How to learn a musical instrument.
David Story, piano teacher, drum student since 2011
Why theory? Memorisation. Instead of trying to memorise a long series of notes, trained musicians remember a shorter series of larger patterns. They understand how the various patterns related to each other. It is important to understand that notes don't move at random. Each style of music has conventions that composers understand and work with.
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I could go on.
Now ear training. Ultimately we all play be ear. Training your ear will shorten the time it takes to get there. You don't need perfect pitch but you do need good relative pitch. You need to be able to hear nuance in the professional performances you are listening to.
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Remember I give online lessons, now is four countries.
“The most important practice session of the week isn’t the one right before your lesson; it’s the one right after.”
–The Musician’s Way, p. 296
I agree, flip open the music as soon as you get home and dive right in.
Please have a look at this article: https://www.musiciansway.com/blog/2011/01/the-most-important-practice-session/ Better yet buy the book by Gerald Klickstein. Sign up for his Facebook posts and Twitter feeds.
Here is some feedback from a reader: Simon Horsey … I am forever reminding my students that by playing through everything covered in their lesson, reading through my notes and planning their practice sessions for the week they can actually lessen the practice time required to meet their targets for the week..."
You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.
I'm a professional pianist and music educator in West Toronto Ontario. I'm also a devoted percussionist and drum teacher.