've had many experiences of being "taken over by the music" while attending live performances.

Of course, one listener's "transcendent" may be another's "nothing special", for any given performance




I value my nightly alone sessions mostly because I play whatever I want and explore. Of equal value is enjoying the system with people, particularly playing songs people know but have never heard at this level. has been the sideman to my heartbeat for most of my life....

Now, in my 'reclining years'....if there comes a way to B/T it to my pacemaker...

I'd live forever....much to the wonder and chagrin of some.... ;)

Live Out Loud....👍, J

No words, just.... can't do this live no more, but I've got volume sans the crowd....


"There's this stigma of isolation and "anti-social" associated with this hobby that I think may be a little superficial at surface level"

Oh this rings out for me...drinking and listening to music alone...are you ok?

There was time my audio friends can’t stop reviewing my system? So I realize they are not honest. I closed my door from them for 5 yrs. And I learned a lot more doing things and listening alone.Even now I have to remind them , When they visit. No reviewing please😀

Meditating and praying in a cavern in the forest  appear anti-social...

But working for big pharma "for the good of humanity" appear a very social enterprise at first sight...

Guess which one is  anti-social  really ?

Listening music alone is not anti-social, drinking beers  with a group of  tired grown men speaking insanities may be....

Am i anti-social ?

I am like the Christ i love men one by one between 4 eyes  and i hate groups of any kind...


«I socialize first and last with myself»-- Groucho Marx 🤓

Sitting alone as a child in my room listening to music on my portable record player or old tube AM radio made me who I am today. And, of course, it made me a loner, someone totally self-sufficient, comfortable with my own company. Hail, hail rock-n-roll!

I almost always listen to music in solitude.

There are several reasons:

I am able to get more deeply into the music if I am alone.

I feel more free to change what I am listening to on a whim.

But mostly, because my tastes tends toward the progressive, avant-garde, intense, 'thorny' sounding. 

My wife's and my tastes overlap quite a bit. We both like standard prog quite a bit (Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, Anglagard, Echolyn, Gentle Giant, PFM, etc), but when I break out the more avant-garde stuff, I loose her (Henry Cow, Univers Zero, Thinking Plague, Art Zoyd, etc).''

She can also hang with Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report, Brand X, Return o Forever, etc. But then, when I break out progressive and avant-garde jazz (John or Alice Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Pharaoh Sanders, Thomasz Stanko, Anthony Braxton, Michael Formanek, Tim Berne, etc), she's gone. 

She also doesn't stick around with atonal classical music (Elliott Carter, Bruno Maderna, Joan Tower, Magnus Lindberg, Berg, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, etc).


I’d say what grew my interest in music was the mp3 revolution. That really opened my ears to the enjoyment of music. The hobby of collecting the best possible combo of gears at a price point just came naturally thereafter.

My first experience of a dedicated audio equipment was most likely a solitary experience.

My first experience of Live Music has been a Crowd Experience and one that proved to be a very stimulating and to be revisited occurrence. I am still quite happy to experience a Live Performance more than 40 Years on.

My interest in experiencing music on Audio Equipment run parallel with my planning to see Live Performances, where Audio Experiences were the secondary of the priorities.

Listening to Audio as a Small Group experience was quite popular as a occurrence in my Teens to Early 20's.

When I got my first home, I took investment in Audio Equipment seriously, where more monies was spent on this entertainment for a period of time than any other form of entertainment.

When first building a Audio System many periods of listening were a solitary experience or with my Partner and on occasions with a few friends.

Another period had the use of the Audio System pretty much a form of entertainment for myself, and this was a situation I did come to learn was not able to provide any form of enjoyment, as it was also a time when Audio Equipment Obsession was a very controlling element of the maintaining the interest.

Quite a few years past, I was very fortunate and changed, I restructured myself, taking on the view of the Audio Equipment being merely a Tool and a means to an end.

The end being able to listen to recorded music, what ever the chosen medium is with a embedded content.

I become actively Social around Audio Equipment and ventured out to meet others with a similar interest in the equipment and replaying recordings as my own.

I have met some who like Audio Equipment and cherish their owned recorded media. These individuals are from all walks of life are now friends and very much appreciated. 

Additionally, these friends have introduced myself to music, that I am glad to have experienced, and would most likely never have experienced it under any other circumstances.   

I have met some who are now friends, that through their Careers, have received training that enables them to be very creative with Audio Equipment, there is a pleasure in experiencing the work produced.

In more recent times, I have extended my Company that shares in listening to my home system, my Grandchildren are becoming listening companions. 

I certainly am not to return to a lone listener, until the time becomes for me, the only option.



When I'm serious about listening to my favorite music; it's by myself.  I truly enjoy how music makes me feel and where it takes me emotionally.  I love that I can change the artist or type of music on a whim without having to worry that someone else may not enjoy it or even want to hear it. 

I have friends that I discuss music and audio equipment with a lot.  When it comes to actually listening to my favorite music, it's a private affair.



I’m old enough to say, for me that was an 8 track player. Heck, I remember when there were car turntables. Those were the days. But I love being nostalgic, for our generation grew up in the age of real musicians and real music. We didn’t know we had it so good. We never thought there’d come a day when the music industry would stop producing real music. But fortunately, we can find almost anything ever produced, on vinyl. Thank goodness for vinyl!

I love this common experience of the transistor radio under the pillow, late at nite.  My grandparents bought it for me Christmas’63.  Loved it so much I actually would polish it.  Home was an unhappy place.  Grim for a 10 year old.  BUT……at nite, that happy music, the happy DJ’s.  So cool.  The world out there was calling.  I remember one nite thinking, there’s nothing wrong with me,,nothing wrong with the world out there.  Right here was bad, but this is temporary.  Part of why I’ve had a wonderful life when others didn’t.  

 I remember one nite thinking, there’s nothing wrong with me,,nothing wrong with the world out there.  Right here was bad, but this is temporary.  Part of why I’ve had a wonderful life when others didn’t.

@george53 ,

Your attitude at that young age is an inspiration. Such strength and wisdom at such a young age I am sure served you well in life. I admire your courage and hope you've led a long life filled with joy and happiness.

What a great post…and for me, alone is truly the only way to listen. Door closed, curtains closed, lights off, complete isolation. 

@mrskeptic as I have often said, music is the closest thing we have to time travel. Nothing else can actually transport you back in time and evoke so many amazing memories. For me, no other band or music brings back so many great memories like Rush does…

I need my time, and my space, and perhaps one reason I love listening to music is that it is a solitary hobby.  This was more of a need during my first unhappy marriage.  The 'problem' with being happily (re)married is that I feel guilty if I shut out my wife too much.  Fortunately we have the same musical tastes so I do a lot more listening with her as we read together