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Tips for Adult Music Beginners

As adults we approach learning a musical instrument from a different perspective. It may be something we’ve always dreamed of doing. Or perhaps it’s a way to keep inspiration flowing. Or maybe we just want to have a bit of fun. 


The benefits of actually making music – not just listening – are many and well documented. Listening to and actively participating in music can reduce heart rate, lower stress and blood pressure, decrease anxiety and provide for an emotional and exhilarating experience. Plus studies have shown that participating in music contributes to higher levels of personal fulfillment. Making music helps to keep your brain sharp! 


Want to jump in but not sure where to start as an adult? There are many sources of online music lessons to get you started! Here are some tips to help adult beginners power through the challenges of learning an instrument while enjoying it every step of the way. 


Learn the songs you love

There’s nothing more motivating than learning to play the music you love. Work with a teacher who will include music that inspires you into at least some of your lessons. You’ll be encouraged to practice more when the outcome is learning a song that you’re into.


Work with a pro

One of the worst things you can do is develop incorrect playing habits early on. Start with a teacher who can direct and correct you. The instructors at ArtistWorks are all master musicians who, through our comprehensive online music lessons platform, strive to share well-established and proven techniques and tips right from the beginning. 


Use a “better than beginner” instrument 

There’s a reason why a fine instrument costs more. A better instrument is usually easier and more satisfying to play, encouraging you to continue. Invest a little more in that instrument and you’ll reap big rewards.


Make short sessions count

Don’t have a ton of time? That’s ok. As an adult you lead a busy life. Carve out a short period of time to work on a passage or technique and you’ll soon see progress. Three fifteen minute sessions throughout the day can add up to meaningful progress!


Use your lunch hour wisely

Instead of working through lunch, use some of that time to practice, learn part of a new song, take some online guitar lessons, or run through guitar scales or mandolin scales. Chances are your co-workers will love to hear you playing and on nice days you can even sit outside and work on your musical skills.


Vacation at a music retreat

Ever dreamed of spending time away, learning new music and being inspired by your favorite artists? Many pros offer week long retreats that will spark your inspiration and make you want to play more than ever. It’s a vacation that you’ll never forget! Our very own ArtistWorks acoustic flatpick instructor Bryan Sutton is hosting the Blue Ridge Guitar Camp May 22 – 30, 2020. Check that out right here.


Don’t compare yourself with others

Everyone has things they’re good at. We’re all not going to be virtuoso players from the start. Cut yourself a break and just enjoy the fact that you can actually make music. Comparing yourself with others is a slippery slope to discouragement.


Set realistic goals

Just like anything else in life, a goal will help you to get there with some meaningful progress under your belt. Want to learn 5 songs to play at next summer’s family reunion? Learn even one song a month and you’ll be ready to lead the party. By envisioning an end point, you’ll find purpose in your practice, and be encouraged to keep going. The key is to set your expectations with a few achievable milestones in between. Challenge yourself with the final goal, but consider the time you’ve got and the difficulty of the outcome.


Have patience

It’s hard. We’re busy and we want to see results. But learning a musical instrument takes time and a bit of a plan. No one ever said that violin for beginners or acoustic guitar lessons for beginners were going to be easy! Take a deep breath and know that small steps are what it takes to reach big goals. 


Celebrate those small steps, too

Finally got that song down? Time to celebrate. Share it with friends, or just play it for yourself and savor the moment. Use it as your inspiration to go further! When you look back and realize you’ve learned that hard fingering, or techniques that felt impossible are now second nature, give yourself a pat on the back. 


Play with others

Once you have even simple skills down, you’ll find it’s fun and encouraging to play with others. Jam with your kids. Find a local open mic jam. Enlist friends on social media. Jump in with the goal of just having fun.


Want to learn from an ArtistWorks master musician? Try a free online music lesson today!



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