It can be a challenging road to take when you decide to pick up an instrument, but perfecting your craft is possible. Here are time-tested tips to help you become a better musician:
1. Turn off the tube
Televisions are often left turned on for background noise. The sounds coming off from it lessens your focus even when you are not watching. Try turning it off and feel how much more it helps in maintaining your attention.
2. Get started!
Take it one step at a time. When you look at what you are about to do all at once, you may feel like it’s not possible and you will lose your drive. Start by actually taking the first step and continue slowly forward.
3. List it down
Maintain your notes in an orderly manner. When your things are all over the place, it can cause you to get disoriented. Keep all your songs compiled, and then you can list them alphabetically.
4. Compile your songs
Download the songs you want to study from streaming sites, iTunes, or from your music library. Keeping them all in one playlist will help you in your learning.
5. Familiarize with your playlist
You can retain the songs you compiled by listening to them regularly. Some of those songs may be familiar to you while some are entirely new. Take the time to listen; hold yourself from singing along or practicing. You will discover new things from the songs you know and get to know more the ones that are new. Listening and just feeling the songs have a significant impact on your memory which will make learning them more manageable.
6. First things first
Number the songs in order of what you want to study first. You can start with the harder ones, or you can go with the simpler ones. You will decide the way it’s going to go. Think about how you want to do the process before starting out.
7. Practice along with the music
After having your game plan locked down, go and play along with songs. Just have fun with it and feel the rhythm. Don’t go too hard on yourself because you will not be perfect at it the first time. Start with gaining experience in playing and things will get more at ease along the way.
8. Focus on one song each time
Take it easy and start with the first song on your list. Do not tackle everything all at the same time. It will make learning tasks seem less daunting if you do it this way. When you feel like you’ve perfected the first, then it’s time to move on to the next.
9. Take note of the keys
When dealing with an instrument that uses keys like the piano, it is good advice to write them down, which you basically learn in lessons from MusicToYourHome.com. Put it beside the song title so that you will remember them. It will help you especially with the “strange” ones in your playlist.
10. Mark off what is done
After finishing a song, check off or highlight it to indicate that you are done with it. It will help you push through when you can see the progress you’ve made since you started. Lists are made to be knocked off one task at a time, so keep going.
11. Write things down
Aside from the keys of each song, you can jot down short notes about that particular song that you want to remember. Writing helps you not to forget quickly. You can include things such as specific breaks, time signature, or the starting instrument. You can make your legends and codes to make it simple.
There are more ways to speed up the way you learn new songs especially if you are having a hard time with just listening to them.
12. Make your personal chart
Chart the songs the way you’re comfortable with and place them in one notebook. You can keep them simple, or you can add other things that will help you understand. Make them easily accessible by arranging them alphabetically especially if you need to remember a lot of songs.
13. Isolate the tracks
Songs are usually recorded with several instruments playing at the same time, or are remixed. To help you understand the song more, you can search the version of the song with your instrument isolated.
14. Learn through tutorials
You can watch other musicians play by searching for audio or video tutorials. See things differently and learn more by how others play the song you’re trying to learn. One can also check out if you are doing it right and if you’re playing it correctly.
15. Watch the artist’s live performance videos
You can see a different version of the song from the studio version and how your instrument is being played. You can also get ideas that you can use during your performance.
16. Go over it again
Review your work to see your changes and to improve further. You will learn more about playing when you keep track of how you play a song each time.
These are some of the things that can help you improve with your instrument study. Try them and for sure, you will see positive changes with your training.