If you want to take your musical skills to the next level, then you need to put in the time and effort it takes to play well. It’s perfectly fine to make mistakes during the writing and recording process, but when it comes to playing live, you want to ensure your musicianship and stage presence is on point.
Whether you’ve been playing your chosen instrument for years, or you’re just getting started, no one is perfect and everyone can improve. So if you’re hoping to take that next step towards playing like a pro, or looking for new ways to hone your skills, here are our tips to help you become a better musician.
1. Know your Gear.
Before setting out on your journey of learning an instrument you should first try to see if the instrument you have in mind really is the one for you. Many people end up playing the wrong instrument simply because they never knew their perfect instrument existed. If you can, give the instrument a test play before forking out for something you don't end up playing because it just isn't comfortable! We are all completely unique and our instrument choice should reflect that.
Don't pick up the drums just because your mate did!
Once you decide which instrument suits you best it's time to study up on it.
Learn it's parts and variations. The better you know your instrument the better you can take care of it and keep playing enjoyable. You can’t produce a great sound if you don’t know the capabilities and limitations of your gear.
However, you don’t want to be an ‘all the gear, no idea’ person either.
2. Be Patient.
Perhaps the most important quality in a musician looking to perfect their skills with their instrument is patience, especially if you’re just starting out. No one becomes a virtuoso overnight, so if you hit a wall, don’t worry, take a break if you need, (anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 days) and just keep going until you get it right. You want to make sure your music practice is fun and entertaining, not frustrating and excruciating. It takes a lot of time and effort to be a truly great musician, but if you stick to it music can become a life long passion.
3. Don't be scared to ask for help or advice.
As humans we learn by looking at others and we try to imitate them, we've all done it since we were born and it seems to be one of our main ways to learn. So if you feel like you've hit a wall listen to your favourite artist for inspiration, contact another museo mate and chat with them, they may give you a fresh perspective. Or find a teacher to help give you some industry tips. A new perspective could be just the help you needed so that you can look on your instrument with fresh eyes!
4. Make mistakes!
The more you fail the more you realise it isn't a big deal! Some people even use this as a technique to improve their improvisational skills. Obviously you want to keep progressing and moving forward from your mistakes, you want to sound better as your journey progresses. But don't sweat over the mistakes. Sometimes your biggest mistakes can end up being huge successes!
5. Have fun!
If you didn't take up an instrument for the fun of it then you may need to look at your motives and see if this is really what you want to do. Music should be an enjoyable release of creativity. It should be something you tend to look forward to no matter how good or bad you sound. We can all have bad days, and music can be the soothing balm to the soul that we all need.
So no matter what you plan to do with your musical skills we encourage you to get out there and have a go!
Life is rhythm and music teaches us how to better understand that rhythm.
Have you got any tips for learning an instrument you'd like to share with us?
Let us know in the comments!
An interesting related article:
Children need art, poems and music as much as they need love and food.