Learning a new instrument is a lot of fun. It's great to acquire a new skill and hobby, and so many of us around the world connect with music, whether it be through singing or playing an instrument. It has a way of expressing our emotions when words don't seem to fit our feelings.
But many of us forget that picking up an instrument takes immense skill. And learning a new one can take time. So do yourself a favor and note that these are some things not to do while learning a new instrument.
Criticize Yourself For Mistakes
Have you ever heard someone sing off-key or play the wrong chord? Of course, you have it doesn't some pretty. But even the best musicians make mistakes. Just like the best athletes in the world make mistakes. It's a part of the process, and when learning something new, chances are you are going to make a lot of mistakes.
With learning a new instrument, the mistakes are seemingly louder. So it's easy for us to criticize just how bad we sound. Know that mistakes are going to be a part of your process; in the beginning, you shouldn't beat yourself up for them.
Expect Yourself To Play Well
Just like you shouldn't beat yourself up for making mistakes, you should also have some realistic expectations. If you are completely new to music, then learning to read music will be a task. But many people think that when they pick up an instrument, they can play their favorite songs.
You need to give yourself some time to learn some of the most basic chords, notes, and easy songs before you can move on to some of your favorite hits. Even if you can read music, you'll need to learn the hand motions and get comfortable with the rhythm of playing a new instrument.
Go At It Alone All The Time
Teaching yourself anything is not easy. Teaching yourself an instrument can be particularly hard. If you have the opportunity to take lessons from a professional or someone who has the ability to teach your instrument do so! Practicing alone is great, but someone who has experience may be able to give you the tips and tricks you need to learn faster or maybe even with proper technique.
The best thing about technology is that you don't necessarily have to always learn in person. There is a number of online content in many different genres teaching musical instruments. For instance, you can take up professional drum lessons online or in-person. You may even find a handful of free content on sites like YouTube if you are working with a budget .
Leave Too Much Time Between Sessions
While you shouldn't rush the process or burn yourself out too quickly, it is equally important not to leave too much time between your sessions. A lot of learning will be with muscle memory as well as just memory in general. So, in this case, practice does make perfect. When you leave too much time in between sessions, it will feel like you are starting from scratch each time. Practicing a few times a week is recommended when picking up a new instrument.
Don’t Be Afraid of Repetition
There is repetition when it comes to how much you should be practicing, and then there is repetition with what you are practicing. Because it is a lot of muscle memory, it doesn't hurt to go over the same note, chord, or song many times. If you are trying to learn too many things at once, then it can be difficult to learn. Instead, choose something and focus on it.
It's natural to feel like it may be boring in the beginning, but ultimately, you can't start doing expert stuff until you master the basics. And it will actually help you learn the instrument faster if you can conquer one area at a time.
Don’t Be Afraid To Explore
OK, now it's time to give you the complete opposite advice. When you are done mastering the basics, don't be afraid to explore the instrument on your own. Play around with different sounds, even if it sounds completely awful to your ears.
This is one of the best ways to learn, so dedicate some time to this at the end of your sessions. This is how musicians create the best music. In fact, sometimes mistakes end up being the best part of a song that a musician will write. As you get better, this part will be more fun.
Give Up Easily
In the beginning, it's going to be hard. You may get bored and want to give up if you aren't getting the hang of something right off the bat. Part of picking up a new instrument is enjoying the process, but not all processes are fun. Sticking with it to give yourself time to enjoy playing an instrument is always a good idea.
If the instrument is still not clicking after a few months of trying it, then you can move on to a new instrument. Not all instruments are going to be fun for everyone. Some people love the guitar and hate the piano. Sometimes it's completely the opposite.
You have to give yourself plenty of time with a lot of room for patience when picking up a new instrument. This is the most important rule that everyone should remember.