Summer is a great time to learn something new. The (hopefully) shining sun brings a new wave of positivity and motivation, and if you're lucky enough to get some time off during the summer we think you should fill it with music. To help you make a start we have put together a few tips for learning an instrument this summer:
Take Time Choosing an Instrument
It will be easier to stay committed to learning to play an instrument that you love. Maybe you instinctively know what instrument you want to play, that's great, you can just go ahead and get learning! If not you'll need to figure it out. Take some time to listen to your favourite songs and see what stands out as the reason you love it? Maybe it's the jazzy saxophone solo or the cool drum beat - could this be the instrument you want to play? Once you have made a decision head over to Duet Shop to order your instrument. Don't worry if you find you've made the wrong decision, all instruments from Duet Shop can be returned after four months, so even if it's not quite the right instrument you are not stuck with it. Find out more here.
Familiarise Yourself With Your Instrument
Once you have your instrument use the time you have this summer to get to know it. Spend a good amount of time learning your way around the instrument, find out the names for all the different parts and what their function is. Understanding how your instrument works will help you as you learn to play. Check out our instrument anatomy posts for help getting to know the parts that make up your instrument.
For some, learning to read music can be one of the hardest parts of learning to play an instrument, for others this is one of the easier parts. Give yourself a head start and get to know music notes now. You can use a range materials to learn to read music including books and apps such as Music Tutor.
Use Everything Available
Learning to play a musical instrument is no longer just confined to the practise room. There are so many aids and materials, both free and paid for, available for use wherever you are. Have a look online for apps, websites, books, YouTube videos etc that will aid your learning. Apps are a great choice because you can use them on the go. Here are some of our favourite apps available for learning to play music:
- Yousician - the easiest way to learn guitar, piano, bass and ukulele
- Garage Band - make great music anywhere
- Uberchord - learn to play the guitar with real-time feedback
Practise Indoors and Outdoors
The only way to truly master playing an instrument is to practise and practise regularly. Make use of the sun this summer and where possible take your instrument outdoors to practise. If it's not practical to take your instrument outside bring your learning aids with you instead. Either way, if you really want to learn to play an instrument you have to put in the hard work.
Be patient - learning an instrument is no mean feat. It takes time to truly master an instrument, years for most, and if you persist you will always be learning and improving. So even if you spend all day, everyday this summer dedicated to learning an instrument don't be hard on yourself if you can only play a few notes come autumn!
Get a Teacher
Once you or your child have spent the summer getting to know your instrument, come September may be the time to start looking for a teacher that can help you get to those next steps. Look for a teacher that you will get along with and will teach you the music you enjoy, that way you are likely to still be playing next summer!
Our Favourite Instruments for Summer
When you think of summer music the ukulele automatically comes to mind. This small but plucky instrument has you thinking of summer days by the beach. It is also one of the easier instruments to learn to play (there are some great tutorials on YouTube). The ukulele is also a great gateway instrument - lots of people start with the ukulele and move on to playing the guitar. This small instrument is also easy to transport meaning no matter where you end up this summer your ukulele can come with you!
What is summer without someone playing the guitar around the fire? Okay, that may be a cliche but the instrument is not. The guitar is great choice to learn this summer as the basic chords can be easy for a learner to pick up on their own without too much assistance. The guitar can also so easily be played outdoors making it great for those sunny days and summer nights. You can also spend some time playing along with others which will not only be a great way to spend the summer but will also help you to develop your playing.
Whilst the trumpet may not be the first instrument that comes to mind when you think of summer, the pTrumpets are ideal for summer practise. The ptrumpet is the worlds first 100% plastic trumpet. They are a lightweight, 100% waterproof, fully functioning, cheaper equivalent to a standard trumpet. The features of the pTrumpet make them ideal for outdoor use, which is great for summer and the fun colour options make them a great choice for young kids and young at heart adults!