1. Find a Qualified Instructor
This isn’t just about finding a professional teacher. This is also about finding the right fit.
For example, an instrument like the guitar can be adapted to so many different styles that there is no single person on this planet that knows everything there is to know about the instrument. This is often the case with other instruments as well.
In addition to varying levels of expertise, different teachers have different temperaments. You may get along with one, while you may have a hard time relating to another. Make sure to find the right teacher for you.
2. Eliminate Distractions
Taking in-store lessons allows you to get away from various distractions that you might find at home like pets, TVs or computers.
If you are taking lessons at home, try to find a way to get away from distractions during your practice session. If possible, set aside a specific room in your home for practice, and keep it in good order.
Eliminating distractions will make your practice sessions much more productive.
There are studies showing that reviewing the material you covered with your teacher within 24 hours allows you to reinforce it. You will thereby increase your chances of remembering what your teacher showed you.
Every time you have a lesson, make sure to review the new concepts your teacher covered with you within 24 hours, if not the same day.
You can’t make much progress without practicing, so it serves to reason that you’re going to need to take some time to practice between lessons.
It’s a good idea to schedule practice time in your day like you would anything else. A little bit of daily consistent effort is better than a lot of sporadic and inconsistent effort.
In addition, don’t be afraid to repeat the same exercises, scales, chords, rhythm patterns or musical phrases over and over. Repetition is usually a necessary part of mastery.
5. Create a Reward
Reward yourself every time you practice, or every time you reach a specific goal.
It’s important to celebrate your progress, and giving yourself a reward will reinforce good habits. Just be careful not to overspend on rewards.
6. Use a Good Instrument
As a beginner, there is nothing more discouraging than trying to play an instrument that’s out of tune or hard to play. If possible, enlist the help of a professional. Have them take a look at your instrument. They can probably advise you as to whether they can set it up for you at a minimal charge, or if you should simply replace the instrument with a different one.