2 January 2009

Learn Guitar - What to Do Next

Here's a post to help those who said they don't know what to do next in the Guitar Learning Challenges survey. If you enjoy it you might want to catch up on other responses:

Almost 40% of respondents to the Guitar Learning Challenges survey said they didn't know what to do next. Here's a tip that will help you if your guitar learning is held up because you don't know what to do next.

This tip can be boiled down to just four words, four words that can help you to move forwards from wherever you may be, "Figure out one step.". There is nothing new about this idea, two and a half thousand years ago the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tse said"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step". The same is true today for your guitar learning journey. You might not plan to travel a thousand miles, but this idea will help take your guitar skills to the next milestone.

Figure Out One Step

Forget about fancy goals and intricate plans, your job is simply to figure out one thing you can do next.

Sometimes you don't know how to break down a long term goal, where to start, or maybe you're just confused by the overwhelming number of possibilities. One thing you can do though is figure out just one small step from where you are now. An easy way to do this is to pick something that you want to play. A song, a riff, a lick, a solo. It should be something you've heard that you really liked and you'd love to play it.

I bet you can think of at least one song that fits this bill. Now figure out what you need to play that song. Get some tab or sheet music, find out what chords the song uses. What about the riffs, licks or solo parts?

Take A Step

When you've figured out what's in the song, go practice it.


When you can play the song, solo, or riff you chose, congratulate yourself, and then go right ahead and choose another. Repeat this process taking small steps each time to continue your guitar learning journey.

Make sure you choose something you really like at each step and you'll end up somewhere you are happy with. Don't choose things you don't really like that much just because someone claims it's a "must play song". The only must play songs are the ones you enjoy.

Use this simple process next time you fret over what to do next with your guitar. Cut away the confusion and doubt by simply picking one thing. Then get on and do it.

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Read more answers to the Guitar Learning Challenges survey:

How to Fix Stupid Guitar Fingers
Guitar Practice: Never Be Stuck For Ideas Again
Instant Guitar Practice Routine


Unknown said...

1:Figure Out One Step
2:Take A Step

Sounds easy. Now, I need to get off the couch and practice. My goal for this year, is to improve enough to warrant a new guitar by the time the 2009 Holidays are upon us...

Gary Fletcher said...

Mike, why get off the couch? I do most of my practice there. Good luck for the new guitar...

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