Developing Your Musical Ability

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Most people will go through some kind of a phase of wanting to learn an instrument or be a bit more musical. And while for many people it will always be a phase, for others it will turn into a lifelong passion. The thing about anything creative like making music is that there is no end to how good you can get at it. The more you practise, the better you will get, and it might be years from now and you will still be improving, as long as you are still working at it. But the question is: what can you do to really develop your ability in a powerful way, and quickly? In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the ways in which you might choose to develop your musical ability, and so get more out of the whole musical experience.

Start Off With One Instrument

It can be very tempting to want to learn many instruments at once, and while you will certainly find there is nothing stopping you ultimately learning many instruments, you will probably want to focus on learning one at a time. That will mean that you can put much more effort into the one you are learning, and you will come out the other side of learning that instrument with a much better ability overall, and a better sense of how to learn an instrument thoroughly. So it is a good idea to pick one instrument that you would like to learn first. Of course, it should be something that you confidently feel you will enjoy, and which you think you will probably be good at. As long as you manage to find something, you should then be able to put your all into that one thing, and that will be much better for you than learning many different instruments at once.

Find a Good Teacher

Most of the best musicians did have good teachers, and while it is possible to learn on your own most people will learn much more effectively with the assistance and encouragement of a teacher who really knows what they are doing. It doesn’t matter whether you are keen on taking guitar lessons or piano lessons, you need to spend some time finding a good teacher. It might even be the case that you switch a couple of times throughout your life; this can happen because you move home, or just because you develop beyond what a particular teacher can give you. But for now, focus on finding one teacher who you feel you will be able to learn a lot from.

Person playing sunburst finish electric bass

There are so many great qualities that the best teachers have. You will need to get on with them and to find their company enjoyable, most of all, so that means that you need to think about trialling with them first. Most teachers will often one session free or at a reduced price, and it is certainly worth taking advantage of that to see whether you feel you can work with them. If you can, then that might be the right person for you. But you should also be sure to check things like local reviews to make sure  that you are not going to be wasting your time with that person. If you can find a good teacher, you are going to feel that you are much more likely to succeed with learning your instrument well.

Practice

It is worth mentioning at some point just how important practice is. There can often be a tendency amongst newbies to overlook or downplay the value of practice. This might be because they feel there is such a thing as natural talent that one either has or does not have. Or it might just be a kind of laziness masquerading as something else. Whatever it is, you need to be sure to do away with such ideas. The only way that anybody gets good at anything is by practising it, so you need to make sure that you are not too proud to put plenty of effort into your own practice. This is always going to be important, and there will never be an end to your need to practice, so make sure that you get into the habit of really enjoying it from the start. After all, if you are not enjoying it, then what is the point?

Developing Your Musical Ability 1

Play With Others

At some point or another, you are going to want to start playing with other people. Playing solo is one thing, but it is when you start to play with others that you really get a sense of what you need to do in a musical situation to improve greatly. There can be many situations in which you are able to play with other people. It might be that you set up a small local band and start jamming together, or even covering old songs. Or it could just be you and one other person working together, just enjoying making sounds in a way that no two other people really can. The more you play with others, the more you will develop some interesting and important skills that all good musicians should have. Most notably, it will give you the chance to be able to develop your listening skills, and to work out how to play in a group with others, which is something that most musicians will need to learn to do at some point.

Girl listening to music on earphones

Listen to All Kinds Of Music

If there is any skill that you want to try and develop, then you need to spend a lot of time watching other people partake in that skill. Again, you can’t learn in the dark or on your own – you are automatically part of a tradition, sometimes a series of traditions, and you need to show them some respect. It is just a fact that everyone gets where they want to go by studying those who came before and then trying to improve upon them. That is true of poets, painters and carpenters – and it is certainly true of musicians.

So you need to spend plenty of time listening to other musicians. Listen to as many as you can, of as many different kinds as you can. If you find a particular style, genre or artist that you particularly resonate with, then go deep into that thing, and really study how it actually works. Spend as long as you need to get to grips with how those specific musicians do what they do. This is going to be one of the best things you can do for your own development of skills, so it is something you should not overlook.

Perform

At some point, you will probably want to think about performing. Not all musicians perform, but it is something that can really help you to develop your musical skills in a way that you just can’t if you don’t have the opportunity to perform anywhere. It doesn’t matter where you go to perform – the important thing is that you are doing it as often as you can, or at least as often as you personally want to. Performing has a way of helping you to solidify many of the skills that you are learning away from the stage, and that is true even if you are just playing in open mic nights in small pubs. Start performing, and see where it takes you and your ability.

If you can focus on all these, you should be a much more talented musician in no time.


Image Credits: Snapwire, Pexels, Josh Sorenson, Marcelo Chagas

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