How to Practice Music Effectively
The Secret to Sing, Play Guitar, Play Piano, or Play Any Instrument with Confidence & Mastery
By Josh Ross
Whether you want to learn to sing, play guitar, play piano, or play any musical instrument, you must master one essential skill: effective practice. You may have heard the expression “Practice makes perfect.” Do not believe this myth! Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent. Perfect practice makes perfect.
Read this article and you will learn how to develop the most important skill that will make your musical dreams a reality. Implement the concepts in this article and you will transform your singing or playing abilities… and maybe even transform your life!
How does practice make permanent? Practice makes permanent because just like with any habit, what you repeat over and over will stick in your mind and in your muscle memory. Whether the habit you form is good or bad, you will find that over time it becomes easier and easier to keep doing the same (either good or bad) action. When most people practice, they simply repeat the same song or technique over and over again. This is the number one way to develop bad habits and bad technique, to make incredibly slow progress, and to completely waste your time.
When learning a new song, do not make the mistake of practicing the entire song from beginning to end over and over. When practicing this way, most people will unknowingly repeat their errors and engrain them into their subconscious mind. Over time, it becomes exponentially more difficult to unlearn those mistakes and bad habits.
How can you practice perfectly? Perfect practice begins in your mind. You must let go of your pride and any desire to learn a song instantly. Mastery takes time. You must allow yourself to start slow and not attempt to learn the song at full speed.
An amateur musician will try to learn a song as quickly as possible. A professional musician will practice a new song or technique extremely slowly. An amateur musician will practice an entire song over and over. A professional musician may play through a new song only one time per practice session and then will focus on improving small sections of the song.
Practice your music in bite-size sections. You will be happy to discover that it is much easier to master a small section of a song than to master an entire song. Whether you want to learn a simple melody or a complex piece such as Bohemian Rhapsody (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ9rUzIMcZQ), you can use this approach to master any song, piece, or musical skill.
No section is too small. You can continuously break a song into smaller and smaller parts so you can reach a higher and higher level of mastery. For example, to sing a new song, you can start by listening to and singing through the first verse and the first chorus to develop a context for the song. Then you can focus on perfecting the melody of one of the stanzas of the first verse. Then you can focus on the way you approach a single word or note in that stanza of the first verse. In short, break it down and focus!
Consistency is key. Without consistency, you cannot achieve your musical dreams. To be consistent, you must hold yourself accountable to practice as much as necessary to master new music and review music you have already learned. Most people struggle to hold themselves accountable, which is the primary reason that music teachers have jobs!
You could learn to sing, play guitar, or play piano by using YouTube or a book. However, most people have no idea where to start, they develop bad habits, and they do not hold themselves to a regular schedule which makes it impossible for them to progress. You don’t want to be like the countless self-taught musicians who plateau and stay at the same below-average level for years.
When you master effective practice consistently, you will have limitless potential to learn any song, piece, or technique like a professional. Perfect practice begins in the mind. Let go of your pride, practice slowly first, and break songs into smaller and smaller parts. No matter how much you progress in one practice session, you must stay consistent and continue practicing to keep learning and growing.
Imagine how great you would feel if you could sing, play guitar, or play piano with confidence and mastery. Music lessons can empower you to reach your musical dreams in far less time than you could on your own. A great music teacher can save you years of frustration. Find a music teacher near you who can hold you accountable and help you practice perfectly so you can make your musical dreams a reality.
About the author: Josh Ross is a professional musician and the founder of the J-RO School of Music in Troy, MI. For the past decade, he has empowered his students to reach their musical dreams and to experience incredible fulfillment through music. If you are interested in taking guitar lessons, piano lessons, or voice lessons in Troy, MI, then contact Josh at www.jropro.com for a FREE Assessment Lesson.