Being a good musician is not something that is achieved overnight, not even with a degree. Every day you can take a step forward on the path of being a better musician. In this article, I will tell you 5 keys to achieving it.
The most important thing when we make music is to convey feelings, emotions, or sensations. Music is a means of expression through sounds.
It is not enough just to play rhythms or notes, that’s what computers are for. We must transmit our feelings and connect with the soul of the people who listen to us.
A practical exercise to develop this spiritual connection is to play with your eyes closed. When we close our eyes, our hearing sharpens, and we focus more on the sound. We have no external visual distractions. I recommend that you try it with your favorite songs. Turn on the horns, take your instrument and play freely with your eyes closed. You will see how you connect in a special way with the music you like the most.
Study And Understand The Theory
Playing by ear is very beautiful, but it is more beautiful when you understand what you are playing. There is a saying out there that says: “you cannot love what you do not know” … It also applies to music.
Music theory is essential if we want to understand what we are playing. The music is made based on patterns, be it rhythmic, melodic, harmonic and of form, ranging from the simple to the complex.
Therefore, when playing, it is super important to have knowledge of these structures and patterns, to have a mental order that allows us to interpret the piece in the best possible way, either by ear or through a score.
If you have never studied music theory, you can start with this article: How to learn to read sheet music – Part 1. I also recommend this page: theory.com, where you have explanations and interactive exercises to practice. If you want a more complete course, to start studying from scratch, I recommend the theory and music theory course at tuescuelavirtual.com.
Develop Internal Rhythm
Every musician, regardless of the instrument he plays, must have a rhythm. It is a must. A musician without rhythm can play notes, but they would not be understandable. Rhythm is the basis of music.
To improve our rhythm there are several alternatives: practicing with the metronome, taking dance classes, playing the scales with different rhythms, and learning percussion. I, in particular, have tried all of them, and I tell you properly that they work.
This point has to do with point number two: learn the theory. The next step after learning music theory is to practice reading scores with the instrument. For this there are no secrets, what you need is practice.
The ideal is to practice every day. You can search for easy scores on the internet, and then you try harder ones. The goal is for you to be able to read fluently.
It’s very similar to the process when we first learned to read, remember? Letters first, then syllables, then sentences, paragraphs, and longer texts. When I was a child, my mother used to read the signs on the highways, the billboards, the magazines.
When we are learning to read we are exposed to reading on a daily basis, and so it should be with reading scores. It takes a while to learn to read fluently, fluently, without interruptions, but if you’ve already done it with the letters, you can also do it with the notes. Yes, it is possible, you just have to be patient and constant.
Take On New Challenges Every Day
Life without challenges is meaningless. When you achieve a goal there is always another one higher that you want to achieve.
So it is with music. Technique in the instrument, theory, improvisation, new songs, new exercises …
A good musician is constantly learning. There is always something new to learn and that learning lasts a lifetime. The idea of taking on new challenges is always to raise the level, overcome obstacles, grow and be better musicians every day.
If you already learned the scales, increase the speed, if you can already play them fast, try another rhythm. If you already learned that song that you liked so much, find another one and practice until you have mastered it.
If there is something that seems too difficult, just put it on the list and start practicing now. Practice every day, and when you do, you will laugh at yourself when you thought it was impossible.
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