It’s quite often that musicians play multiple instruments, so BandMix offers a way to list your experience level by instrument. We use this method to help match you better with other musicians, as someone’s experience level might mean they aren’t a great fit for one band but perfect for a different opportunity.
When you sign up with BandMix, there are five options for experience level per instrument on a scale of 1-5 (beginner, intermediate, moderate, advanced, and expert). It’s useful to your BandMix profile to be as honest as possible about your skill level, and you can always update these selections in the future if you practice your instruments and improve over time.
To make your selection easier, we’ve put together some basic guidelines on instrument experience so you can accurately judge your skill level:
Level 1 – Beginner
Select ‘Beginner’ if you’re a relative novice or you’ve just recently picked up your instrument. Musos in this category would typically have some but not much experience playing their instrument with other people and are still getting to grips with the basics.
Level 2 – Intermediate
So you’ve grasped some of the fundamentals, and you have some understanding of the instrument. You might be branching out to play with others or seeking some live experience; however, you still have a fair amount of technique to master.
Level 3 – Moderate
You can comfortably play with other musicians (perhaps you already do regularly), and you’ve begun to play with some flair. You may still pull yourself up on some techniques that need more practice.
Level 4 – Advanced
Choose ‘Advanced’ if you can confidently play your instrument and grasp more advanced techniques. You have a decent amount of experience playing in a live setting and jamming with other musicians, plus excellent musical knowledge.
Level 5 – Expert
You are very proficient and extremely confident in playing your instrument across various styles or genres with no restrictions. You have a broad musical knowledge and would be comfortable teaching this instrument to a student of any ability.
Tips for practicing your craft
- Regular practice – if you can practice every day or very regularly, you’ll improve your skill quicker, and you’re more likely to be motivated to continue.
- Schedule a time – if you plan to practice at a dedicated time every day or every week, you’re much more likely to do it. Hold yourself accountable by making a note, setting a reminder on your phone, or asking someone to check in with you after practice.
- Get set up – it’s much more challenging to practice your instrument if the environment isn’t right. Be sure to find a quiet room where you can concentrate and have your instrument set up well (and tuned, of course!) before you start practicing.
- Warm-up – a warm-up is one of the most important parts of your practice. Doing a few exercises to get your fingers moving or your vocal cords warmed up will benefit your learning.
- Set a goal – having a goal or set of achievements you’d like to reach is always an excellent motivator for practicing your craft. Be mindful and realistic with those goals, though; you’re not suddenly going to be the next Jimi Hendrix in the space of a week!
- Document your progress – many musicians will record themselves playing to watch it back and critique their performance, which is also a great way to see how far you’ve come in the time you’ve been learning. Besides video documentation, you could write some notes in a progress journal after each practice to record what you struggled with or what you played well. It’s a huge morale boost to feel like you’ve progressed, too.
- Get a teacher – whether it’s an informal jam with a fellow musician or a regular formal lesson with a tutor, find someone who can teach you something new.
- Practice with others – Jamming with like-minded musos can be invaluable to your craft and push you to try different things, like playing new rhythms or improvising in different keys.
- Keep on playing – Even if you feel like you’re getting nowhere, keep going. One day, everything will begin to make sense in your practice, and it will feel amazing to have progressed. Don’t give up!
Updating your instrument experience on BandMix
Once you’ve practiced your craft, you’ll need to update your instrument experience on BandMix. To do so, login to your BandMix account and click ‘Profile’ on your dashboard. Scroll down to ‘instruments played,’ and you’ll see a section that says ‘update your instrument experience.’ Change your skill levels for each of the instruments you play – and don’t forget to select submit at the bottom to save your settings.
If you play an instrument that isn’t listed, be sure to select ‘Other’ and click your experience level, but remember to put a note in your profile description about what instrument this is.
Take a look at our blog about how to write an excellent musician description here: https://blog.bandmix.com/telling-your-story-how-to-write-an-effective-musician-biography/