Challenges of learning a new instrument

One of the obvious challenge of learning any new instrument is discipline.

A typical scenario goes like this: We watch a marvelous drummer or piano player, we are in awe at the mastery of the player, the flow, the command he has over his craft. We mull that bit for awhile inside the soft mechanism of our head. Gently, the determination solidify, and, then, we decide! We shall try to play the instrument! Ahoy!

So, armed with this brand new decision, we go on the internet and look for an instructor. Bam! We find this guy who seems legit, he’s got good reviews, his rates are reasonable. All right, we are doing this! So, we call him. When we hang up, we are a changed person, we are on our way to become a virtuoso: we just made an appointment, we are serious!

First lesson, if the instructor is not an absolute bore, it goes great! We explain briefly our main goal which is to become of professional level, make a few million dollars and enjoy the life of being a working musician. The instructor nods, he gets it.

Right! To work then! The teacher gives you a few exercises to practice for the week. You love them. You do them. You don’t even have to convince yourself, you are pumped up, this is it!

Second lesson, third, fourth, etc…

Comes the third month. Lesson time: well we didn’t practice because (fill in the blank). Motivation is wobbly. We still enjoy very much the lessons. Just, there’s that lazy fiber that gets awaken every time we’re about to practice once we’re at home. And so… there you go. For today, could we do something else, just have fun, you know, because enough with the assignment page.

You get my drift.

So, discipline is extremely important in studying an instrument. Without it, you got nothing, or, let’s say, not much. The ones that get to master the craft are not the gifted ones, no, quite the opposite actually, only the stubborn ones stand a chance.