Playing music is something that I believe everyone should do. Why? Well, studies show that people who play music are actually smarter than those who don’t. It has an effect on the brain that has been shown to help you with everything else in your life. Yet more importantly, playing music can be an incredible option for self-therapy. It’s an inexpensive way to make your life better.
In today’s article, I’m going to give you 5 simple tips that will help you learn a musical instrument much faster than you might think.
- Learn How to Practice Effectively
The number one reason why most people don’t learn a musical instrument, is because they don’t know how to practice. Practicing isn’t easy. It takes discipline and dedication. But here’s the thing…
if you’re not capable of practicing a musical instrument, you’re probably not capable of practicing anything else. This means for your entire life, you will underperform at virtually everything you do.
At the end of the day, practicing is simple. You take something you can’t do, and you start out extremely slow. You practice that thing over and over again, making sure that your attention is focused in the moment. Overtime you get better and better at it , until before you know it, you are unconsciously competent.
Now, if you’ve never practiced a musical instrument before, you need to learn how to do it. Which brings me to my next point.
- Get a Good Teacher
Thanks to YouTube and the Internet, you can learn a lot about music without ever having a teacher. But, you’ll miss the most important part. Without a teacher, you risk never learning how to practice in a way that is effective for you. In just a few lessons, a teacher can give you a practice foundation that helps you for your entire musical Life. For this reason, if you’re serious about music, get a teacher. You can find many quality teachers for as low as $20 to $30 an hour.
A great way to find a good music teacher is to simply ask people that you know are good at their instrument. If you admire someone and the way they play, ask them who their teacher was. Then you can know that you’re getting the best instruction possible.
- Believe In Yourself
This might seem kind of abstract. But the truth is, a musical instrument is not really that difficult. Most melodies are simple and can be played even by beginners. The reason why most people struggle with music is they are simply not confident. They may sit at a piano and feel nervous, not knowing what to play. Instead of trusting their ears and looking inward to see what they fill sounds good, they worry about what others will think of them instead. The truth is, some of the best and most famous musicians aren’t necessarily the most talented. Instead, they are simply the most confident in their abilities. They can get up on stage and trust their heart.
- Listen to (and Study) Music
If you think about good musicians throughout time, one name that will consistently pop up is Mozart. He was the very image of a child prodigy`. By the age of five he was already touring around Europe playing for Kings. For this reason, some people believe that Mozart was just gifted. He never had to study, and he never practiced.
Yet that couldn’t be further from the truth. Even Mozart himself said that nobody had studied the great Masters of the past as much as he did. And Joseph Haydn, himself a respectable, legendary composer, and Mozart’s teacher, said that the reason why he was such a good composer, was because of how much he listened to music.
When most people listen to music, they listened to relax and enjoy. Of course, I recommend you do this too. But, also take the time to study the music. Figure out what the writer is doing. You will find that they repeat certain sections. You will find that they take breaks or change the rhythm, to increase tension. When you really start to study music, you’ll find that it isn’t rocket science.
- Borrow Ideas From Your Favorites
“Bad artists copy. Great artists steal.” – Pablo Picasso
There’s a common misconception in the world of music then all the best musicians are totally original. In other words, everything they wrote was brand new and never written before. But when you actually start to study music, you realize this isn’t the case. In fact, virtually every famous artist copied or in some cases directly stole some of their best work.
Famously, the best-selling band Led Zeppelin stole many of their most famous songs. Even there hit “stairway to heaven”, was directly lifted from another musician. Of course, they made it their own, and their version is very far from the original. But it goes to show that when you listen to something you like you can imitate it in your own way. This will form the foundation to writing your own material in the future.
- In Conclusion
Learning music is a lifelong journey. Yet I promise you this: it is easier to get started than you think. If you can get over the initial practice hurdle, you’ll find yourself playing beautiful music. At this point you’ll gain real joy out of playing, and it will be easy to continue and get better.