3 Exercises to Help You Become a Better Instrumentalist

It can be lots of fun to learn how to play an instrument. The process also requires plenty of work! When you start reading the musical scales, it’s like learning how to speak a new language.

That’s why you’ll want to focus on these three exercises to improve your playing. 

1. Develop Muscle Memory

They say that “practice makes perfect.” That statement doesn’t apply to instrumentalists.

You must “perfectly practice” to start developing muscle memory for your preferred instrument. 

Without physical intelligence, it is impossible to play any instrument. It doesn’t matter if you have 88 keys or three valves because you’re not physically capable of performing notes.

Try to spend a few minutes during each practice session to feel how your instrument plays. That’ll help you learn about finger placement, embouchure, and the various techniques that will turn you into a musician.

2. Improve Chord and Melody Recognition

Another way to describe this exercise would be to “think with your ears.” When you recognize the patterns and hooks in music, it lets you create variations that work with the various changes in real-time settings.

Focus on the technical aspect of each note. If you can sing the various scales, it’ll shape how your mind envisions the entire experience. 

3. Sharpen Your Understanding of Musical Theory

When you play a specific genre, it helps to know how the structures work to create harmonious notes and tones. In jazz, for example, an understanding of scale and chord theory makes it easier to improvise. Try to think about the different modes as you practice, visualizing the various concepts while playing to sharpen your approach. 

Most people quit an instrument because they’re not patient enough to follow their learning curve. When you keep these exercises in mind, the process will seem more straightforward.