Whether you are an advanced musician, a budding beginner or simply enjoy playing an instrument for pleasure, you likely know the frustration that comes with hearing a new song on the radio, looking up the sheet music and being filled with dread. Even to advanced musicians, the look of a piece of complex sheet music can be a powerful deterrent to learning a new song.
With over two decades experience as a musician, including many years as a music teacher, I'm going to let you in on a few simple tricks to learning music super fast.
Know Your Chord Patterns
Regardless of which instrument you play, knowing and understanding chord patterns is a crucial step in learning to play any piece of music fast. Most songs follow a particular chord pattern, once you've learned and studied a few songs, you will see that the many other songs follow similar patterns.
Understanding typical chord patterns and being able to play them without music will quickly improve your skills as a musician. It will make you be able to 'feel' where a song is going, even when the sheet music is either lacking or poor.
Listen, Listen, Listen
Knowing a song inside out is another crucial step in learning super fast how to play it. Just because you like a song you have heard on the radio umpteen times, doesn't mean you actually know the song well.
Take every opportunity to listen to the song, whether you are you walking, on the tube, driving or simply at home. Rather than listen as a lover-of-the-song, listen as a musician. Hear and feel where each chord changes. Next, when you don't have the song playing, hum or sing it as you continue with your day. All of this gets the song into the fibers of your mind.
Now when you sit down at, or with, your instrument and start learning the song, you will see that it starts to come together without you even really trying.
Playing a musical instrument is one of the special things in life. It's a skill which should never be taken for granted. Rather than become defeated by complicated-looking sheet music, follow the two steps above for learning new music, You'll soon see that being able to play that new song perfectly isn't half as difficult as you thought it would be!