Over the past few weeks I’ve had the opportunity to spend some time with some really great mentors and friends. One major theme that kept coming up in conversation is the need for a musician to spend time working on their craft. There are no shortcuts to becoming better at your craft; be it singing, guitar, piano, or banjo.
I’m always looking to improve my main instruments (guitar and vocals) but my efforts have been passive at best. I’ve decided to hold my feet to the fire and in so doing here are 3 things I will be mindful of:
You won’t see any appreciable growth in your musicianship if you don’t commit to daily rehearsal. I’m not talking about just playing on your instrument, I mean a concerted effort for at least a half hour a day. This is a big one for me as I have to constantly be looking for challenging techniques and material to work through. If you’re getting started on guitar may I suggest these chords as a place to start?
As I mentioned above, the challenge for us as musicians is to find those techniques that are just a little bit beyond our ability to play. An instructor/mentor is vitally important to help you move forward. They can spot bad habits in your musicianship that you won’t see. They can also lay a path out for you to get you from where you are now to where you want to be. Always be looking for the right person to take you under their wing.
If there was a single piece of equipment that should be with you constantly it is the metronome. I often tell my students that 10 minutes with a metronome will yield better results that an hour without. My worship team also adopted using a metronome during services and I can unequivocally say that each team member has become a stronger musician because of it.
Whatever you do, do it today.