Tips for Learning an Instrument

Learning an instrument is a valuable hobby to have not only for entertainment purposes, but also to help train your mind to be flexible and receptive to new skills. Often, the most beneficial aspect of the journey is understanding work involved in the process. The successes of this process depends on your ability to train your ears and coordinate your fingers to work together. Whatever skill level you end up obtaining remember that getting started is the hardest part of the process. Here are some tips for easing you into the routine when learning a new instrument. Remember to have fun and take breaks when you become frustrated.

Create a Routine
Remember when you attended elementary school and you had to attend it everyday? Well, you are going to need a less intense routine when beginning to test your skills on a new instrument. Devise a schedule that outlines periods throughout the week that you plan to devote to learning the instrument. Make sure you follow through with the plans as well as use the entire time to practice. Ideally these should last from 1 to 1.5hrs per session. You want enough time to keep your mind fresh and not too much to cause discouragement. Remember, the initial first couple of sessions that you practice will be all about developing a “feel” for the instrument. They will most likely be quite frustrating.

Tutor
At one point or another you will need to hire the services of a tutor. While you can get the music theory from a book, there are certain techniques that only a trained professional will be able to help you with. Finding one that fits your budget can be a problem, but first consider searching out friends that play the same instrument and ask them for pointers. Later on, find a professional and book 2 to 3 sessions to fine tune some of the skills you developed.

Don’t Over Practice
As enthusiastic as you are about learning a new instrument, don’t over practice and give yourself regular breaks. Whenever you feel like you’ve hit a wall in your practice sessions, take a break and come back to it later. Sometimes you just need to allow time for your mind to relax before you return.

Play With Friends
Maybe create a band or have regular jam sessions with other friends. This will help you to train your ear and learn how to play with others successfully. Being around music constantly is also a good way to keep you inspired. Also, music is a universal language and although no one else may share the same instrument as you, they can often read the music and help you to understand what each note is.