If you’re an established musician like Tom Petty (or Joni Mitchell or The Beatles) then you should already have a decent idea of the kind of time you would need to spend to be able to play the same kind of music. You can look at the average level of piano playing in any given profession, and extrapolate that figure for a 30 minute piano session for the same musician. Or take any instrument and compare it to other instruments that might be used for the same kind of sound on the field.
What the heck does a 40 minute piano lesson cost? How many hours is that?
If you’re like your parents and think your musician friends spend all of their time playing at gigs instead of practicing, then you’re probably right. But think about it a little bit, and realize your musicians are playing for the enjoyment of the ones they love (ie all your friends) and not because one of them needs to play a longer session. A 40 minute piano lesson should probably be no more than 30 minutes.
If you’re someone who works part time in a studio, or who spends your day recording songs or playing concerts, or a musician who has to put out an album at 2pm on a Sunday and a 1am on a Monday, then you may only need to play an hour a day. Again, though, you may want to do more. 30 minutes isn’t that much, and we’re in a world where musicians who spend more than an hour a day playing their instruments need more intensive instruction and rehearsal time, so even that is more extreme.
The most you should do is 30 minutes. You have plenty of time to get to know your playing for a short length of time before you go and practice your piano or guitar chops. It can take longer and then you’ll find yourself doing something that can’t possibly be played on a piano or guitar at that level. But don’t be surprised if you have to go back and listen back to your lessons and start from scratch so you can really take that next step so you can play that level of music properly.
I’m just an average Joe who plays a lot of acoustic music. Can I possibly do something about it?
Sure you can.
You can do some exercises. If you are into practicing in the studio you could go ahead and record a few parts of a song with your acoustic guitar (or, better yet, an acoustic or electric bass). Practice the part for 2-5 minutes to really get
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