15 December 2007

How To Focus On Your Guitar Goals

Do you have trouble setting and achieving clear goals for your guitar playing? Do you feel confused because there are so many different things you'd like to play and you don't know where to start or where to go next?

If this sounds like you then you’re probably suffering from a lack of focus. This is a problem that afflicts many of us – I speak from everyday experience here. But here is a remedy that will improve things for your guitar playing, even if a complete cure is a probably a long process that is outside the scope of this post…

The problem often starts when someone asks you what kind of guitarist you want to be, or what kind of music you want to play.

Your mind immediately fills with images of numerous guitarists that you’ve heard and seen playing beautiful music with seemingly no effort. And I bet that these guitarists cover several different musical styles and guitars.

You want to play like all these different guitarists, but that requires mastery of a wide range of skills and techniques as well as knowledge of the different musical styles.

It’s at this point that you start to get into trouble.

There you are with this vague picture in your mind of what a guitarist is. You try to practice all the things that those guitarists know: open chords, bar chords, major scales, minor scales, blues scales, licks, riffs, jazz chords, arpeggios, finger picking, strumming, mastering the plectrum, without mentioning all the musical theory and the songs to learn.

You soon get the feeling that you're going round in circles...

The solution to this problem is to create a mental image of your own guitarist self. To be effective this image must be really focused on just one thing. What songs do you want to play in six months or a year from now?

Imagine yourself at a party, maybe it’s a birthday, or Christmas. Picture yourself at this occasion, see yourself amongst the other people – your friends, your family, a group of strangers in a crowd. Now imagine that you pick up your guitar and, encouraged by the audience, you play some songs.

What do you play? Do you sing along, or are you accompanying someone else singing? Maybe you’re playing in a group of friends?

Visualise the situation in your mind and build up a detailed image of yourself playing. Concentrate on the feelings that you want to experience. Who is around you? How do they react? What kind of songs are you playing?

Recall and build upon this image every time you think about your learning goals. As the image gets stronger you’ll find that it replaces the hazy picture of your diverse guitar heroes that filled your mind before you built your own image.

You'll find that choosing your learning goals and figuring out what to work on to realize your own self image becomes much easier.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey thanks for the tips, has really helped :)

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