Can anyone be good at music?
Let me guess. You are here because you want to know if you got what it takes to be good at music? I thought so. Whether you want to learn to play an instrument, like a guitar or piano, or you want to learn electronic music like me, the short answer is YES.
Anyone can be good at music. It just comes down to how dedicated towards the cause you are and how much time you are willing to spend practicing your craft. Even the best professionals in the world were once beginners, and the only reason they are successful today is that they never gave up and continued to improve their skills.
Can anyone be good at music? Below are some basic steps that can help you become a lot better at music.
- Pick an instrument and stick with it.
- Learn from the internet.
- Practice, Practice, Practice.
- Never give up.
Humans are funny creatures. We all seem to think in similar ways, so generally, there are some very common thoughts that run through people’s heads. These thoughts can stop us from ever perusing our dreams of becoming good at music. Thoughts like ‘I’m too old to learn an instrument’, or ‘I’m not talented enough’ or ‘I don’t have the time’. Don’t listen to them. They are bull sh#t!
But first I want to talk about talent.
Talent only gets you so far
Talent. I really don’t like this word. I don’t like it because it makes people feel like they can’t achieve anything. It makes their dreams and ambitions feel out of reach to the ordinary man or woman. And I truly believe ANYONE can achieve ANYTHING if they put their mind to it. Of course, there are expectations. For example, you will probably struggle to play the guitar if you don’t have any hands.
Now, I don’t want to blow my own horn, but sometimes people tell me that I’m a talented musician, but I don’t consider myself to be a talented musician at all. I didn’t wake up one day and knew how to use Ableton. I wasn’t born with music theory knowledge. I had to learn them. It took me 12 years to do so.
There were struggles along the way that I had to overcome, and those struggles are a part of the musical journey and life for that matter. If you too choose to learn music you will also be confronted with these struggles, and they will test your loyalty the cause. That’s for sure.
I have written a small article on the struggles of being a musician. You can read it HERE.
Pick an instrument and stick with it
Picking an instrument is the very first step. What instrument interests you? Is it a guitar? Banjo? Recorder? Damn the recorder brings back some interesting primary school memories. Or are you interested in a more digital approach? It doesn’t matter what it is, all that matters is that you have some passion for that instrument. If the passion is not there, the chances are you will give up in the future.
Electronic music is so cool because you get to learn exactly how a song is put together. You get to understand the whole process from start to finish. A lot of musicians these days have a good understanding of how to use a DAW. A DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) is the piece of software that allows you to record, manipulate and process your instruments. They use the DAW to record their instruments and add layers like vocals until they have a complete song. They can then choose to release their music or just keep it hidden away and listen to it whenever they please.
I have written a short article that explains the steps involved in creating a radio quality song. You can read it HERE.
Once you have picked your weapon of choice, you need to stick to it. Don’t go changing your instrument 3 months into learning it. How can you get good at anything in 3 months? Stick with it. Learn it like the back of your hand.
Learn from the internet
Now you have picked the tool you wish to learn (I hope it’s not the recorder) it’s time to find resources that can aid you in your learning process. There are so many resources available online and they continue to grow every day. Just like my website is dedicated to helping electronic music producers, other people have websites that are dedicated to other sets of skills.
- Watch YouTube
YouTube is by far the best resource on the internet for learning how to be good at music. Resource numero uno. There are so many creditable music teachers and free tutorials at your fingertips. It is where I learned almost everything I know about electronic music production. Get onto it!
- Music theory resources
When you dive into the world of learning music, you soon discover that music theory is quite important. I don’t want to scare you, but most people see music theory as this big scary monster that takes years and years to tame. This is true, but even the smallest understanding of basic music theory can help your music so much. You don’t need to learn how to read or write music like Beethoven, just understanding how scales and basic chords are made will make the world of difference.
A great resource that helped me along the way was an online app called ‘Hooktheory’. It’s designed for dummies so us mere mortals can understand it easily enough. It’s inexpensive and super easy to follow along.
You can see it HERE.
- Online Courses
There are so many online courses available on the interwebs its not funny. Come to think of it, I have probably chosen the wrong niche to get into. Ah well. These courses range from as low as $10 up to $5000. Obviously, in the beginning, you don’t need to fork out 5k for an advanced course by deadmau5 himself. A $15 beginner course from a trusted supplier would be all you need to give you a solid foundation on your newfound hobby.
Here is a list of some great websites loaded with thousands of different courses:
- Listen to Audio Books
Most of us work 9 to 5 and have other responsibilities. This means we have less time on our hands for practice. That makes audiobooks the perfect option. You can listen to them pretty much anywhere. The bus, train, plane, car, while your cooking, or while your wife is yelling at you for always listening to audiobooks.
- Private Lessons
The number one fastest way to learn how to make any form of music is hands down, private lessons. These lessons are specifically catered to suit your learning type and speed. YouTube videos are great, but you don’t have the option to ask questions and get those questions answered immediately.
You can still reach a professional level in your desired field with just free resources like YouTube and things like that, but it will take you much much longer than if you get help from someone who has already learned the process.
If you are interested in electronic music production or learning Ableton, you can check out my private tutoring prices HERE.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Every person on the whole planet can get good at making music, it just takes years of dedication and hard work. Making music every single day is the only step you can take that will improve your skills as a musician.
- Practice is the only way to improve
Can anyone be good at music? They sure can it just takes years of dedication and hard work. Practicing every day is the only step you can take that will improve your skills as a musician. Without practice, you won’t get anywhere.
- Make time
There is not enough bloody time in the day. Am I right or am I right? It’s an excuse we constantly tell ourselves to justify not doing what we want to do. It makes us feel better because deep down inside we know we should actually be doing it.
We need to make time for ourselves. Go to bed earlier or wake up later. Leave your kids waiting in the school car park an extra hour while you learn a new guitar riff. I’m sure they will forgive you once your famous and can give them backstage passes.
Never Give up
Ok. Can anyone be good at music? Now you know exactly what it takes, are you willing to devote the time and energy to improve your skills? It’s not easy. It takes years and years of hard work to reach a level where you will be happy with the music you produce, but it is achievable.
There will be times when you feel like you’re not moving forward, and you will want to quit. There will be times when you make a song and compare it to your idols and think you’re a piece of trash, and there will be times when you have no time and miss a few days and lose motivation. But you must stay strong. As Joe Dirt once said, ‘You just got to keep on keeping on’.
What are your thoughts? Do you think you are going to start? I think you should do it. I have had so much fun over the years and learned so much about myself in that time. I’ve developed a set of skills that allows me to produce high-quality music, but also a set of skills that allows me to push through the hard times of self-doubt.
If you wish to learn more please read some of my other articles on my website. You can access them HERE.
Good luck and happy producing.