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How to find motivation to practice your instrument

by Carlton Whitfield. Published Tue 16 Jun 2020 16:35

Many of us want to learn to play an instrument. It’s an engaging hobby that can be very fun and rewarding. Plus, it’s a cool skill to show off to others.

Once you set out to learn an instrument, it would be nice to instantly become a master. But the truth is, you have to practice to be a good player.

Finding the motivation to practice can be difficult. Our busy schedules tend to get in the way. Plus, the frustration of learning something new can serve as a major obstacle.

Here are some of the best ways you can stay motivated to practice your instrument.

Set Goals

When you blindly start playing, you aren’t working towards anything. Clarify what you’re trying to accomplish by setting goals. Start with micro-goals and work your way up to more overarching goals.

For instance, before learning a whole song, tell yourself you will master the first chord in the song. Practice this chord until you can play it in your sleep. Then, learn the next chord. By slowly working up to the whole song, learning to play is much more manageable.

Upgrade Your Gear

Some musicians go “gear crazy.” They spend hundreds of dollars on high-end gear, thinking it will make them better.

You should realize that the best gear won’t make you a better player. But, consider rewarding yourself every once in a while. Especially when you hit a major milestone.

Treat yourself with a new amp, gig bag, or new snare drums at DCP to encourage you to keep pushing forward.

Make Practicing Comfortable

Again, you don’t need the best instruments out there. But what you have should be comfortable to play. Otherwise, you’ll be dreading practice time.

For instance, a guitar that is misaligned could make it difficult to practice barre chords. It would be a good idea to take it to a local shop. A simple adjustment will make it much more comfortable to hold and have you looking forward to practice.

Find a Teacher

In today’s world, it’s easier than ever to learn an instrument. There are countless online video tutorials, music scores, and other resources to help you learn.

However, an in-person music teacher might just be the motivation you need. For one, you’re paying for lessons and want to see results.

A teacher will also give you a structured lesson plan. They’ll hold you accountable for doing drills, scales, and other more monotonous parts of practicing.

Find Friends

If you don’t want to pay for a music teacher, find friends that share your passion! Schedule times where you can practice together. Learn your favorite songs and do duets together.

Jamming with friends is a great way to stay motivated. You hold each other accountable and have fun while doing it! You may even learn new things from one another or adapt a new musical perspective.

Don’t Burn Yourself Out

Practice is important, but there is such a thing as TOO much practice.

When you play for too long, you burn yourself out. You might even overextend your fingers, strain your vocal cords, etc.

And, when you force yourself to play a lot, you’ll be dreading practice time. Take breaks as needed, and make sure you’re actually enjoying yourself.

Remember Why You Started Playing

If all else fails, remember why you started playing. Is it because you wanted to learn your favorite songs? Jam with friends? Write your own music? Going back to your roots will remind you of your goals and motivate you to work towards them.

Bottom Line

Whether it’s because of a busy schedule or frustration, getting yourself to practice can be difficult. But remember that it should be fun! Hopefully, these tips will give you the motivation you need to play regularly.


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