There is no barrier in age, creed, caste, class or socio-economic status of a person when it comes to learning. If you wish, you can start learning at a ripe age. There are many renowned authors who started writing after fifty. Similarly, there are artists whose careers began after thirty. All you need is courage and motivation. If you have both, then we have some cool tips on how to learn music.
Tips on how to Learn Music as an Adult
As an adult, you have the perks of being perceptive. If you are determined to begin a musical career in your thirties, you have to have a different approach in comparison to teenagers.
As an adult, you must realize that you have a relatively shorter time at your disposal to hone musical skills. Thus, contemplate deeply before you jump to music lessons. Think about what is your strength? Which part of music draws you? Is it singing or an instrument? If an instrument, then which instrument do you enjoy the most? Once these aspects are clear to you, you can choose wisely.
It is understandable that you would like to rush through the music lessons to make up for the age. But this is not the correct approach. Once you think about how to learn music, think on smaller scales. Set goals that are achievable, because accomplishments give you satisfaction, it motivates you. Therefore, set smaller goals. Try to grasp a particular chord and ‘master’ it within a timeframe rather than trying to ‘know’ multiple chords at a time.
This is an aspect that stands true to all learners, irrespective of age. There is no shortcut to success. You must practice and practice dedicatedly. However, focus on smart practice, not hard practice. Hours and hours of practice won’t guarantee you success, smart practice will. Therefore, when you sit to practice, set a goal for the day, try to achieve it and then pat your back. Don’t overdo things.
Chunk is a section of music that we were talking about in the last point. If you are trying to pick a song on guitar, break the song into sections – let’s say prelude, interlude, and coda. Try to pick the first chunk that is the prelude on the first day. Take up the following sections sequentially. Once you think that you can play three sections perfectly, try playing them all together. But don’t try to pick up the entire song on the very first go.
When you are going through your learning curve, you have to be patient. We tend to imagine the bigger picture beforehand. As a result, we push ourselves unnecessarily. For instance, if you are trying to perfect the E-minor scale, put your focus on E-minor and don’t think of E-major. You will learn and master E-major eventually. Just give it some more time.
This is indeed a significant part of your practice session. Record your music religiously. This is not a narcissist affair, but a proven method to improve yourself. Try to figure out your weaknesses while you listen to your recording and work on them. Rectify the errors and re-record them. This is a process that will help you immensely to improve in a shorter period of time.
You may be addicted to hard rock or soft pop, but it should never disallow you to listen to folk songs. All in all, you should not restrict your exposure to a smaller periphery. Listen to a lot of music and try to improvise them, implement them. It will help you grow as a complete artist.
There are many musical theories and techniques and probably if you start reading all of them you will need at least three lives to complete them. Therefore, know the key musical periods or the main techniques. Make a list of them and keep ticking them. The knowledge will come in handy at the advanced level.
Be open to feedback. Seek feedback from veteran artists, experts and those who are honest to your efforts. You would not succeed overnight and the constructive criticisms will pave the way for excellence. And above all, when it comes to how to learn music, remember that you are the biggest critic of your music!
So, if you think it is too late to learn, remember, your hobby and passion isn’t timebound. You can start learning it as soon as you realise.