Learn Music Faster – Listen to Yourself

This one always makes me laugh, because we’re making music, yet the number of students who don’t pay attention to how they actually sound is remarkable.

I understand why it happens. When we learn an instrument we start to focus on the physical aspects, the mechanics of it; which finger to put where, how to hold it, posture, breathing, technique and so on. With all that going through our heads we don’t have a lot of attention left to listen to the noise we’re making.

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Learn Music Faster – Look away from your fingers

We all know the stereotype: teenage kid hunched over guitar, back bowed, straggly long hair falling over their face, staring intently at the fretboard. However, I’ve found that students who move their eyes away from their fingers become much more fluent, much more quickly than those who don’t.

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Learn Music Faster – Practice Slowly and Precisely

We all know (hopefully) that it’s best to practice slowly, carefully and accurately. But we all want to get everything up to speed as quickly as possible. So often we try to go to fast too soon and as a result it takes longer to get up to standard than it would have otherwise…

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Learn Music Faster – Finish Pieces to Performance Standard

I get this situation all the time: A student proudly tells me they’ve been working on something and then plays me a bit of it – scrappily, slowly and out of time but just about identifiable as the relevant song. So I dig out a backing track, or the original track, and ask them to play along. They usually can’t manage it….

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Learn Music Faster – Use a metronome (or loops, beats, etc)

The more I play with more and more top musicians, the more convinced I am that having great rhythm is the most important skill a musician can have.

I’m not talking about being able to play complex rhythms, just being able to play reliably keeping really good time. Even if you only know a handful of chords but you can play really consistent, tight, in time, eighth note rhythms you will soon a reputation as a good player. You will impress far more people than…

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Learn Music Faster – Never Miss a Lesson

If a student misses a session in the first three or four weeks of lessons, that’s usually a warning sign that they’re going to be an unreliable student and not progress as quickly as others.

If someone misses more than one lesson in a three month period that’s often an indicator they won’t learn as fast. The same applies if they miss more than one lesson in a row.

This is more than just about missing teaching time…

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