Become a Self-Taught Musician in 5 Steps

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No matter what you’ve heard, you can learn any instrument on your own. It doesn’t take anything to become a self-taught musician (besides the instrument itself, of course). As long as you’re passionate and ready to work hard, you can master any instrument with enough practice.

Thanks to the internet, you can find a wealth of resources online to not only teach yourself the basics, but also the more complex topics. Whether you’re drawn to the piano or the bass guitar, you can master the art of any instrument you put your mind to.

It’s also important to note that you don’t have to dish out big money to get big results. Many of the best-known musicians had humble origins. The main ingredient always will come down to passion. Now let’s jump into the guide so you can become a self-taught musician in 5 steps.

1. Decide What You Want to Play

If you’re not naturally drawn to a single instrument, this can be hard. While you might have found your perfect instrument just out of preference, for others there’s a need to really think it over. Remind yourself that there is no wrong choice, but you will want to feel confident in your decision. Here are a few questions to guide your search:

  • What music do you like to listen to? If you like listening to folk music, for instance, you probably will want to choose something like a guitar or a fiddle. Liking a certain genre is a good indication you should explore those types of instruments more closely.
  • How would you like to play? If you want to perform a big, fancy stage at a concert hall, you might choose a classical instrument like the mandolin or the piano. However, if playing to a raving crowd is more your speed, choose something a little more rock and roll.


  • Where will you practice? Let’s face it: we don’t all have space for an organ in our homes. Similarly, if your only practice space is your home, you might want to choose something that doesn’t have to be played at a neighbor-disrupting volume.



  • How easily can you find resources? Finally, do research into how available resources are online for your chosen instrument. Learning the sitar might be a great choice, but it’s more limiting if you can’t find any clear guides online.


2. Purchase Your Instrument

Now that you know just what it is you want to play, it’s time to find your first instrument. This is where a lot of new players get the wrong idea. It’s tempting to go all-out on your first instrument since this is such an exciting time, but you probably don’t need the nicest model. Your first instrument will need to take a beating. You will likely jam the keys wrong or mess up one of the strings. Things happen, and it’s okay to learn as you go.

Look around for good starting instruments. These will make it easier to learn. Don’t be afraid to find discounts and coupons to find a good deal. Now isn’t the time to break the bank while you’re still learning. There will always be time to upgrade in the future. Start with these coupons for Guitar Center on and go from there.

3. Start to Learn

Next, it’s time to put your instrument to good use and start learning. The internet makes learning any new skill possible, especially learning an instrument. However, don’t be fooled into thinking this will be a quick, overnight skill. You’ll need to put in daily practice to see your skills grow.

Starting by learning the basics is always the best. The basics might not even involve your instrument. Try these steps to master learning an instrument the right way:


  • Train your ear: You need to understand the differences between chords, scales, and sounds all by your own ear. Theta Music Trainer has games that do just that.



  • Reading music: If you don’t already know how to read music, learn at Read Music Free with both tutorials and exercises so you can master reading music on your own.



  • Music theory: While you don’t need to know music theory to master an instrument, it will only help you. Teoria has free tutorials for music theory and the fundamentals of music.



  • Youtube: Finally, the best place to find intro tutorials for your chosen instrument is on YouTube. Many creators create a series of tutorials to get you started.



4. Choose Songs to Play

Finally, now that you’ve mastered the basics. It’s time to start playing your instrument. This is the fun part where you get to create awesome music. Change your inner dialog from “practicing” music to “playing” music to help keep yourself motivated. It takes a lot of practice to master the basics of any instrument, and now it’s time to put those skills to use.

Choose songs that are simple at first until you build your confidence and skills. It’s okay if it takes longer than you think. Odds are, you’ll figure it out quickly. Follow along with online resources and go off the book to build your own musical skills. Before you know it, you’ll be writing your own songs.

5. Land a Gig

Now that you know more than just the basics, you can start finding local venues to play. Many open mic nights allow beginning musicians, and this is a great way to gain confidence playing in front of others. Create your own jam sessions with friends and show off your new skills.

Depending on your instrument, you might audition to join a band or an orchestra. These are the best ways to play with others and learn as you go. You might even start to earn some income from your hobby.

Discovering your musical talents isn’t easy, but it’s incredibly worth it if you have a passion for playing. As long as you’re willing to put in work every step of the way, you can become a musician in no time. You never know where your talent might take you.

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