Tips on learning to play from City Music, Truro.

If you want to play or sing well, it takes practice!
Learning to play or sing is a physical process. So whether you’re a complete beginner or haven’t played for a while, you’ll need to get your muscles into shape.

How much,how often?

The amount of time you should spend practising depends on your age and ability.To begin with, little and often is best. Don’t overdo it and remember to take a break if you feel uncomfortable.
As you improve you can build up to longer sessions; if you get really good, you might find yourself practising for a few hours every day.
For young children, five to ten minutes a day is fine to start with. Try to make it part of a daily routine.

Tips on how to practise

Practice is very important if you want to improve and a good teacher will give you advice on how to practise properly.
Always warm up first.Try something easy or start with some scales.This helps you focus on your posture and warms up your muscles and instrument or vocal cords.

Make good use of your time.

Once you’ve warmed up, be brave and tackle the difficult bits – you won’t improve by playing the easy bits over and over again.
Be analytical.Take passages apart and find out how they work. And make sure you’re not learning mistakes.
Listen hard to yourself. Are you making a good sound? Are you in tune? Train your ears as well as your muscles.

Other skills.

Remember to work on skills like sight-reading and have a go at playing or singing by ear

Keeping it down

Some instruments are very loud, so try not to practise at times when you might disturb people.
If you play an amplified instrument, try using headphones. Using a mute on stringed and brass instruments will keep the sound down, and drummers can buy drum heads that are almost silent.

Don’t give up!

If you’ve been practising hard, but don’t feel that you’re improving, don’t give up – learning works in surprising ways.You might be at the same stage for ages and then suddenly take a big stride forward.
Remember you can practise just by thinking about it when you’re on the bus, doing the washing up or in the bath! Just be careful you don`t upset the neighbours!

For info on getting a good teacher, give us a call on 01872 271359 or pop in to our store.