This is my updated list for 2018. I’ve selected the best ideas and strategies that I’ve discovered over the past 15 years, distilled them into simple, easy-to-implement steps, and organized them all into a single guide.
This is my master list of everything I know about how to learn music faster, smarter, and more effectively. If you want to get better at music and become a better musician, you need to read this list.
Now, let’s start making your music mastery dreams come true with:
The Ultimate Guide To Becoming A Music Master
Learn From Other Successful Musicians
1. Make as much music as possible.
2. Learn instrumental technique and harmonic theory to the point where you can make music with other people and not feel constrained by your technical limitations.
3. Write a song a week for the rest of your life.
4. Play live as much as possible – there’s nothing like a gig to get you excited about making music again, or to motivate you to turn something good into something great.
5. Listen to a lot of different kinds of music and figure out what it is about them that makes them great (or even just good). This is easier said than done – sometimes it helps to listen with other people, or read about music in books or magazines, or talk with other musicians.
6. Learn other people’s songs and try to play them as well as they do – it’s easier than inventing something from scratch, and by playing what other people have done (especially if they’re better than you) you learn the skills necessary to do it yourself.
7. Record your music whenever possible – even if it’s just on a little cassette machine, and even if it sounds terrible at first – this will allow you to hear mistakes that you would never notice while playing, which in turn allows you
1. Be a better listener:
By listening more you will increase your attention span, which will allow you to concentrate better and learn faster. You will be able to remember what you have learned, which means that you will also be able to teach it to other people. And other people will like that you are listening and they’ll respect you for it.
2. Learn to read music:
There’s no reason not to read music. It’s a language and there is no good reason not to know the language of music: it’s fun! And if you can’t read music, then it is impossible for you to write down the music that you hear in your head. If you can’t write down your ideas, then how are you going to share them with other musicians? You want to play with other musicians don’t you?
3. Learn as many instruments as possible:
You will probably find that one instrument is difficult enough, but I encourage you to try all the others anyway, even if only for a week or so. Playing another instrument will make all the instruments that you already play easier and more fun than ever before! Plus, who knows when someone is going to ask for a flute or accordion part in your music
The first time I heard this song, I was in a hotel room at 3am and it made me cry.
A wonderful, epic composition. If you love music, take the time to listen to this piece.
If you love music, and are skilled in an instrument, you should play this piece.
If you love music, and can sing, you should sing this piece.
This is one of those pieces that makes people want to start playing piano again.
And if you’re just starting piano, don’t let the difficulty of this piece discourage you! There are many pieces out there for beginners that are equally as fulfilling as this one.**
This is obviously not a complete list of everything you can do. If you’re looking for more ideas, check out one of these sites:
1. What is the best thing you’ve read/watched/listened to this year?
2. How does music influence your mood and behavior?
3. What are your favorite bands or musicians and why?
4. Who are some musicians who inspired you when you were young?
5. List your top five songs and why they’re important to you (bonus points if they make you cry!)
6. Which songs remind you of someone or something specific in your life and why?
7. What are some of the instruments in the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”? Why did they choose those particular instruments over others? What makes them so good together?
8. Who would win in a fight between Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly; Bob Dylan or Jerry Garcia; Jimi Hendrix or Kurt Cobain; The Beatles or The Rolling Stones; Beyonce Knowles or Lady Gaga; Michael Jackson or Prince; Kanye West or Jay Z; Tupac Shakur or Biggie Smalls; Madonna or Whitney Houston? Explain why
Your favorite songs at the top of your iTunes/Spotify chart, or in a playlist.
A video of you playing an instrument.
A photo of your favorite musicians on stage.
A list of your favorite music-related movies, books, and video games.
Your first ticket stub from a concert.
A poster from a concert you’ve attended.
Your ticket stub from the concert with the highest attendance you have ever attended.
A mixtape or CD that means something to you.
An album cover that has influenced you and your music taste in some way.
The lyric sheet for one of your favorite songs (and why it’s meaningful to you).
The lyrics to one of your favorite songs written out by hand.