Learn an instrument

Learn an instrument

Making Connections from Home > Learn an instrument

Have you got a guitar or piano that’s currently collecting dust? Looking to lose yourself in something creative and come away with a skill that you can enjoy with family and friends? Now is the perfect time to learn an instrument. This guide takes you through where to start and how to develop a practice routine that works.

In this guide:

What’s the best way to learn an instrument?

While there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for learning an instrument, the following tips will help:

  • Set aside some time each day if you can to practice. Little and often is much better than practising once a week for two hours at a time. A lot of people start by practising for just 10-15 minutes a day. You can increase this to half an hour when you get into the habit of practising. Your brain needs time to develop “muscle memory”, and reinforcing this each day is much more effective.
  • Have a routine but don’t be too rigid. If you skip a day now and then, that’s ok. You won’t forget everything you knew as a result.
  • Recognise that you’ll have good days and bad days, but over time you’ll improve. A lot of people who lift weights or train for a marathon will be familiar with this.
  • Have a broad goal to aim towards. For most people, this will be a song or two that they really want to be able to play. You won’t know how long this goal will take – it’s impossible to know – so don’t set yourself a specific deadline.
  • Get a tutor if you can – even if it’s just for a few introductory lessons or workshops to get your basic posture and technique right. Posture and technique are extremely important and you can’t learn this from a website or video.

Free learning resources

Piano

YouTube – Learn How To Play Piano by Andrew Furmanczyk 

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL253192EED47525A8

  • Free series of piano lessons ranging from beginner to early advanced stages 
  • Training videos range from 14 – 40 minutes each 

Finchcocks

https://www.finchcocks.com/courses/finchcocks-launches-free-online-beginners-courses/

  • Free online piano lessons released each Monday for the next few weeks 
  • Lessons are suitable for beginners 

YouTube – Myleene’s Music Klass 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQh2wgJ5tOrixYBn6jFXsXQ

  • Free online piano lessons 
  • Suitable from beginners upwards 

Guitar

Justin Guitar 

https://www.justinguitar.com/

  • Over 1000 free guitar lessons 
  • Suitable from beginner to advanced level  

Other

Facebook – Benedetti Foundation 

https://www.facebook.com/BenedettiFoundation/
https://www.benedettifoundation.org/resources

  • Free live music lessons on Facebook at 12noon weekdays during the Coronavirus lockdown 
  • Catch up lessons via Benedetti Foundation website (above) 
  • Suitable for young people, parents and teachers 

YouTube – Learn with Nicky 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsxcaCooOBA&list=PLpKffHOzsdGYFzLfa8_pF9j_UFGfLTySh

  • Collection of free violin lessons by Nicky Benedetti 
  • Videos range from 2 – 25 minutes long 
  • Suitable for those wishing to improve their string playing 

Vimeo – Learn an Instrument 

https://vimeo.com/search?price=free&q=learn+an+instrument%2F

  • Choose from a selection of free videos on various different instruments 
  • Suitable from beginners upwards 

Google Play App Store 

https://play.google.com/store/search?q=learn+an+instrument&c=apps&price=1

  • Choose from free and paid android apps to aid with your learning 

Music theory

Open Learn – Music Theory 

https://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/music/introduction-music-theory/content-section-0?active-tab=description-tab

  • Free 8 hour introduction course to music theory 
  • This course introduces you to music staves, clefs, rhythmic and pitch values, rhythmic metre and time signatures 
  • Course is equivalent to Grades 1–3 of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music theory exams

Udemy – Instrument Courses 

https://www.udemy.com/courses/music/instruments/

  • Choose from piano, keyboard, ukulele, bass, guitar, violin, harmonica, drums and many other instruments via these video courses 
  • Suitable from beginners upwards 
  • Courses start from £13.99 each 

Skill Share – Music 

https://www.skillshare.com/browse/music?via=header

  • Choose from guitar, piano, ukulele, drums and many more video lessons 
  • Suitable from beginners upwards 
  • To access all video lessons a membership fee is payable (Go Premium) 

Lessonface 

https://www.lessonface.com/

  • Live video conferencing with music teachers of your choice 
  • Learn guitar, bass, violin, drums, saxophone, trumpet, banjo, piano and many more 
  • Lesson fees are set by teachers and range in price 

Live Music Tutor 

https://www.livemusictutor.com/individuals

  • Live video conferencing with music teachers of your choice 
  • Suitable from children upwards 
  • Private lesson fees are set by age/ability group 
  • Group lessons are available and taught at all levels 

FenderPlay 

https://www.fender.com/play

  • Learn to play the guitar, bass or ukulele online from the world’s largest guitar manufacturer Fender 
  • Suitable from beginners upwards 
  • Subscription membership fees apply (currently £8 per month)