Being a musician is AMAZING.
It’s also hard work, though.
If you only pick up your instrument once every few days, you’ll have a hard time being as good as your friend who practices daily.
But you know what? There are ways to get better over time. And from our expert sources, we’ve compiled a list for you of helpful tips and tricks.
So whether you’re a rising star or someone just picking up their first instrument, here are our top 10 tips on becoming the best musician you can be.
1) ‘EXERCISE’ DAILY
First, make sure to exercise daily. Yes, your physical health is important, but we’re talking about warm-ups with your instrument and daily practicing! Professional musicians almost always warm-up with a scale or routine set before a big show.
And practice makes perfect. Engrain those scales and songs in your head by practicing every day and setting a schedule for yourself. Once all your scales are down, you can make the exercises even more exciting, customizing it to fit your playstyle!
2) SET GOALS
Setting realistic goals is an important part of being a musician. If you’re just picking up a new instrument, your goal can be learning a new scale today or even learning a new song by the end of the week. If you’re more advanced, try a more difficult goal like adding a new part to your solo routine.
Goal setting with anything in life is a great way to feel more accomplished and have something to work towards without feeling overwhelmed in the process.
3) BE PATIENT
This one is huge! It takes a long time to get good at something, even longer to master it. Just remember: It’s ok to make mistakes and it’s ok to take a break when you get frustrated. We all hit walls and stopping points at times. So just be patient, play what you feel in your heart, and don’t give up hope.
4) FIND A TEACHER
Once you’ve decided you really want to start taking your instrument seriously, it’s time for you to get a teacher. Having someone to play to and perfect your style with is extremely helpful. Your music teacher will also be able to give you helpful tips and tricks on how he or she mastered the instrument.
And for those of you strapped for cash, YouTube has a ton of musicians offering free courses, walkthroughs, and demos!
5) KNOW YOUR INSTRUMENT
Understanding techniques and scales is one thing, but what happens when your instrument has a broken piece? When it sounds off? Make sure to take time to know and understand your instrument inside and out. Know the parts that make up your instrument and even how often you should be cleaning your instrument.
Knowing your instrument also helps you play certain songs better by knowing the best key to play them in or the best part of your instrument to play that specific song on.
6) MAKE SURE YOU’RE IN THE RIGHT KEY
Knowing which key you’re in is essential to mastering songs, playing with others, and even when improvising. Remember to practice your daily scales and to continue learning more scales since each one focuses on a specific key. The more scales you know, the better you’ll be able to know when you’re in the right key and when you’re not.
7) HAVE A JAM SESSION
Now that you know your instrument inside and out, you practice daily and know what key you’re in, it’s the perfect time to organize a jam session with some friends! One of the most fun parts of being a musician is playing with others and hearing multiple different instruments coming together to produce a harmonic sound.
If you don’t have any friends that are musicians, set up an ad on craigslist, post in meetup, or even hit up some local bars and talk to the musicians after their sets. Playing music with others is a great way to receive constructive feedback and grow as a musician.
8) USE ONLINE RESOURCES
There are so many online resources available that some are saying this is the easiest time to learn new music and master songs than ever before. You can look up tabs for almost any song you can think of, find a video on how to best play that song, and even put other instruments in as background music while you’re recording.
9) STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
If you want to grow as a musician, and even as a person, it’s important to step out of your comfort zone once in a while.
Whether this means playing a song that is way different than your preferred style or even just playing live with others, stepping out of your comfort zone is a great way to progress.
10) HAVE FUN!
And lastly, have fun! Being a musician can get frustrating at times but it’s also important to remember what got you into playing music in the first place. You never want practicing or rehearsing to become a chore. So take breaks when needed, listen to others for inspiration, and have a blast playing your favorite instrument and rocking out to your favorite songs.