I always say…
“if you want to know how your music is landing, watch how people dance to it.”
For me - and I wish it was this way for more people - music is fundamentally a physical experience. It's movement.
Pay zero attention to what other musicians say about it, because what musicians might hear with their heads and hearts a dancer will hear with their entire body.
(Goes without saying: if no one is dancing then you have some work to do.)
But there's also movement *within* the music.
I experience movement inside of the Bach cello suites, so much that if I'm ever picking up a new instrument (cello, guitar, bass or piano or whatever) the first thing I do is play a bit of Bach on it.
And not because I like the music either, I'm actually kind of tired of it by now. But that's where my music muscle memory lives so here we go.
That's the place to connect the well-established moves I already know to these new movements my body will need to execute on a new rig. I make the links while fishing for the inherent sounds in the object.
It takes time, but a sense of musical gestures and movement is where it starts for me.
When I get those happening, the rest of the music follows.
Love to your ears,