Here are some tips to help you become a better musician:

Audio-visual distractions are discouraged when learning an instrument1. Don’t turn on the TV

Though some people believe that TV helps them relax when they are busy doing something, the truth is they are less productive. Anything audio-visual demands too much attention and as such decreases attention span.

2. Get to It

A lot of times a task seems daunting, so one resorts to procrastination as if it will make it easier next time. However, the job remains the same and the same sense of hopelessness stays. But when one starts actually to do the task, real change begins: the job is broken down into smaller doable chunks.

3. List your tasks down

Any system of doing things help in accomplishing a task like a list. It enables you to identify songs that you need and to find out if you miss something out. It helps you also to remember when you have a list.

4. Create a playlist

Similar to the previous tip, less time is wasted if you gather all the songs, whether from your collection or purchased online. You need to study and categorize them accordingly. A playlist helps you organize the songs into groups, and allocate time and schedule.

5. Take time to listen

Once you have all the songs in one place, take time to listen. You may discover new things even with songs you are already familiar with or find new meaning in the lyrics.

6. Prioritize

As in the previous pointer, sort or prioritize the items on your list or in this case, the songs you need to play. Rank them according to how you assess them regarding ease or duration. If you are the type of person who does the hardest first, then rank them in descending order of difficulty.

7. Play along

After completing your selection and priority list, start playing along. Do not worry too much at first if you’re not getting everything correctly, i.e., riffs and runs or chord progressions, which NYC’s piano tutoring company will require you to master. With constant practice, you’ll eventually master the song.

8. One song at a time

Focus and do not go to the next song on your list until you have satisfactorily learned the current one you’re playing. It gives you a better sense of accomplishment which will motivate you to go further.

9. Indicate the key

For non-singers or drummers, it helps to indicate the key of a song beside its title or somewhere convenient especially if you have many songs in your list.

10. Use progress markers

After accomplishing one song, place a marker on it like a check or a highlighter. Visual indicators make you feel accomplished or give you a positive reinforcement regarding your progress.

Keeping notes will mark your progress11. Make notes

While listening, take down notes as it would help you remember parts of a song that you are particularly interested in or having difficulty with. Use specific codes or legends to quickly identify specific information like which part of a song an instrument starts playing or when it ends. Be creative in using visual aids like charts, markers, highlighters, or simply anything that enhances your learning and retention.

12. Use charts

Many musicians employ music charts. It is to remember a song and specific details with one look. Be creative in how you make your charts but in such a way that it is handy especially when you have dozens of songs in your repertoire.

13. Use isolated tracks

Most songs are re-mixed. If you want to focus on a particular instrument, listen to an isolated track. There is a lot of isolated tracks that you can search online particularly on YouTube. A significant number of enterprising musicians, enthusiasts, sound engineers share isolated tracks for their pleasure or reference by other musicians. Make use of these to help you enhance your learning.

14. View video tutorials

Aside from listening to the song to learn and appreciate it, it would be helpful to see how other musicians interpret it by either observing them for real or watching their video recordings or tutorials, some of which have been shared publicly on Youtube or Vimeo or on their respective websites with streaming video features. You may pick up a trick or two or may even develop your style, if not adopt and modify certain techniques from others.

15. Watch the live performance

Watch how an artist or a musician performs the music live. You might be able to pick up something useful from how the live performance differs from the studio version, as you know the studio version has added enhancements courtesy of sound engineering.

16. Review

After you have mastered a song and learned your way on how to best play it on your instrument, take time to listen only this time not with critical ears but more to appreciate and enjoy it. Your hours and hours of studying and playing it, modifying or correcting parts where you most often make mistakes, may exhaust your analytical mind that what you do has become monotonous and mechanical.

Set aside time to dedicate your attention to pure relaxation and appreciation of the song. Doing this may help you see or hear new things that you have not seen nor heard of before. This may actually help you see or hear new things that you have not seen nor heard of before.