Ways to learn to play a musical instrument

Learning a musical instrument is about as good of a way to spend your time as any. For one, you’ll have a skill that’s never going to go out of style – you’ll have no trouble impressing friends and family with your performances far into the future.

There’s also the benefit of being able to express yourself in one of the most ear-pleasing ways possible. Feeling blue? Play something in tune with your heart’s mellow state. Getting jolly? Use your instrument of choice to spread the bug of happiness to everyone around you.

Perhaps best of all is the fact that playing an instrument is a self-sustaining hobby: past the initial acquisition of the instrument itself (which can admittedly be pricey), the only thing you’re likely to spend as time goes by are nerves.

This all sounds great, so why aren’t more people playing musical instruments? Simple: it’s hard. So hard, in fact, that many will quit in the first month without ever looking back, preferring to slash through hordes of bad guys in a video game or pump their muscles in a gym during their leisure time.

To help you avoid becoming one of the quitters, here are some ways through which you can learn to play a musical instrument and continue learning for years to come.

Online courses

Thanks to the popularity of the internet, online courses are now every bit as commonplace as real life ones. Of course, learning your trade on the internet has a couple of benefits over real-life classes: the focus is on you and only you and you’re able to progress at your own pace rather than feeling rushed or dragged down because of others.

Online courses will also teach you some of the more refined aspects of playing an instrument, such as reading notes or understanding musical theory (as long as you can find the right course, that is).

No matter if you’re using a free or paid-for version, you’ll be able to learn as much as you’d like and whenever suits you best, which is invaluable in today’s hectic world.

YouTube videos

While rarely as all-inclusive as an actual course, YouTube videos teaching you to play an instrument will engage you on a more personal level and might make you feel as close to having an actual teacher as you can get without actually paying for one.

Thanks to the site’s popularity, there are hundreds of musicians playing dozens of instruments, all sharing their knowledge and expertise to a worldwide audience free of charge. Many of them received a classical education in music, so you’ll know you’re learning from someone worth his salt – while they might not teach you everything there is to know, they’ll get you playing good without making you leave your favorite chair or sofa.

Personal instructor

Doesn’t get much better than this, does it? There’s no way to learn a musical instrument that comes close to the effectiveness of having your own ‘trainer’ work with you every step of the way.

Every class will greatly increase your skill and you’ll improve leaps and bounds over any hobbyist using the aforementioned methods of learning. If you picked the right instructor, you’ll also get to learn from someone who caters to your needs and answers any question you might have in a friendly, down-to-Earth manner.

There’s just one little downside: the price. Instructors generally charge on a per-hour or half-hour basis, be it in real life or over a video call, and you’ll quickly rack up the bills if you’re trying to become the best possible performer you can be in a short amount of time.

Still, if you’re obsessed with an instrument and are sure it’s your passion, this is one of the most constructive ways of treating yourself that you’ll ever come across.