We're now well into the first quarter of the year and I hope you are progressing nicely towards your guitar goals. But if you are struggling, or even if you could just use a little boost, here are my tips to help you reach your guitar playing goals for the year.
Have a Goal
It’s obvious that if you don’t have a goal then you can’t reach it. Without a goal you might practice and play different things that you come across but you never really get anyplace you want to be; you’re in reactive mode.
To take control of your guitar progress have a picture of where you want to go with your guitar this year. Not a detailed plan, but a simple picture you can easily recall to mind. “This year I'd like to join a band”, for example.
Know Your Next Move
You have a goal for the year, great! A year seems like a long time, but is in fact all too short. To keep focus on progress throughout the year break your goal down into smaller steps; know at all times what your next move is.
Schedule Your Practice Time
If you want to get something done then schedule it. Take your guitar practice time seriously and set aside a specific time for it. If you just wait to let it happen when you're free you'll find that your time gets eaten up by other more pressing matters and you guitar practice will fall by the wayside.
Remember, the way a project gets a year late is one day at a time.
Organize Your Practice Time
If you don’t decide in advance what you’ll do when you practice then you can waste a lot of time. Take a little time each month, each week, to write down a plan of specific things you will work on. If you are serious about making progress then ensure that your plan includes a proportion of challenges so you’re not simply repeating what you already know.
Prepare Your Learning Material
As you make your plans prepare whatever learning material you need to put them into action. Don't rely on finding the lesson video you want on YouTube at the start of your practice session, that’s a recipe to spend your time watching videos instead of practicing. Choose your learning material – books, videos, tab – to match your goal and next moves in advance.
Here’s a quick recap of the five steps:
- Have a goal – a picture of where you’d like to be in a year
- Know your next move – set out a series of steps towards your goal
- Schedule your practice time – don’t let it take a back seat
- Organize your practice time – write down the things you’ll work on
- Prepare your learning material – gather the books, tabs, videos you’ll need in advance
Get these five fundamentals in place and you’re well on your way to reaching your guitar goals this year.