Playing music gives us great pleasure. Playing music with other like-minded musicians can be even more satisfying. Anyone can learn to play with other instrumentalists, whether they are beginners or advanced. Collaborations offer you all a chance to flex your creative muscles. It’s also one of the best ways to have fun with your instrument!
Your music teacher can recommend some groups and people you could get together with to play some music. Friends, school and work are also great places to find collaborators. There are formal groups and bands. Or you might prefer a less formal setting for a jamming session. Any opportunity to play music is great to take advantage of.
Some groups will sight read from the sheet music. Others will jam and improvise around a loose song structure. You may even have a chance to input your ideas for a song. Orchestras, ensembles and other music groups often work for several months on a number of set pieces to perform them publicly.
FaceBook, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit and other social media can be used to help you find people to talk to about forming or joining a music group. It’s best to be open and honest about your current level of ability. If you’re great at performing music you’ve studied, but not so hot at sight reading, it’s best to pick a group to suit that skill set.
Of course, being able to sight read well opens up opportunities to join many other musicians, different groups, and orchestras. Some music genres require a fluency in improvisation. Jazz and Blues, in particular, require a good level of aural skill to be able to join in. Experience helps, but we all have to start somewhere.
It’s important to have the confidence to play around with your music. Your teacher can help you learn to improvise, compose, and use ornaments to decorate your music. Understanding more about other instruments can also be beneficial. Some instruments are suited to carrying a bass line, others are ideal to play a lyrical melody line. The more you know about music, the more fun you can have playing it with others.
When you’re playing music with other instrumentalists or singers, your pitch is very important. Most instruments need the musician to use technique to play in tune and on pitch. If you are not in tune with the other players, the quality of sound from the group can be poor. Good listening skills are essential. You need to hear your quality of sound, make adjustments, and meld beautifully with all the other instruments.
Every group is different and you’ll be happier playing music with some over others. But every experience is of value to you. It’s a good idea to make the most of it, even if the style of music isn’t entirely to your taste. And personalities within the group can sometimes make things uncomfortable! Still, it’s a great learning experience for you, and will open up further opportunities to perform and meet musicians. Happy music making!