Building Your Repertoire
So you just finished performing your new piece that you’ve been working on for months, and now it’s time to put it away and move onto something new. While it is exciting to begin something new, it is important to keep up with your old music. By doing so you will begin to build your music repertoire.
A musician’s repertoire is music or songs that a musician has ready to perform at any given moment. This music can be played using a book or from memory and can span many different genres. Ask any of your instructors and they probably have hundreds and hundreds of songs ready to go at a moments notice.
Now, if you have been taking lessons for a while then chances are you have learned or gone through quite a bit music yourself. How do you decide which tunes to keep in your repertoire and which to leave out? There are many things that can factor into deciding which ones to keep, but I would start with the ones you’ve enjoyed playing so far. I say if you enjoyed learning how to play it, then why stop playing it.
The next pieces of music I would suggest adding to your repertoire would be the ones that were the most challenging. As great as you probably played or performed your piece when you were learning it, chances are there was probably something that you could still improve on like your rhythm, a tricky measure, tempo, a new technique, expression and so on. Continuing to play challenging music can eventually lead you to mastering it and whatever skill or technique the piece was teaching you.
Lastly, there are many different styles of music in this world, and being able to play multiple styles will make you a well-rounded musician. So if you spent time learning a piece of music that was in a style that you were unfamiliar with like blues, country, classical, rock, jazz, or bluegrass, then keep playing it. The next time you come across a piece in that style, it will be much easier to learn since you have that style in your repertoire.
So the next time someone ask you, “What can you play?,” you can blow them away with all the music you know.
– Jacob Vallejo, B.M.E, Guitar Instructor