Where do I start?

Where Do I start? Start here!

OK, so this is it. You’re finally going to ‘live the dream’ and start to learn to play an instrument. But where do you start? Well, you’ve come to the right place to start off with as, within a couple of minutes, using this 10 point plan, you’ll know exactly how to go about fulfilling your dream!

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If you’re a grown up person (you know, like being a kid but with a mortgage, less hair and a higher BMI) and haven’t done so already, make sure you get on to the ‘It’s Not Too Late Discussion’ page on the LMG site. Getting your head in the right place to know that you are just as able to learn an instrument now, as an adult, is really important

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Familiarise yourself with everything else that’s going on, here at Learn Music. Guide
It will help to get your head in the ‘learning music’ zone and thus in a better position to be able to tackle step 3.

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Pick your instrument. Whatever you do, don’t pick an instrument that you think will be easier to learn. Why? Because 99% of the battle which is learning music is conquering your own will. If you’re starting the journey with an instrument that you’re not all that fussed about you will not stick with learning to play it. Pick the instrument that you really want to play!

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Work out how much practice you can dedicate to learning your instrument on a weekly or, even better, daily basis. 15 minutes a day is always going to be better than cramming in 2 hours on a Saturday morning. Regular and often is the key. Try and maintain rhythm and discipline to your learning schedule.

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Read the reviews on LMG and don’t necessarily go for the tool that has the highest user rating. What are LMG staff and the different users saying about that particular tool? Do you have a problem with staying motivated? Choose a tool that has the highest ‘Keeping Motivated’ rating. Try and pick a tool that fits as closely to your learning style as you can get

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Once you’ve chosen your tool, develop a plan of study (so, perhaps, learn 1 module per month) and STICK WITH IT!!! The most common mistake that those learning anything online make is flip-flopping between one tool to another. This will result in zero progress that you can be sure! Spend as much time as you can on step five to ensure that you end up with the right tool. You should be looking to spend a minimum of six months using the same tool – often much longer.

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When you get going, set yourself goals. So, it might be ‘play a Christmas carol in Church next Christmas time’ or, ‘play at my friend’s wedding next summer’. Whatever your goals are, make them big and make them awesome! These goals will power you through the periods where you don’t feel like you’re making much progress

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Don’t skip music theory, you’ll be building your music ‘house’ on solid ground. Yes we know that you want to start knocking out the classics, like yesterday, however learning musical theory is so important, to the music learning process. It’s difficult to understate just how important it is. Without the theoretical underpin, the journey to playing an instrument is like taking a road trip without the map. If you’re determined enough, you’ll get there in the end. However, get hooked up with a decent map and you’ll get there quicker and will be a lot less stressed along the way! When you start learning the theory behind music, you’ll quickly discover that it is a billion times easier than you once thought. Music is a totally logical language which though, initially, seems daunting, you’ll quickly get to grips with it. A good music learning tool will feature theory as part of the course, or you can find specific music theory learning tools here, at Learn Music. Guide

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Come and visit Learn Music Guides ‘Learning News’ and ‘Be Inspired’ sections often as these will keep you ‘plugged in’ with others in the same situation as you and will help in maintaining your motivation

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When the motivation is running low, take time to remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing and how totally amazing it will be when you’re playing the instrument of your dreams.

  • Hmm…a picture summing up what each point was talking about would look great! 😛

  • Diana Greben

    Great job guys!

    In 10 steps you just spell out a music studying plan in an easy to follow way.

  • Claire Collier

    Really useful information and very motivational. I have been going to start playing for years now, but have never had the time to go to lessons. In this one page you have given me all the information I need to get started, thank you:) I AM going to learn the piano!!

  • Derek Anchan

    Nice to know it’s come down to just 10 steps. When I started on the acoustic guitar, the online world didn’t exist. I got motivation from my distant neighbour’s occasional whistle of approval when he thought I was on the right track. With a community like yours, I can get tips almost instantly. Keep up the good work and give us more than we can handle. All the best.

  • LJ Moran

    This is a marvellous article, its so easy to forget, when times get tough that there are countless others going through the same pain.
    I think step 4 especially, for me is important, setting some time aside daily to just sit down and get a feel for the instrument and learn a little more, day by day, I find if I don’t do this, and a couple of days go by I start to worry that I’m not learning, which forces me to make time which crucially turns the whole thing into a chore.
    Step 8 too, learning theory, I couldn’t wait to learn some melodies and riffs, not boring old theory, but theory is essential as a foundation to all instrumental learning and its worth the grind in the long run.
    Learn music guides is a good resource for finding great sites for my chosen instrument (Guitar) and I have found really useful sites and good resources as a result of spending time here.

  • Ivan Ivanoff

    I love the way you’ve presented those steps and just reading the first step I got truly motivated to start learning to play the guitar again … Last time, about ten years ago, I was searching for a place like this one … but there wasn’t such a learning site for musicians to be found … Having in mind it’s almost New Years, I am thinking to set some goals and get around spending some time learning ..

  • Karen Scotland

    As someone who hasn’t touched musical instruments since school (but misses them greatly!) there is always that fear to try again, in case its not what you remembered or you can’t do it any more. This article is really encouraging, and in fact rather than trying the same old “comfort zone” of the flute, I feel brave enough to branch out and try something new, especially when there is a resource such as this guide at my finger tips, and plenty of fellow aspiring musicians to liaise with. Didn’t know something like this existed, but its great and shows me I can have total flexibility and fit it into my lifestyle in ways that a traditional music lessons don’t allow. Only thing is how do I choose which instrument to learn first 😉