By: Camp Electric
  • January 14, 2019
How to Become a Musician in the New Year

With the new year comes the chance to be bold. People are always making New Year’s resolutions, from learning a new language to writing a book. Some people, however, want to know how to become a musician. While there are a few ways to go about it, we wanted to share our tips on how to become a musician. It’s great to pick up a new hobby or pursue a dream, but anything worth trying is worth doing right. So if you want to figure out how to become a musician, check out our notes below and see what mistakes you might be able to avoid.

Pick and Find an Instrument

Do you have an instrument in mind? This is where we separate the people with their heads in the clouds from those who might actually commit to learning how to become a musician. There’s a real difference between thinking “I’d love to know how to play an instrument” and saying “I want to make a living as a pianist.” So what instrument does it for you? Drums, trumpet, violin?

Once you know what you want to play, you’ll need to find an instrument you can actually use. It’s okay to borrow a friend or relative’s in the beginning, but eventually you will want to have your own. Practice is a big part of the learning process and we don’t want you having to make a lot of phone calls to hunt down an instrument each week. If that means you’ll be making a purchase, try to aim for something middle of the road or a little cheaper. There’s no sense in going top dollar right out of the gate.

Choose a Learning Method

So you have your instrument in your hands, but that doesn’t make you a musician anymore than hanging out in the garage makes you a Chevy. You’ll need to learn how to play that thing if you want anyone to take you and your plan seriously. While many beginners try to go it alone, some lessons may be a good investment. This is especially true if you are older or inexperienced in music. You can choose to learn in a classroom environment where there are several peers or you can opt for one-on-one lessons. There are pros and cons to both, so you’ll just have to decide which sounds more suitable for you. If you’re lucky, you may have a family member or friend who gives lessons on the instrument you wish to learn and you could find a discounted price.

Find Supplemental Materials

When you go to school, do you learn everything simply from lectures? Of course not. That’s why you’ll likely need some supplemental materials to give you a more rounded music education. These may be instructional videos, subscriptions to websites, magazines, accessories, or anything similar. People who want to learn how to become a musician on their own will especially want to invest here because a) no one else is investing in your progress and b) you have the money you’re saving from not spending $50-200/month on an instructor. We do caution you not to overdo it, especially in the beginning, but having a few things to help with the learning process doesn’t hurt.

Learn to Love Practice - How to Become a Musician in the New Year

At this point you should have a lesson plan (whether it’s self-made or given by an instructor) and all of the materials you need to be self-sufficient. What does this mean? It’s time to learn to love practice. What separates great musicians from guys who barely know 10 songs is practice. Sure, talent has a role in it all, but having the discipline to sit down with your instrument for several hours each week is the best way we know how to become a musician. If things start to feel stale in your practice sessions, mix it up. You can work on certain songs you love or record yourself to find mistakes or 100 other exercises. This may not be the most fun part of the music-learning process, but it is arguably the most important.

Find People Who Will Support You

You’ll have your good and your bad days as a musician. For the latter, it will help to have good people around you who can support you through this endeavor. Family, a spouse, close friends, fellow musicians, a dog, etc. can all ease the burden. Friends who know the struggles of a being a musician are quite valuable, as they will know what you’re dealing with when it comes to practice, performance, or balancing it all with everyday life.

Set Attainable Goals

With any pursuit, be it a hobby or a career, you want to set attainable goals. If you set goals that are too difficult, you’ll end up burning out and smashing your guitar (and not in the cool rockstar way). If you don’t set any real goals, however, you’ll wander aimlessly as a musician until you settle into mediocrity or give it up altogether. Goals give us hope and let us experience the thrill of victory. An athlete knows how well he is performing by looking at his stats or by winning championships. Musicians don’t have this feature in their field, so many of the mile markers are self-created.

Stay in Your Lane - How to Become a Musician in the New Year

This leads us to our next point: stay in your lane. Whether you are setting goals or thinking about the future, don’t be unrealistic about who you are and what you can do. A beginner musician should not be thinking about limousines or winning Grammys more than he is practicing his instrument. More experienced musicians should also be mindful of where their skills lie and play to their strengths. You can work on the weaker parts of your skillset from time to time, but don’t set off in a direction which doesn’t make sense.

Keep At It

The secret to how to become a musician in the new year is pretty much the same for everything else: by doing it. If you have an instrument which you consistently play and challenge yourself with, congratulations, you are now a musician. There will be times when you feel lazy, get bogged down by other challenges in life, or feel uninspired. Whether or not you can make it through those times is what will truly test this new mission in your life. We can tell you how to be a musician, but you’re the one who’s going to have to walk down that road.

One way you can develop yourself as a musician is to attend a music camp. The majority of these are aimed at kids college-aged or younger, but there are also places taking in adult students. Camp Electric is a place for teenagers to come together and learn from some of the biggest names in Christian music. From guitarists to vocalists to drummers, and more, we want to help you be all you can be. Find out how to be our next student by clicking on the link below.

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