I have had several people come up to me and tell me that they would love to play instruments (or that they had a child who would love to play). The issue in learning how to play any instrument is conquering how difficult it is in your mind. When someone sees a piano usually they think that they have to learn all the notes to it. Eventually, that is true, but for most songs there are usually more keys that are used than others. While you may have the option to use all the keys it doesn’t necessarily mean that you “have” to use them. The same thing when it comes to the guitar. Certain notes (and chords) are more prominent in songs and once you learn them it will make it a lot easier to go to other parts. Drums work fairly simple. While all the parts of it are important, nothing is more important than the foot (kick drum) and the snare. As long as you can master these 2 components then playing drums will become a lot easier to do. I don’t play horns or strings but I am sure that there are shortcuts to playing those as well. Learning the notes is still only the beginning. The next part depends on what type of musician you want to be. Some people stress the point that you need to be able to “read music” from off a sheet. Reading music is when you look at the “written out notes” and then play it exactly like it is written in the song. A lot of musicians are cool with this. I cannot read music at all, but I play a LOT of gigs. That is because a chart does me no good. I simply rely on my ear to get me through songs and that has worked great for me. In fact, if someone plays a song that I have never heard before, I can practically pick up the song “on the spot” while playing it through my ears. I have a lot of stories where my ear has gotten me through a lot of musical challenges. How can you develop a good ear? I tell most musicians to get used to playing “in the dark.” That way your placement of hands will do you no good. You would “have” to rely solely on your ear to play a song. This also increases your feel for the music and your tone. There are more tricks that I will gladly tell you with time. Always remember that you can learn on your own how to play. I am self taught and doing well with it. You can do it too. Don’t allow your mind to be your biggest obstacle. Get rid of the word “can’t” in your vocabulary, and make it happen. Thank you so much for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Brett Jolly and Muziq Soulchild at PIR studios