When you’re just beginning to learn a new instrument, the sheer number of chords, scales, and songs to learn can feel overwhelming.
In this post, we’ll look at a few key tips that you can integrate into your practice routine and find the best way to improve in the shortest amount of time.
Break The Song Down Into Short Passages or Licks
If you’re working on a piece, this often means practicing the piece in small segments, perhaps as little as two to four measures at a time, rather than attempt to constantly play through the whole song and wind up frustrating yourself, and failing to make significant progress towards your goal.
The secret that all professional musicians share is their ability to do this, and break apart a piece of music in order to learn each part well, then put it back together to play the entire piece effortlessly.
Learn Common Chords and Scales First
Before you can recognize patterns (see below), it helps if you take the time to really master the most common scales and chords first.
While you do eventually want to learn to play fluidly in all twelve keys, I’m a firm believer that before you can do that, you need to be able to play really well in two or three keys first.
That means mastering basic scale and chord patterns. Click here to learn the most common acoustic guitar chords.
Find Common Musical Patterns
Another trait many musicians share is that they are constantly looking for common patterns that they have already learned.
If you are just starting out and working on your first piece, you might not be ready to see the beauty of this trick just yet, but trust me, it’s just around the corner.
Most Western music breaks down into one of several common patterns. Those patterns apply to everything from the chord progression used to the integration of different scales and arpeggios into melodic lines.
The more you play, the more you’ll begin to see and hear these common musical elements in your piece, and will be able to more quickly master the task at hand.