Tips for Learning an Instrument

Whenever music comes up in conversation, there seems to be an instant divide between people who do and don’t class themselves as musicians. Most of the time the people who don’t class themselves as musicians mumble something along the lines of “I wish I could play an instrument”.
The truth is, that everyone can play music. We’re born with an ability to be able to recognise and copy rhythms and the ability to sing and recognise notes that sound good together. It’s just the way our minds work.

 

Instruments are so cheap now that  you can pick up a ukelele for less than £20. You can get fairly cheap instruments on sites like ebay too, although it depends what you want to learn. I’d be very surprised if you found a concert harp on there for less than a few hundred.
There are all sorts of guides out there for learning, but a lot of them seem to forget that it should be fun. Here are a few of my suggestions:
  1. MAKE USE OF FREE LEARNING MATERIALS: There are plenty of books and tutorials online. YouTube has tons of tutorials.
  2. HAVE FUN & BE CREATIVE: If formal learning isn’t your thing, just pick any instrument up, find a few notes that you like the sound of and play with patterns based on those notes. You can write whole tunes this way, and in my opinion, I’d rather you learnt to have fun with music like this than spend your time cursing yourself, just because you can’t play som complicated piano sonata.
  3. IMPROVE TECHNIQUE BY MESSING ABOUT: Practice messing with scales, arpeggios, chords etc. and build them into songs and patterns, so you don’t get  bored. See how fast you can play odd bits of folk music (they tend to have lots of fast runs of notes in them)! Eventually, you’ll get so used to where the notes are that you won’t even have to think about it.
If you can think of any other ways to learn, leave a comment and I’ll try to add it in!
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