How to Keep Yourself Motivated When Starting to Learn to Play

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author.maryjames April 04, 2013
 
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It can be very frustrating when you first start to play an instrument - your initial enthusiasm for it can quickly fade when you find that you’re struggling to master even the most basic chords or finger positions. At the same time, you may start to lose interest if you cannot commit enough time per day to practicing. Some people might just learn a small amount, and then get overwhelmed by the prospect of continuing. So, then, how can you keep yourself motivated when these hurdles start to appear?

It’s important to accept early difficulties; very few people can just pick up a new instrument and start playing, and you should see learning it as a long term, gradual process that’s going to have problems. Don’t just assume that things will come naturally if you’ve had success with another instrument, and try to focus on the basics. Keeping this simple will make it easier to set yourself realistic goals without putting too much pressure on yourself.Make sure that you get the right tuition, as this will make a big difference as to how motivated you can be. A good music teacher will understand the difficulties faced by different students, and should be able to provide you with instructions on what to focus on, as well as some clear goals that you can work towards; teachers can similarly act as a sounding board for your problems, and someone to criticise you when your effort starts to flag between lessons. Another good way to try to motivate yourself is to record your playing, and to set yourself the goal of playing for a small audience; listening back to yourself can be a great confidence booster, and can help you to identify things that you need to work on. The pressure of performing for a few friends (not necessarily in public), can also give you the motivation to master, or at least try to, one song or scale. Always remember, though, to pace yourself, as no one can master an instrument in a few weeks. Work your practices into every day, and set aside time when you’re in a positive mood, and not too tired to practice. Don’t be tempted to try to jump ahead and just learn a few solos, but accept that it will take a long time to get the basics nailed down before you can move onto the more enjoyable parts of an instrument. Similarly, take a break when you are losing motivation, as it’s unlikely that you’re going to get anywhere if you keep on going back to the same problems; put your instrument away for a week, preferably not in your bedroom, and wait until you’ve relaxed before coming back to it with a fresh perspective. You can use this down time to listen to music, and to rediscover your motivation and love for an instrument. It’s also worth speaking to other learners and your music teacher for advice on what’s keeping them going, or what has worked for them in the past.
 
About the AuthorMann’s Music have over 150 year experience in the field of musical instruments, established way back in 1854 by Fredrick Mann. Mann’s Music stock a wide range of instruments including Fender electric guitars and Roland digital pianos to name just a couple. Our dedicated and enthusiastic team have a depth of knowledge to ensure you select the right musical instrument for you.

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