June 17, 2022

Whether you’re an old salty master or a beginner, there may come a time when you need some new energy to keep you inspired. When that time comes, it’s not a bad idea to pick up a new instrument – preferably one in an entirely different family. There’s a world of good learning a new instrument can do, so it’s worth a shot, even if it’s not easy.

Gain Perspective

Playing different instruments can give you a whole new perspective on your sound and music in general. If you’ve been tied to a guitar for a long time, for example, learning the piano gives you an entirely different way of looking at chord progressions and theory. This perspective can help you creatively and help you understand bandmates better. It can even help you when you’re writing, as you’ll know more about what your new instrument can do. That’s why it can be helpful to go with an instrument in a different family – you get an entirely new view that way.

Help With Writer’s Block

If you’re a writer and you’re stuck, picking up a new instrument is a great way to break up that writer’s block. As you discover new riffs and challenge your brain, ideas often start to flow – even new ideas for your original instrument.

Improve General Musicianship

Often, a new instrument can help you become a better all-around musician and improve your playing on your main instrument simultaneously. For example, a wind player who takes up drums and takes lessons may find their rhythm improves dramatically. Or piano can improve finger flexibility and strength, which translates to the guitar.

More Creative Options on and Off Stage

Building a compelling stage set is an art of its own and knowing a second instrument adds a world of options to your bag of tricks. You might switch to an acoustic guitar when you’ve been playing piano the whole time, or have the bassist jump on drums while the drummer sings. These kinds of changes make shows more interesting, and since each player approaches instruments differently, this can also lead to new creative inspiration in the studio.

Good for Your Brain

The brain benefits of learning a musical instrument at all are well established. There’s also similar benefit to learning a new instrument if you’re already a musician. Especially if you go for something wildly different, you may find the same type of brain boosting benefits from picking up something new as you did when you first started music.

Can Keep Your Chops Healthy

Musicians get repetitive stress injuries like carpel tunnel syndrome at an alarmingly high rate. Sometimes you have to stop entirely for weeks at a time. If you know another instrument, though, you can take breaks from one instrument and still create and perform on the other, giving yourself a chance to heal from or avoid this kind of injury.

 

Playing music is good for you, no doubt. Learning a second (or third) instrument is even better. So, pick up that harmonium, clarinet, or snare drum. You’ll be glad you did.



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