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6 Ways You Can Overcome Plateaus In Your Musical Training

 by Autumn Huerter

A young man studying sheet music while playing his guitar

Whether you have been a musician for a year or have been practicing for over a decade, everyone is bound to hit that dreaded ‘wall’ at some point. In fact, you may even face that wall several times throughout your musical journey. You know what wall we’re talking about  - the one where it feels like you aren’t improving no matter how hard you try. When this does happen, it’s best to not get discouraged and instead, find skills and techniques to bridge the issue and move forward.

Here at Music House, we understand that this is almost always easier said than done. That is why we’ve compiled a list of ways that you can work to overcome these plateaus and get back on track to becoming the musician you want to be. Read more below!

#1.) Remember to Be Patient

Before you put your bass away into a storage unit or sell your beloved saxophone on Facebook marketplace, take a few deep breaths. While plateaus can be very frustrating, it is best to not get hung up on the negatives. Rest assured that these gaps can happen to any musician regardless of their talent, effort, or skill. Instead, focus on the positive aspects of playing and practice patience as you navigate this roadblock.

#2.) Find Inspiration

Some musicians cite that the reason that they feel they have hit a wall is simply because they are no longer inspired. If this is the case for you, try branching out and looking for inspiration in other places! For example, you could attend a live show for a band you’ve never heard of before, or you could try listening to music from genres that are outside of your normal playlist. If you are taking music classes online or face to face, ask your instructor for recommendations or get their input about where they find inspiration.

#3.) Switch Up Your Practice

Normally, keeping practices consistent is a positive thing. However, there is always the risk that these drills can start to become mindless and in turn, no longer fruitful. If you have been using the same warm up and practice routine for some time now, it might be time to change things up and get out of your comfort zone. This will allow you to approach practice with a fresh set of eyes and a renewed mindset so that you can focus on truly honing your skills. 

Once again, if you need some guidance in this area, don’t be afraid to ask for help! As a student at Music House, there are always other peers and mentors that you can reach out to. If you are taking private lessons or music classes, your instructor will be happy to provide you with some insight.

#4.) Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Change is scary for some, but it can also be a good thing! When you are feeling stuck, keep in mind you may have to take a new approach to overcome that challenge. Start by stepping out of your comfort zone and not just musically, but physically too. When you practice, where do you do it typically? Are you in your room, or do you practice exclusively at school? Whatever your routine may be, shake it up! Now that the spring weather is here, try heading outside and playing your instrument at a local park or even while sitting on your back porch. Sometimes, a simple change of scenery can do wonders for your playing.

A young woman plays her guitar outdoors during a performance

#5.) Enroll in a Music Class

If you aren’t yet a student taking music classes online or face to face, doing so could be a great solution to enhancing your musical journey. While there is a lot that you can learn just by playing solo or studying music books, nothing is more impactful than having direct instruction from a talented and dedicated teacher. Not only that, but being surrounded by musical peers can be extremely beneficial as well. Being a member of a musical community means constantly having the opportunity to connect with, grow, and collaborate with other musicians. 

For example, a woodwind student could learn a lot from a piano student, and vice versa! Just because you play two different instruments doesn’t mean that there aren’t overlapping, universal experiences and challenges you both might face. Regardless of what instrument you play, or even if you’re a vocalist, hitting musical plateaus is extremely common but anything is easier to overcome when you have someone to lean on. After all, Ringo Starr wasn't joking when he wrote, “I get by with a little help from my friends”.

#6.) Join a Band or Group

Going hand in hand with the previous point, another way to power through a plateau is to become a part of a band, group, or ensemble. Playing solo all the time can get stale and leave you feeling musically stunted. By joining a band or group, you can make music with others who share your passion and experience a whole new level of playing. 

This is one of the primary reasons that we offer our Band Workshop Program here at Music House. In fact, joining a band is an integral part of the Music House Method. Not only will you practice with a band once a week, but you will be coached and trained by one of our incredible staff members. From there, you will work toward performing in live shows in front of a real audience! The best part is that our program is open to people of all ages, meaning adults and students alike can participate in this unique experience. 

Contact Us Today!

If you are feeling stuck in a rut, don’t sit there any longer! Allow us to help you become the best musician you can be. Start by signing up for music classes online or face to face to see what Music House really has to offer. If you have any questions or want to learn more about the many different programs that we have available, feel free to contact us today! No matter what brings you to Music House, we are confident we can help you take your music to the next level.

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Written by Autumn Huerter
Autumn Huerter
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