Seven Tips for Young Musicians
by Rodrigo Sanchez, Apr 4, 2022 . 6 min read
This list of seven tips for young musicians will help you gain perspective when starting out.
Although music can be very exciting at the beginning, it also poses some challenges. Here we´re going to give you advice that will keep things in perspective. Additionally, this list will serve as a go-to guide whenever you´re feeling a little lost. Keep in mind that no matter what, feeling a little lost from time to time is normal. The trick is to keep going and do the work even in your difficult moments. Without further ado, here is the list of seven tips for young musicians.
Practice consistently and smart
Practicing is always important, and perhaps even more so when you’re young. Here is when you´ll get a clear picture of your instrument and all the basics that go into playing it. If you want to be a good musician, you need to practice every day, or as close to that as possible.
Ideally, you should set a time and place to practice your instrument. Once you turn practice into a daily habit, it will be easier to keep at it. Make sure you set aside focused time to work on your instrument, as this is the only way to get good at it. Start small, perhaps with just 40 minutes a day, and try to increase that to two hours or more. Remember to work on things that you cannot currently play, and progress slowly and daily.
Be up to date with technology
You should have a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and be able to perform basic recording and mixing tasks on it. This does not mean that you will become an engineer or producer, but that you have a basic understanding of the recording process and how it works.
Stay on top of innovations for your instrument and your type of music, as this is crucial to remaining current and competitive. Also, check out our very own Roadie Coach. It offers personalized feedback and exercises to help you improve, as well as a great recording feature. This fantastic tool comes with an app so you can have access to a plethora of tools, hundreds of songs, and other features. Roadie Coach can be an ideal partner to track your progress and help in your journey to become a great guitarist, bassist or singer.
Be involved in group projects
Playing with other people is a crucial aspect of a musician´s training that cannot be substituted by anything else. Practicing, playing along with YouTube tracks, etc, is no subtitle to playing in a band or ensemble.
Making music with other musicians greatly develops your ears and instincts. This is because you have to really listen to what is happening around you so you can truly contribute to the music.
Even if you don’t have a band, try to jam with friends as often as possible. Additionally, try to have a friend that is better than you, as this will keep you on your toes and push you even further to become a good musician.
Learn music theory
Don’t be afraid of music theory as it can help you develop tremendously as a musician. Do not fall for that tale that is boring and too hard. Music theory will make learning how to play much more fun and easier, as you will know what you are doing and what else you can do.
You don’t have to get a Ph.D. in music theory either! Learn about how chords work, what scales are, how they relate to each other, composition, etc. Make sure you apply these concepts to your instrument as soon as possible. For instance, you can search for songs that use the flat sixth chord when you’re learning it.
Work on repertoire soon and often
Practicing scales, patterns, and chords is all good and very necessary. However, it is crucial that you start working on repertoire as soon as possible. In other words, you need to learn songs in your genre to start actually playing music. Naturally, songs beyond your genre and instrument literature are also important.
Learning songs provides you with context to apply chords, scales, patterns and more. Additionally, it develops musicality, the sense of form, and other essential musical traits needed to play.
Make sure you start with songs that are easy and that you like. A good teacher can truly help you here, as she will assess your strengths and weaknesses and be able to tell you exactly what you need to work on.
Understand that it is a journey
Becoming a good musician is a journey. Even some of the greatest musicians today still practice and strive to become even better. That is part of the immense beauty of music: you can always be better. However, keep in mind that every journey is different but they all have highs and lows. It is important that you can handle the lows, and know how to deal with the frustration that will inevitably arise at various points. Keep in mind that having bad days (or months or even years) is normal, and you can bounce back.
Music is about life
This is perhaps the most important tip in this article. Music is about expressing life. In other words, you´ve got to live to tell the tale through the music. In addition to practicing and all the other tips above, you also have to live. We want to hear what you have to say about love, pain, sorrow, etc. So make sure that there is something else in you besides just music.
This list of seven tips for young musicians can be a great starting point if you’re a beginner. Even if you have been playing for a while, it is important to keep some things in check. It is common to sometimes lose perspective and forget the important things.
These tips will hopefully help you have a comprehensive perspective of what you should be doing and what to do when you are a bit adrift. As always, remember to have fun and enjoy the process.