Learning How to Play a Musical Instrument?

Published on 28 March 2024 at 18:54



Here Are Some Basic Practicing Habits That Make a Big Difference.

Good practicing habits are vital to progress in music. Mastering an instrument depends on the quality of your practice time. If your practicing habits do not have the desired effect on your performance, it is essential to revisit your goals. You can follow some basic principles to acquire the optimum results from your practice time.

All instrumentalists face different challenges when learning a particular instrument. String players must train their muscles for agility, and woodwind and brass players must know how to use their breathing appropriately. However, the following are basic recommendations for improving your practice time, which I have implemented throughout my many years of studying and playing the cello. 


  • Practice daily, even if you start with 30 minutes. Commit to increasing this time daily or weekly, depending on your schedule and level of playing. Beginning a two-hour schedule without gradually building up to it is not beneficial. Consult your teacher regularly about the length of your practice time, which depends on your age and level of playing. 
  • Be consistent in your efforts. Continue practicing daily even when positive changes are not noticeable in your playing. You will reap the benefits of your hard work in time; therefore, be patient. Treat your progress as a journey you are undertaking. 


  • Start your practice with warm-up exercises. Play your scales and etudes before proceeding to your beloved sonata or concerto. Avoid starting your repertoire immediately or playing fast passages without a proper warm-up. 


  • Relax your mind and body. Make a mental effort to remain calm and collected. Check yourself frequently to make sure that there is no tension in your body. Sometimes, when we are anxious to get a specific result, we don't notice how our bodies respond during practice. 


  • If you feel pain or discomfort during practice, stop playing momentarily and release any tension. If you choose to continue, become aware of your comfort level. Check your posture and how you hold your instrument, and then continue practicing. If the problem or discomfort persists, discuss it with your teacher at your next lesson. An instructor can advise you on how to correct the issue.


  • Repetition is a critical component in the development of good practicing habits. That said, be constantly mindful to repeat the problematic passages correctly. Repeating a particular phrase in this manner will reinforce the wrong habit. Therefore, when you encounter a problem while playing a phrase, stop and correct it first, then practice the correct version.


  • Practicing your instrument should be an enjoyable activity. Keep your focus while playing and listen to the sounds you are making through your instrument with a joyful heart. Choose a time of day when you feel the most comfortable playing. 


How do you practice on your instrument? Do you have a particular routine? Please write your comments below. 

Image by Ariella Kouyoumdjian

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