Becoming a better musician doesn’t mean sitting around listening to recorded music, reading music blogs and swapping concert stories over a round of beers. Rather, the path to becoming a better musician is one of focus, determination, and practice. It’s easy to think and talk about music, but in reality, the musician who takes professional guitar lessons and practices 3-4 hours a day will eventually get the better gigs over the player that’s only on the game once a week.
So how can you get that gut-level determination moving to be a better musician? It’s time to learn the key essentials necessary for the task.
1) Write Down Your Goals: What do you want to do with your burgeoning musical talent? It’s important to have a clear idea of your goal as it evolves. Maybe you just started out learning guitar to play a few classic rock songs with your dad. Then, as you got better, you wanted to learn more guitar chords and start to write songs. Now perhaps you’ve succeeded in writing songs – do you want to learn how to record these songs?
All of these goals add up. As you progress, so do our goals. However, it’s important that you have a bigger vision of where your musical ability can take you. Is your goal to be in a touring band? Or do you want to work in a teaching capacity for helping others learn what you have? Write down your goals from time to time, reflect on where you’re at with your goals, and figure out next steps in getting to where you want to go.
2) Practice with a Metronome or drum machine: You may think you’re a pretty good rhythm player who stays in time well, but it’s a blast to your ears when you hear yourself playing back in less than perfect rhythm. Try practicing your songs with a drum machine or metronome. You can find both of these tools free on the web. (here’s one)
3) Get Professional Music Lessons: You might think you’ve gotten all the practice and lessons that you need to get rolling, but it’s not true. Having a great guitar instructor will make a big impact on your overall musicianship and teach you patterns and ways to play that you’ve not thought about earlier. And like a health fitness trainer, your guitar instructor will push and inspire you to take your playing to higher levels of quality. He may even introduce you to new tools and gadgets that fit your style of playing. After a few months, you’ll be amazed at your new ability.
4) Practice Whenever You Can: This is the most important ingredient in the whole mystery of music playing – it’s called practice. Be consistent in your approach to your instrument. If you are alert and focused during the daytime, find time during the day to practice your playing then. You might even find part-time musicians to help practice with you. Make consistency your standard and hard work your focus. After a while, you’ll be getting much better as a player, and new opportunities will start opening up for you with bands, performances, stand-in slots and more. And the magical part is – it won’t seem like work. It’ll be fun, having the chance to make music and play it with your own talents while hopefully earning money and credits along the way.
At Scottsdale Music Academy, we take practice seriously. You’ll often find our instructors there working on areas that they need help on. We want our students to take our lessons and grow their musical abilities. If you’re interested in getting better on a particular instrument, call us in Scottsdale, AZ on 602-751-3527 for a free lesson and intro tour. We’re Scottsdale’s leading music instruction academy in Scottsdale, conveniently located near the Scottsdale Airpark and between Scottsdale Road and Hayden Road.