It’s been there in the back of your mind for years….you know, the itch to learn how to play music. You regret never signing up for music as a kid or worse…you dropped out after a few classes or lessons! Never fear. You CAN learn something new, but it’s not going to be easy. In the age of instant gratification, even adults are affected by the “I want it now” mantra. Unfortunately, learning happens the good ol’ fashioned way-lots of hard work and discipline. Now, it may come easier for some folks. You know those people, the ones that make some things look effortless. But, even for THOSE people, to get GOOD at something you really have to work at it.
Well, let’s move on to what you’ll need to do to get started. The FIRST thing you have to do is find a teacher. YouTube videos are great and all, but they can’t correct improper posture, hand positions, rhythms, pitches, etc. I’ve discovered that as a beginner mandolin player. Even though I am a professional musician and have a degree in music, I need the help of someone to make sure I’m doing everything ok. That’s where I am lucky because I am married to a guitarist, and he helps me with right and left hand technique. If you can’t find a local teacher, there are many available online through Skype. We here at Holly Ridge Studio offer this service!
Next, have your teacher help you invest in a decent instrument. Please don’t go scouring Ebay for the cheapest thing you can find. It will almost always backfire in the end! Find a used instrument that’s of good quality or rent one. Once, I had an orchestra student bring in a violin purchased on a popular auction/selling website that was brand new, and as soon as it was tuned, guess what? It fell apart from the tension of the strings. The instrument was made so cheaply it couldn’t even hold the regular tension of the violin strings. All of these types of instruments will be refused by instrument repair shops.
Now, the hard part! Practice. Approach practicing music like you would a new diet or exercise program. You have to be consistent! As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It will take time to develop the skills to be a proficient musician. Once these skills become habit, that’s where the real fun comes in-playing music and enjoying the payoff of your hard work!