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Most musicians will start their musical career by learning an instrument. They may focus on that instrument for a time, becoming an expert on it over time. Sometimes musicians will decide it’s time to move onto a new instrument. It’s not that they don’t want to play their primary instrument anymore, it’s just that they want to broaden their musical experience and perspective. Having a prior musical background will definitely help you learn a new instrument, but it can also present a lot of challenges. Here are a few tips that might help you if you’re looking to try a new instrument.

Be Patient

If you’re already an experienced musician, it can be challenging to start something new because it may feel like you’re starting from scratch. You may try to implement things you’ve learned on your first instrument, but they might not translate over to the new instrument in the same way. It’s important to remember not to force it. If you’re not careful, you could potentially develop bad habits. There are plenty of routines you can follow if you’re trying to speed up your progress, so make sure you practice every day and you’ll playing in no time.

Use You Existing Knowledge

Now I know I just mentioned trying to implement practices from your first instrument into your new instrument may not work, but you can still use your existing skills to your advantage. A great way to learn a new instrument is to pick something similar to the instrument you’re already experienced at. For example, if you’re skilled at the guitar, it might be smart to try playing the bass or the banjo, as they’re rather similar to what you already know. If you try to go from drums to clarinet, you might be in for a rude awakening.

Take Lessons

This might seem rather obvious, but it’s still important. Having some sort of mentor to guide you through the process of learning a new instrument can be integral to forming the way you play an instrument. Your teacher can show you how to avoid bad habits early on, which can save you a lot of time while learning. If you can’t afford to take professional lessons but perhaps know a friend who plays, ask if they can teach you. Offer to trade lessons on your instrument if you have to. It can be good to learn and help someone else learn while trying to master a new instrument.

Learning a new instrument is not a simple thing to do, whether you’re an experienced musician or it’s your first time. It’s important to take your time and ask for help when you need it. If you follow these tips and others, you’ll be playing your new instrument in no time.