Whether you happen to be a total newcomer to the music world, or you are a seasoned sonic fanatic with a mighty record collection, learning a new instrument is undoubtedly an exhilarating and rewarding journey. It can be difficult to commit to learning an entirely new skill of any kind, particularly when the first few stages are so unfamiliar and require a great deal of patience.
Here are some top tips for those of you wishing to try your hand at mastering a brand-new instrument.
Seek Out Opportunities Online
One of the best parts about the music world is the passionate individuals who inhabit it. There are infinitely diverse and highly knowledgeable communities to be found throughout the online world, so do not hesitate to get involved, as this can enrich your overall experience.
Similarly, there are some superb learning platforms and advice-givers out there; all it takes is a quick Google search – check out some great saxophone tips for beginners for a superb example.
Learn From Your Favorite Songs
It can be difficult to feel excited about learning an instrument if you are made to practice songs that you do not particularly care for. Opting instead to learn your favorite songs can help you find your passion and supply you with the drive you need to continue.
Your favorite tracks will also be familiar to your ears and help you get a better understanding of the notes, which order they arrive in, and which techniques you need to develop. Muscle memory is a big part of learning to play an instrument, so if you are able to associate certain movements with segments from tunes you enjoy, you are setting yourself up nicely for the future.
Improvisation is often about confidence as much as it is theory; in fact, the idea of wrong notes might be a fallacy, so why not start messing around? This can help you get a better feel of where the notes are on your instrument, which hand positions relinquish which sound, and perhaps most importantly, which style of music you prefer to play.
A few improvisation tips worth looking at include:
- Playing to a metronome or a backing track
- Not worrying about playing wrong notes
- Exploring different time signatures and genres
- Practice, practice, practice
Don’t Skimp On The Theory
Many self-taught musicians can play their instruments like a champion, but if they have not learned the theory alongside it, they will likely reach an impenetrable ceiling. Lessons are invaluable in this regard, as they can open your mind to new possibilities and ways of learning music in the first place. Practicing your scales to cement them in your memory is exceptionally important, and after you master that, anything is possible.
Play With People Who Are Better Than You
If you are able to, play with musicians who are better than you. This gives you a level to strive for and helps you to look forward, as opposed to staying fixed in your current position. Everyone learns in their own way, and becoming a musical genius does not happen overnight, even if you’re Prince or Beethoven, so perhaps most importantly, do not give up.