Musical instruments on an empty stage before a show. (Photo via Getty Images)

Learning Instruments: DIY Tips For Beginners

Learning an instrument is one of life’s greatest joys. Not only are you learning a valuable skill, but also it’s very rewarding once you’ve learned the intricacies your choice of instrument has to offer. However, some people have a hard time learning due to multiple factors, while others, find it extremely monotonous to learn concepts such as music theory. Fear not, I’m here to give you tips on how to make learning instruments enjoyable DIY-style. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Practice/Play Songs You Like

Most would-be musicians often give up on learning their instrument due to the monotony of playing scales, learning sheets, and other musical concepts that content creators, teachers, or even friends tell you that you should learn about.

However, when you’re new, it’s important to cut loose for a bit and remember why you wanted to learn an instrument in the first place; to play your favorite songs. Whatever song you choose and no matter how easy or difficult, it’s imperative that you like it. You will never be motivated to learn an instrument if you’re constantly stuck doing “un-fun” pieces over and over.

While music theory and fundamental music concepts have their place, which we’ll touch more on later, at its core, music should be enjoyable. If you’re not having fun, then you’re learning your instrument for all the wrong reasons.

Learn your Fundamentals

The best way to get motivated and have a simple understanding of your instrument is to learn the basics. While it’s fun to tinker and experiment around with your instrument, you will never be able to play songs without understanding some semblance of music theory.

With guitar, you can learn the basic open chords or power chords (for all you aspiring rock stars out there). For drums, learning the “money beat” allows you to play a multitude of songs with that one pattern. While it sounds incredibly dull to learn all these concepts, it provides you valuable insight, supplementing concrete terms to the concepts of what you’re doing.

Take It Slow

Playing fast is every musician’s dream, with some thinking that speed equates to proficiency. However, that’s not always the case. Professional musicians and teachers would often tell you to slow down and take it at your own pace, and they’re right.

It does sound fun to shred on the guitar and nail that solo at game speed. But, you will never be able to achieve that if you don’t perfect it at a slower pace. Take each section bit by bit, gradually increasing your speed as you perfect each part.

While this may not sound as fun as banging away on the drums and doing all those crazy fills right off the bat, it is the proper way to learn. Slow down, take your time, and you’ll perfect that song in no time!


This is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s important to enjoy. Nailed that rock riff? Celebrate it. Did you get faster on the drums and perfected a somewhat complicated fill? Show off and pat yourself on the back. No matter how small the win is, you celebrate it. Positive reinforcement from other people and yourself will help tremendously as you continue to learn the ropes of your chosen instrument.

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