On the surface hearing and listening can seem at first to be the exact same thing, but one can hear a conversation taking place, or a song being played over an in house audio system and not necessarily be listening to either one.
Where playing music is concerned it is extremely important to not just hear what is being played, but to listen intently, and this applies whether one is going it alone, playing in a duet, or playing in a larger group setting.
For example, in music each chord progression or arpeggiated phrase/riff is played a certain number of times and then it either goes in a new direction, or it may return back to the original pattern that took place at the beginning of the song/piece of music, which is up to the discretion of whoever wrote the song/music.
Be sure that as you are working towards improving your technical skill that you don’t neglect working to gain proficiency at listening to what you or someone else is playing, which incorporates aspects of basic counting and ear training. If one has never received instruction with regards to basic counting and ear training, it is never too late to add these abilities to your skill set.
So, how do I go about doing this? You might ask. During your lessons a teacher can play one note or chord at a time slowly enough for you to be able to catch on to the particular pattern being played and gradually move forward into chord progressions and phrases/riffs. During personal practice time you can record yourself playing one note or chord at a time using an app from your smartphone, and as you gain proficiency you can either add more notes or chords, or start trying to play some patterns that either you or your teacher have come up with.
So, keep LISTENING and make the necessary adjustments. Practice makes perfect!