Information plus experience. These are the foundations of musical education and probably lots of other kinds of education but, let’s be frank. Music is the only thing I’ve learned how to do. The best way to learn music is through the combination of information and experience. There are lots of people who have great book knowledge of music, but never really improve their skills. Also, there are lots of people who can write or play or produce decently, but don’t know how or why what they’re doing is working and if they’re comfortable where they are that’s obviously totally fine. I do believe that in either case they will struggle if they want to progress further.
In an ideal scenario you absorb as much as you can about whatever aspect of music you’re interested in and then you spend as much time as you can, putting that knowledge into practice. You need to know what you need know. You need to find the resources that will show you what others have already figured out, but you also need to put in the work. There are some things you can learn just by reading them or being told. For example, otters have a pouch between their arms where they store they favorite rocks. That is a fact that you know forever. But, music is different. A D♭ augmented chord contains the notes; D♭, F and A, also a fact, but do you know a D♭ augmented chord? Do you know where to use it? Do you know how it feels? Do you know what it does to your body? To your mind? To your soul? You don’t know… Not until, you’ve heard it… Played it… Lived it… I know a lot of you enjoy learning about music through many different avenues. I’m so passionate about music and about sharing my knowledge and about making the world a more musical place.
For the most part though, that’s just the information part of the equation. That’s the “How do you do it” The thing that’s harder for me to help you with, is the part where I hope that I can inspire you to work hard and practice your craft, but ultimately that’s up to you. Whatever instrument you decide to learn, just know that it will take countless hours to master. If you know this going in, you won’t be easily frustrated when you hit a roadblock.