A Beginner’s Guide to Learning How to Play an Instrument

You can’t play with your food, but you can play an instrument! A 2021 study of nearly 4,700 people found that playing an instrument increases intelligence by 10%. 

Yet you can’t just buy a cello and expect to become a maestro. The process of learning how to play an instrument takes time and diligence. But you can start the process right here. 

How can you familiarize yourself with music composition? What instruments can you start with? Who can you receive support from? 

Answer these questions and you can become a grade-A musician in no time. Here is your quick guide.

Listen to Different Kinds of Music

You probably listen to a lot of music already, but you should learn about other genres. Nearly every genre of music uses instruments like the guitar or piano, yet they use those instruments in different ways. Listening across genres will help you appreciate the variety of ways you can play your instrument. 

You can start by listening to the music of your favorite artists. You can then do your research and see who their influences and collaborators are. Listen to their music and keep branching out until you have a good sense of all genres. 

Learn About Reading and Writing Music

As you’re listening to your music, you should read the notes that the artists are performing. This gives you a good sense of what each note means.

To get more information, you should read guides about the meanings of musical symbols. Break down what lines, time signatures, and clefs indicate. It’s okay if you don’t know everything about them, but try to develop a basic sense of musical notation. 

You can try your hand at writing short songs. You can write lyrics separately from notes, or you can combine the two together. 

Pick a Less Complicated Instrument

A few instruments stand out as being easy instruments for a beginner player. The recorder is the first instrument that many children learn about, being taught how to play it in schools. You can figure out the basics in a few lessons and play classic songs like “Three Blind Mice.” 

The violin has no frets or keys, letting you focus on the sounds you are making. You can learn the basic technique for holding the violin and the bow in one lesson, then you can start making music. Take a look at the different types of violins and find one that appeals to you.

If you have difficulty with fine motor skills, you can try a percussion instrument. The drums, triangles, and whistles all count. They help you learn about beats, rhythms, and tempos, though you need to pick another instrument to learn about pitch.

Playing the piano will help you learn about all parts of music. You can practice songs at different tempos, pitches, and rhythms.

You should buy a beginner instrument, as it is cheaper and contains fewer parts. As you start learning to play your instrument, you can transition to a professional product.

Create a Practice Schedule

You should practice for at least one hour every day. This gives you enough time to focus on your music and study several different parts of playing an instrument. You can go as long as you want, especially if you are preparing for a performance.

Spend your first few practices getting used to holding your instrument. Experiment with what different poses feel like and how they create different sounds. You can watch videos to see how professionals hold your instrument. 

Once you know how to hold it, you can start performing songs. Keep things short and simple. Classic songs like “Mary Had a Little Lamb” may seem rudimentary, but learning them gives you the foundation you need to tackle longer songs. 

Don’t rush your practices. Wait until you have the essentials down before you move on. It’s okay to skip a practice one day so you can attend to other things, but you should try to make up for lost time at some point. 

Take Classes

You are not obligated to take classes, especially if you want to save money. However, receiving instruction from a teacher can give you guidance on what you’re doing. 

Many community centers offer classes for free or at low prices. If you don’t want to play music alongside other people, you can meet with a tutor privately. You can also take classes online.

Some classes focus on a particular type of music, like jazz. You should take these classes, but play other kinds of music when you get home. The more types you practice, the more songs you can perform.

Perform for Others

Once you’ve developed some skills in playing your instrument, you can try performing for other people. This lets you receive feedback and get more comfortable with playing for an audience. 

You can play for family members or friends. If you want to make connections with other musicians, you can join an orchestra. Joining an orchestra will also give you a set practice schedule that you have to commit to. 

Play an Instrument Today

You should play an instrument as soon as possible. But you should first get acquainted with different genres of music and learn about musical notation. 

Pick an instrument for a new player like the piano or drums. Start out with the basics, learning how to position your hands and body.

Figure out how to play basic songs, then get more complicated through time. When you need support, you can go to classes and get feedback from your friends.

You can purchase high-quality instruments without breaking the bank. Boothe Music provides great instruments for beginners. Browse our store today.

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