A Musician who does not practice cannot really call themselves a musician. Anyone who loves their instrument and wants to make it part of their life should crave time to further master their art. Sometimes, musicians go through a period of non-practice for a number of reasons, but in general, they have passion and look forward to any opportunity to play music. A musician can always rehearse, prepare, repeat, refine, sharpen and improve constantly towards further precision and ease, aiming for a flawless and faultless performance every time. They should be able to play their instrument as effortlessly as they can blink or breath and constant, regular practice is the only way to achieve this.
Just because you know how to read music and can work out how to play songs with ease does not mean you do not have to put in time and effort. If you are serious about wanting music to be a part of your life, you will have to learn all you can and continue to improve indefinitely. Musicians who refuse to practice seem arrogant and conceited and often fall behind everyone else in ability and technique. Lack of discipline is a very unattractive quality in a musician and other professionals only give credit to those who work at developing their talent. Part of practicing is usually being creative and coming up with new material. If you don't give yourself the time to practice and perfect your instrument, you will never be inspired to master a new tune or write more lyrics.
If you are part of a band for example, you don't want to be the only one who never writes new material or contributes to the group. And you want other band members to see noticeable improvements in your abilities so they will respect and trust you. It also isn't enough to write music, you need to practice and perfect it so every time you perform you are faultless. Many people are blessed with natural musical abilities. This does not mean there still isn't more to be learned about technique and training that has been developed through the ages. Singing is a great example of this and is a musical art form that has been fine-tuned by many exceptional singers from history.
Techniques to train the voice and extend the abilities of the vocal chords have been tried and tested and if you don't know them, you are going to be less than you could be. Singing lessons go further into teaching you tongue techniques, pronunciation practices and posture positions that can improve your sound and success to no end. Those who believe there natural ability is enough to get by in life more often than not fail and look back with regret. Someone who really wants to make a career out of music could succeed through their actions, not their words. Talking about music and even listening to it all the time is not going to get you anywhere. You have to practice, practice, practice and then practice some more! If you aren't doing this, you aren't serious.
You need to seek out anyone who can give you advice or lessons to further your knowledge and add to your technique. Do not fall into the trap of thinking you know everything just because you have had a few compliments over the years. To truly make it in any part of the music industry, you have to learn from the professionals. Don't be stubborn and be willing to let go of old habits and learn some new and better ones. It could be something as simple as your posture. You may play guitar so intently, you have never even realized that some of the positions you hold your body in are making things harder for you.
A professional can point this out and give you homework you can practice to change your old habits. Singers especially need to know all about posture and how to hold their neck, jaw and tongue. Breathing is very important and practice and warm-ups are vital to success. If you love your instrument, but are finding it difficult to practice, there are some things you can do about it. You may be lacking motivation or have possibly reached the peak of what you are able to do by yourself. You should look at getting together with others who play appropriate instruments and have jam sessions.
This is a free for all group music practice where you play anything and everything, resulting in inspiration and a fresh lease on your musical life. Introduce some visualizations or meditation practice into your everyday schedule, where you picture yourself achieving your desired outcome from your music. Make a list of the steps you need to take to get there. If you have reached a point where you are uninspired, go and get lessons. You will be bound to learn many new things you can practice and introduce into your writing. If none of these things seem to work for you, then you need to look at whether you really have a love and passion for the instrument you have learned.
It could be time to consider trying something new. Musicians practice for many reasons, but if you don't have a natural desire to spend the time doing it, there is no point in dreaming. If you are a musician but you spend little or no time going over what you know, learning new things and writing new songs, you should look seriously at whether the instrument is right for you. If it is just a case of going through a motivation drought, take some steps to get the spark back and have faith it will pass. Be patient on your musical pathway and know that, if you put in the hard work and stay positive, you will be rewarded.
Kevin is the publisher and editor of musicianhome.com, a site that provides information and articles for musicians at all stages of their development.