20 May 2009

Learn Guitar: Your Next 10 Steps?

Do you know what the next 10 things you will learn on the guitar are? If not, you could be in danger of wasting learning time as you wonder what to do next, or spend too much time going over something you already learned again and again. Here's a simple technique that will help you avoid both these dangers.

When it comes to learning to play guitar there are usually so many possible next steps that you can easily waste time as you try to decide the next thing to learn and practice.

An easy way to get rid of this problem is to make your next step obvious. If the next step is obvious you won't spend time wondering what it is, or whether it's too hard, or too easy, or how to do it. You can simply get on with it. One very easy way to make your next steps obvious is a "Next 10 Things" list.

Next 10 Things List

To make your next 10 learning steps obvious at all times write them down on a Next 10 Guitar Steps list.

On your sheet you might list ten songs, ten new techniques, chords, or scales, or a mixture of songs and specific skills. Whatever you choose to include in your list, make sure they fulfill two important conditions.

1. They are things you are enthusiastic about
2. They help you progress towards your guitar playing goals

Put Your Next 10 Things To Work

Once you've created your list the next critical step is putting it to work. Put your list in a prominent place where you are sure to see it often. I leave mine in my guitar case, on top of the guitar so I see it every time I take out the guitar. You might want to make several copies and leave them in places where you'll be reminded regularly.

Put yourself to work to learn the ten things on your list. You might work one at a time, or have two or three on the go at once. Whatever approach you choose, focus only on the things you wrote on your list. Don't waste any time searching for new ideas or lessons.

Rinse, Lather and Repeat

As you near the end of your list, say around number seven or eight, it's time to start thinking about a new list of learning steps. Note down ideas that come to you, questions or problems that arose as you worked through the current list.

Then take a fresh worksheet and write down your next ten learning steps, and start again to work through it.

Remember, don't start to look for new things to learn until you get to around item seven or eight on the old list. Too many lists will only lead to distraction and reduce the focus of your guitar practice.

The 10 next steps list is a great technique for creating a clear path to navigate through the dangers of over analysis and procrastination. You can use it to further your guitar learning. Write your Next 10 Guitar Steps list today.

Thanks to Chrisopher Knight at Ezine Articles for this idea. It was originally proposed as a way to plan articles to write, but I found that it works well for guiding my guitar practice. I hope you'll find it useful too.

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