Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Advice on Taking Up a Musical Instrument

Hi everyone,

I'd thought that it would be nice if it gave you a little bit of advice when your considering taking up a musical instrument. I've been learning how to play the violin for a number of years, but I'm still only a beginner. So here's a few hints and tips which I have picked up along the way.

Look into the Musical Instrument that your Interested in Taking Up & See if it suits you

To do this, first start researching the instrument which you want to take up. I did this for around 18 months, before I purchased my first instrument. To research the instrument I used Wikipedia and a few YouTube videos. Once you have decided which musical instrument is right for you to take up; I would then recommend you taking up a trip to your local music store and try out a few different brands/ models of that instrument, and by doing this you will find out what instrument suits you and find out whether or not its in your budget.

Look Into Different Brands & Models of Instruments

By doing this you will find out if that particular instrument is first of all suitable for your needs and also with your budget. Ask the music instrument specialists if the instrument may require a better 'set up', as well as any accessories which may be needed to go along with it, or if the instrument comes with any as standard. Also, very important TRY BEFORE YOU BUY, and most music stores offer this service, as purchasing an instrument can be a big investment. Think about the instruments which you have tried, and keep trying different brands of instruments until you find the one which you want to learn on. But DO NOT let the music instrument specialists talk you into an into an instrument that may not be for you.

Budget For Your Instrument

How much is your instrument going to cost you all together, and this includes the instrument itself, plus all the accessories which you may need, music theory and tutor books, sheet music and how much will it cost you for each lesson, if your having private lessons.
Here is my personal breakdown to give you an idea: -
- Violin outfit £320
- Sheet music £50 per year
- Music Theory Books £50
- Accessories £60
- Lessons £30 per lesson
- Graded Exams anything up to £80 per exam, depending on exam board and type of exam

Research Strings & Accessories
You may want to do a bit of research into different brands/ types of strings, as may want just a basic upgrade of strings or a completely different sound/ tone all together. By doing this you may think a brand of string is best suited to your music taste or you may want to mix the strings; depending on what your looking for. Mixing different brands/ types of strings is more commonly done by cellists. Also, by looking into accessories you will also find something which you may like, as they are various brands of rosin, shoulder rests, chromatic tuners, amps and also sheet music stands. By researching different brands, you will then be able to work out a rough budget for your accessories.

Private Music Lessons
These can either be held on a one-to-one basic or in small groups. If its one-to-one tuition your looking for then the lessons should work around your life; and by that I mean you should be able to book a lesson that suits your needs, and at time that is ideal for you. Find a local music tutor who has a good reputation, high exam pass rate, friendly, relaxed and approachable.

Look into Local Music Schools
Find one that is suited to you, and don't just go for the first one you see. Also, look into if they take both children and adult learners, as well as having a good reputation and excellent teaching staff.

Recommended Music Theory Books
First Steps into Music Theory by Eric Taylor
The AB Guide to Music Part One by Eric Taylor (Grades 1 - 5)
The AB Guide to Music Part Two by Eric Taylor (Grades 6 - 8)
Take Five & Pass First Time by Christopher Dunn

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