Musicians: Here’s how to refine and perfect your style
Whether you have just started playing music or are a dedicated and experienced musician, or even a professional, it is always important to make sure that you are improving yourself and working your own style to the best of your ability. Music is all about authentic expression and creativity, and it’s important to make sure that you do everything possible to refine your style and perfect it as much as possible.
But how do you do this in practice? In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the ways you can expect to perfect and perfect your style much more effectively. It will make the act of writing and playing much more enjoyable for you, and it will also make your music more enjoyable for your audience to listen to.
Continuously practice the basic techniques
One of the important distinctions that you need to make clear in your mind as an artist is the difference between playing your instrument and actually practicing it. You can play all your favorite songs and replay your own old riffs as much as you like, but it’s not really practicing it the same way. Real practice is more like sitting at the piano to practice left and right hand coordination with specific exercises, or playing scales on your guitar to improve dexterity. You need to make sure that you regularly perform these basic techniques.
The problem is, when you’ve been playing for a long time, you start to think that you can do without these kinds of techniques and exercises. But the best musicians are in fact those who return to these techniques regularly. If you want to improve your style, picking up these basics over and over again is a great way to set the stage for more and more progress.
Try new methods
A lot of music is all about innovating, trying new things and seeing what works and what doesn’t. This is why you should consider trying new methods whenever possible, and especially if you get stuck in a rut at some point. If you’re wondering how to keep improving, the problem might just be you’re ready for a new method. But how you go about it and what you actually do will of course depend on many factors, including which instrument you play.
To take the guitar for example, there are a lot of methods that you would like to try that you may not have tried before that could help and encourage you to improve your style a bit. For example, you can try finger picking if you normally use an opening pick. Or you can decide to play with a looper pedal or a wah-wah. In fact, it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you try something new and put all of your effort and joy into the act itself.
Play with different people
For most people, music is first and foremost a collaborative act, even if you tend to play on your own. If you want to improve your skills and perfect your style, there is hardly anything better for this than just starting to play with different people as often as possible. Whether it’s a monthly jam session, a gig, or just playing with a friend, it’s a great way to keep your instincts sharp and your skills honed. It works even if you’re playing with music, especially if it’s not something you always listen to. In fact, this in itself is another important thing to think about.
Listen to something you would normally avoid
You have to listen to a lot of music if you want to acquire the perfect style and make your skills as close to perfect as possible. Just as the best writers read a lot, the best musicians have a library of different genres and styles in mind. In particular, you might want to try and broaden your tastes by listening to something every now and then that you would normally like to avoid. You will be amazed at how much this can help you improve your style, as you pick up different ideas from genres or bands that you have deemed unworthy in the past.
Focus on authenticity
As a musician, there is hardly anything more important than being authentic. The more you try to pretend, the less authentic your music is, the less you feel it and the less the audience will feel it. You need to focus on authenticity to make sure that you are going to refine your style as perfectly as possible. As long as you make it a priority to be true to your own style, you should find that it helps you keep improving, no matter what. This is obviously the main thing that we are trying to achieve here, so it is important to think about it.
It’s not just free-form jazz that benefits from a little improvisation. Basically, most of the music comes from this same place, and it’s about allowing you to be a little spontaneous from time to time. As long as you can do that, you should find that you are going to start making much more amazing music before you know it, and most of the time it’s just a matter of letting go and seeing what happens. . A lot of amazing music comes this way, and you will develop your style a little more each time you approach your music in this way.
Train your ear
Much of it, as you can probably see, is the kind of stuff you can never complete – there is always more to learn and more to be learned. This is certainly also true for this next thing, which is training the ear to hear music the right way. The more finely you train your ear – to hear chords, notes, progressions, etc. Actively train your ear using ear training exercises to help increase and improve your natural capacity here. It will make all the difference in the world, and you will also feel more like a real musician.
Show yourself a little patience
Throughout all of this, you need to make sure that you are patient with yourself. After all, none of this happens overnight for anyone, so you need to do everything you can to allow yourself to grow and improve gradually. Being patient with yourself in this way, and just enjoying the process of getting better and better rather than desperately trying to reach a certain level of skill, is a much more enjoyable and graceful way of playing music. You will find that this leads to a better attitude and approach, and you will also be able to hone your style in a much more enjoyable and engaged way.
Learn a little theory
There is an age-old debate in the music world about music theory and whether or not it is necessary. Some say that you don’t have to know everything to make great music. These people could cite large groups like The Beatles who apparently knew no theory – at least not at first. However, there are certainly a lot of benefits to be gained from learning at least one basic theory, which most people agree on. If you know a basic theory, you can apply it intuitively without getting too overwhelmed by it – and in fact, that’s an important point to stress too.
While learning the theory is likely to be beneficial to you, you need to be careful not to think of it as such when playing your instruments. The idea should be to learn it and then essentially forget about it, so that you can let it do its background work instead. It’s a much more effective way to perfect your style, and a more enjoyable way too, so make sure you think about it the best you can in order to improve your abilities.
Finally, remember that the main thing is to actually actively benefit from the process. If you don’t like it, it’s no good, so that’s an important thing to keep in mind. If you can love what you’re doing it doesn’t matter what happens while you’re doing it, but you’ll also find that you’ll likely improve yourself by naturally playing this way much more effectively. Loving it is the most important thing of all, so make sure you allow yourself the freedom to enjoy it as fully as possible.