1. Play as much as you can. Go out and play or stay in and do it. No substitute for practice and experience. If you want to be a better musician, then spend the time to work on it!

2. Listen. Take advantage of opportunities to hear other musicians perform. Whether it’s a live concert or a recording, spend time just listening and absorbing. Pay attention to what others are doing. Listen actively rather than passively.

3. Stop comparing yourself to other players. Only you can make yourself better. Celebrate successes and feel good about your own music. Stop being your own worst critic.

4. Learn from your mistakes. Think about what went wrong and how you can do better the next time around.

5. Take a class, read a book, go to a music clinic or seminar. Never stop looking for ways to learn and grow.

6. Challenge yourself to do something musical everyday. It may be practice, a show, a listening session, a class, or reading a book. Whatever it is, just do it every single day.

7. Share your art. Set up a soundcloud account, a youtube channel, whatever you want. Share recordings of your progress, ask for feedback.

8. Record an album. Nothing compares to the feeling of holding a finished product in your hands. If that isn’t motivating, I don’t know what is.

9. Don’t give up. When the frustration sets in, it’s easy to give up. Push yourself or take a break! But make sure that break doesn’t last too long.

10. Have fun. Don’t let music become something too serious. Laugh at your mistakes, get out and just have fun.

Want to learn more about the music business? Check out our popular FREE eBook – Advice for Young Musicians: From Established Music Professionals.

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Published by Shannon Kennedy

Shannon Kennedy is a vocalist and saxophonist living in Southern California. She is author of "The Album Checklist" and the founder of Teen Jazz. She has been contributing articles to music magaizines and websites since 2004.