It’s not possible to become a virtuoso musician overnight. Anybody who makes such a claim is not telling the full truth.
Some people are naturally gifted in ways that others aren’t, and some people may be able to pick up a few chords or notes or rhythm patterns fairly quickly. However, everybody has to aspire to greater heights and work diligently to become a well-rounded player. There is no shortcut.
However, there are some things you can do to fast-track your growth. Here are four tips for you to implement:
1. Perform More
When you book a performance for yourself, you put yourself under a healthy pressure to prepare. Live performance truly is the greatest teacher, and you will grow faster as a musician if you continually seek to engage audiences everywhere you go. One of the joys of a musician – after all – is to entertain.
Not only do you get immediate feedback from a listening crowd at a show, you are forced to commit to a list of songs and practice them until they are live-ready. You may even have to embellish your set list with additional songs or flourishes. You may have to plan for banter in between songs. Gigging can really help you to focus on what’s important and strip away the unimportant things.
2. Learn More
Get in the habit of doing more than what is required of you. In other words, if your teacher assigns you homework each week, first complete your homework and then be willing to go a step beyond. Use your own time to search up lessons and study method books. Come up with your own song and riff ideas too.
If you truly enjoy music, the extra time you invest into your growth will not seem like work at all. You will have a lot of fun delving into new concepts when you are genuinely passionate about your instrument and music in general.
3. Practice More
Practice isn’t just about quantity. If your practice routine is adequately focused, you will be able to accomplish more in less time. You won’t have to invest untold hours into repeating one musical phrase over and over.
In other words, you need to aim for quality practice whenever you sit down to play your instrument. It’s not about duration, as in a specific number of hours. It’s about becoming more conscious of your own playing.
As noted earlier, the best practice you can get is live performance. If you want to fast-track your development, make sure to get out there on a regular basis.
4. Try More
Be willing to go outside of your comfort zone to try different things. Learn new rhythmic patterns. Study different genres. Play different instruments. Try visualization techniques (i.e. imagine going through your practice routine in your head). Learn about subjects you know nothing about.
You can build your confidence as a musician when you proactively develop yourself in different ways. Increased confidence and belief in your own ability will ultimately lead to being a better player.