How to prepare for your first music class as an adult

1. Choose which instrument you want to study: Depending on what type of music you want to learn to play, particular instruments are going to be more suitable than others. For rock, pop, jazz, and other similar styles, guitar, piano, drums, and voice are great, versatile choices. Jazz also involves other wind instruments like saxophone, trumpet, and trombone, which you might want to consider if you are taking music lessons for jazz in Hollywood and Los Angeles. If you want to learn to play orchestral music, violin, and other string instruments are central, and other wind instruments like flute, clarinet, oboe, horn, and bassoon are also used.

Overall, you might also want to consider the versatility and the learning curve of what you wish to study. Some instruments, such as guitar, piano, and drums are used in a variety of styles of music, and though they may take a long time to truly master, they are also relatively easy to get started playing simple tunes on. Others, such as violin and double reeds, have more specialized uses and may take much longer to learn to produce a good sound. However, such instruments have unique sounds and abilities and can be extremely rewarding if you are willing to put in the time.

2. Acquire an instrument: In order to prepare for music lessons in Hollywood and Los Angeles, you will need an instrument of our own to practice on. Instruments are available at various price points, but to begin, a quality student-level instrument should suffice. You may want to consult with our music teacher in Hollywood and Los Angeles before our first lesson for advice on selecting a suitable instrument. Used instruments might require extensive work to become playable, so these are not necessarily recommended unless you can have a repair shop or experienced player check them over first. 

Many instruments are available for rental from our music school, which can be an excellent option because these provide you with an instrument that is guaranteed to play, and you can learn more about selecting our own instrument when you choose to upgrade from a rental. If you purchase our own guitar, particularly a new or inexpensive one, you may want to take it to a guitar technician to be “set up”. Quite often, an inexpensive guitar can be made to play much more easily with some expert adjustment.

Some instruments, such as piano and drums, are not very portable and will be available at the school for lessons. Our music school in Hollywood and Los Angeles will have these available, as well as amplifiers if you choose to play electric guitar. However, you will need an instrument of our own at home on which to practice. For electric guitar, a small amplifier with a headphone jack is recommended so you can practice quietly. For piano, a digital keyboard is handy. There are several types of keyboard, so you might want to consult with our teacher first.

The keyboards with 88 fully-weighted keys are going to feel most similar to an actual piano, and most similar to what you would likely use in music lessons in Hollywood and Los Angeles. Smaller or non-weighted keyboards can also be useful for learning to play at first, though the feel will be a little different from an actual piano. Most synthesizers will also fit in this category. At the bare minimum, a touch-sensitive keyboard is recommended, which means that it can play loudly or quietly depending on how hard you press the keys.

3. Get the necessary accessories: Most instruments require additional equipment for proper maintenance and care. This will vary greatly by instrument, so you may want to check with our music teacher in Hollywood and Los Angeles for suggestions. For example, a set of strings, a guitar cable, and an amplifier with a headphone jack are helpful when playing electric guitar. Violinists will need rosin and a shoulder rest to play properly. Wind players may need reeds, cleaning supplies, or lubricants such as valve oil or cork grease. Because some accessories, such as reeds and strings, greatly affect the playability of the instrument, you should consult our teacher for advice on these before purchasing.

4. Set aside a time and a place for practicing: You will definitely need to put in regular time each week before our lessons in order to progress. As an adult, you have many responsibilities that can keep you busy, so if you are planning to practice whenever you have free time, you will likely run into trouble with working consistently. Setting aside a regular time each week in our schedule before you even begin lessons will certainly help you stay engaged with our lessons, will help you develop discipline, and will help you improve continuously.

Depending on our living situation, you might also want to consider how to practice without disturbing others. This is relatively easy with electric instruments, like keyboard or guitar, which can be used with headphones. An electronic drum set may be useful for practicing at home, or there are also mutes and practice cymbals available to reduce sound, and rubber practice pads for working on technique. Practice mutes are available for brass instruments as well, like trumpet and trombone.

5. Set some reasonable first goals: Our music teacher in Hollywood and Los Angeles will certainly help you with what to work on week by week. If you have a favorite song you want to learn, though, this will certainly help you stay focused on practicing and working on a goal. Once you start playing a particular instrument, you will have a better idea of its particular challenges. There are some common early landmarks to work towards, though, such as learning to play a melody on piano, a scale on saxophone, a basic beat on drums, or being able to strum the chords on guitar for an entire song.

By being prepared for our first lesson, you will be able to start more smoothly and progress more quickly. Being well-prepared from the start will also help you develop the discipline and practice skills that will serve you well in all our future playing. In any scenario, the Hollywood Academy of Music and Arts will be here to help you reach all of our musical goals – every step of the way.

Is it too late to learn the Drums as an Adult?

Discover the rewarding adventure of learning to play the drums as an adult. Whether you’re an experienced musician or a total beginner, embrace the rhythm and begin your drumming journey now. It is never too late to pursue your musical love!

You might think you are too old to learn to play the drums. Nothing could be further from the truth! As long as you can hold a pair of sticks, you can benefit from playing the drums at any age. Many of the best players continue to play professionally at least through their seventies. By taking drum lessons in Los Angeles & Hollywood, you can develop a lifelong appreciation for playing the drums and continue to reap its many benefits.

One of the greatest benefits of playing the drums is that it can improve your physical fitness. Of all the ways to make music, playing drums is one of the most physical. Unlike most other instruments, drums require you to use all your limbs. 

Playing the drums can be a full-body workout, while many other instruments, such as piano and guitar, require little more physical than moving fingers. Your drum teacher in Los Angeles & Hollywood will help you learn to move efficiently and to hit the drums in ways that are more gentle on your limbs and joints. Even with these efficiency improvements, however, playing drums can be quite a full-body workout. 

Additionally, you can work with your drum teacher in Los Angeles & Hollywood to develop a plan of study that is geared toward your particular level of physical ability.

No matter the limits of your physical ability, though, playing the drums is undeniably great stress relief. Playing music of any type requires focused concentration, which will take your attention away from whatever daily mental stresses you may be facing as an adult. Also, one cannot overlook the sheer physical release resulting from hitting the drums and getting your blood flowing which is difficult to replicate with most other instruments.

Another benefit of learning to play the drums is that it will help with your coordination. Playing the drums requires you to move your hands and feet together in a variety of combinations, and with precise time. When you begin lessons, your drum teacher in Los Angeles & Hollywood will show you simple beats to work on slowly. You may still find the coordination required to be completely foreign at first. 

Indeed, one of the unique challenges of playing the drum set is that you are actually playing several instruments at once, such as the kick drum, snare drum, and hi-hat, and these need to stay synchronized. The more you repeat the same rhythms during your practice time and during your Los Angeles drum lessons, though, the more natural the coordination will become, and the more ready you will be to play faster, more complicated music.

Yet another advantage of playing the drums as an adult is that the learning curve is often easier than with some other instruments. Compared to some other instruments like violin and even guitar, learning the very basics is often easier on drums, as you will be working on repeating beats rather than learning notes and having to worry about changing chords. It is also easier simply to produce sound on drums than it is with some other instruments, such as violin or most wind instruments, where it can take a much longer time to learn to make a pleasant sound.

As an adult, you can set your practice schedule and work at your own pace while learning the drums, but compared to some other instruments, drums can provide a little quicker gratification at first. As you progress, your drum teacher in Los Angeles & Hollywood will help you refine your techniques and work on fine details of your sound, but even as a new adult beginner, you will be able to make useful musical sounds on the drums.

Although drums may be easier to start on than some other instruments, this does not at all mean that you will run out of things to work on. There are always more complicated pieces of music to learn, and you can continue to work on the technical aspects of your playing, such as precision in your timing and coordination. Moreover, even with the simplest music, the more you play the more you will refine your touch and resulting sound while playing. By working with a drum teacher in Los Angeles & Hollywood, you will continually receive direction on which aspects of your playing to work on. After you develop basic skills of playing the drums, you can start to work on the more intangible aspects of playing, like the feel or groove of a beat, and how it supports the rest of the musicians in the group.

Speaking of supporting other musicians, one of the greatest benefits of learning to play the drums as an adult is that it is inherently a social activity. While you will likely be playing along with recordings often as you are working on new music during your drum lessons in Los Angeles & Hollywood, the primary purpose of playing drums is usually to provide a rhythmic foundation for other musicians. While most popular music styles can be played on a variety of instruments, there is almost always a drum set at the heart of the group, setting the style of the music and providing a rhythmic framework for everyone else to play off of. The drum set is used in so many styles of music, from rock, to pop, to country, that you will have numerous options of types of groups to play with. No matter the style of music, however, the joy of making music together with others is a unique, fulfilling experience.