It’s good to have goals. And I’m happy to hear that you have a good idea about the songs or styles of music that you want to play. Clear goals will help you make the swiftest progress. That’s why all of our lessons at Sage Music start with a student onboarding session where you’ll set goals with one of our teachers.

If you don’t know where you are going, it’s really hard to plan the route! And since you already have an idea about where you are going, it’s easier to plan the route.

In order to help you refine your goals and develop and even stronger direction, try reading part 1 of our free guidebook on learning music successfully. Part 1 of the guide will show you exactly how to create solid goals.

In this article, I’ll show you the steps you’ll need to take to learn the songs or styles of music that you love. While it will take time and effort, the path to achieving your goal with music lessons is straightforward.

How to learn a musical style of music in 3 easy steps.

  1. Identify the musical patterns commonly found in the style of music you want to play
  2. Make habits out of those patterns of sound on your instrument
  3. Apply those habits of movement to the music you love

Identify musical patterns

Different styles of music, such as classical music or popular music, sound different because they use different patterns of sound. These patterns also account for the different sounds of more specific classical or popular styles of music.

The blues will always sound like the blues because it’s melodies are built on a the blues scale pattern, which has 6 notes in it. Its harmonies are built almost entirely with dominant chords, which have a unique sound. Its rhythms and meter often accent the 2nd and 4th beats of each measure. The blues has a fixed form with 12 measures, consisting of 3 chords.

Classical music on the other hand, uses the tonal scale pattern with 7 notes in it. Its harmonies are built from a mixture of major and minor chords. And its rhythms and meter tend to accent the 1st and 3rd beats of each measure. There are a variety of Classical Era forms that use several key areas, with 7 chords each in their basic structure. These include the sonata-allegro, and ternary forms.

You can see that each of these styles has different patterns. The first step in playing the style of music that you love is know what these patterns are. A qualified teacher at a reputable music school will help you learn these patterns quickly.

Once you identify the patterns, you can learn them in your ears, and in your hands. These patterns include common chords, scales, rhythms, and forms.

Form habits of movement

When you are first learning music of any kind, you’ll need to develop habits of movement on your instrument. This is commonly called ‘learning technique’. To make fast progress, you should be focus on learning the patterns that you identified above. Why? Because when you can effortlessly play the common patterns in the music you love, you can play most of the music in that style.  Having a good teacher will help you form those habits and your technique quickly, and in a healthy way. 

Without having good instruction, many student will form bad habits that lead to frustration. Plus bad habits take years of effort and work to unlearn. That’s why it’s always better to start with music lessons at a great school.

When that style is accessible, you’ve reached your first goal of playing music in a style that you love!

Learn individual songs

Once you have learned the common patterns within your chosen style, it’s very easy to learn specific songs. Why? The majority of the song swill use the same patterns you learned previously. Now, of course, there will be exceptions. There may be unique patterns or tricky spots in a new song. So to learn such a song, you’ll only need to focus on these unique parts, and by taking music lessons, you will be able to solve these problems faster. And that takes way less time.

Aside from these new patterns, the rest will already be familiar to you, making easy work of learning new songs.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you learn a specific song or style of music, request a free consultation now.