2022 has come to an end, and it’s time to make some positive changes heading into 2023. The start of a new year is the perfect time to refocus on why you picked up the guitar in the first place and get a fresh start on your goals for the instrument. It’s important to remember that no two guitarists will have the same goals, and what you want to accomplish on the guitar might be totally different from the next player.
In this article, we’ll be going over the best methods for achieving your guitar goals, no matter how big or small they might be. Whether you want to play the most challenging Polyphia songs or accompany your own voice with some simple but beautiful chords, there are a few key steps you can follow to make sure your guitar dreams come true. Let’s get into it.
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Before you can set any goals, you need to get to the core of what inspires you. What motivates you to pick up your guitar and practice? Is it the desire to play alongside other musicians, the joy of playing your favorite songs, or the challenge of learning something new? Take some time to reflect on what makes you want to play the guitar, and use that as the foundation for your goals.
For many guitarists, inspiration comes from their favorite artists or bands. If you are a fan of a particular musician, start out by carefully listening to their music. Identify what it is they do that makes their guitar playing stand out to you. The unique combination of players that you look up to is how you’ll begin to carve out your own sound and identity on the guitar.
For others, inspiration may come from a specific goal or dream. Maybe you have always wanted to play in a band, or perform at an open mic night. Whatever your dream may be, use it as motivation to make your dreams become a reality.
Now that you know what inspires you, it’s time to outline your goals. Be specific and realistic. For example, instead of thinking, “I want to get better at guitar,” try thinking, “I want to learn two new chords per week.” By setting specific, achievable goals, you can measure your progress and stay motivated.
It’s also important to set both short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals are smaller, more immediate goals that can be achieved in a short period of time. For example, a short-term goal might be to learn a new song within a week. Long-term goals are larger, more ambitious goals that may take months or even years to achieve. For example, a long-term goal might be to become proficient in a particular style of playing or to perform on-stage at a local venue or your church. There aren’t any hard and fast rules, but it’s key to keep both kinds of goals in mind.
If you want to achieve your goals, you’re going to need to create a structured plan. Decide how much time you can realistically dedicate to practicing each week, and schedule that time into your calendar. This will help you stay on track and make sure that you are making progress toward your goals.
It’s also important to create a structured practice routine. This could include warm-ups, music theory, technique-building exercises, or working on specific songs or riffs. By breaking your practice time into smaller, more focused segments, you can make the most of your time and maximize your guitar learning efficiency.
One of the biggest challenges to achieving any goal is staying disciplined. It’s easy to make excuses and skip practice sessions, but if you want to reach your goals, you need to stay focused and committed. Set aside dedicated practice time each day, and stick to it. Don’t let distractions or other commitments get in the way of your progress.
If you struggle with staying disciplined, there are a few strategies you can try. One is to find a practice partner or accountability buddy. This could be a fellow guitarist who can help keep you on track and motivate you to practice regularly. You could also consider joining an online community of guitarists (like Guitareo), where you can learn and grow alongside other dedicated musicians.
While it’s important to set achievable goals, you also want to challenge yourself. Don’t be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone and try something new. This could mean learning a more difficult song or even experimenting with a totally new style of playing. By challenging yourself, you can continue to grow and improve as a guitarist.
One way to challenge yourself is to set goals that are slightly outside of your comfort zone but still within reach. For example, if you are comfortable playing simple songs in the key of C major, try learning a song in the key of G major or D major. This will push you to improve your skills and develop your ability to play in different keys.
Stepping outside of your normal playing style can go a long way as well. If you typically play rock or blues, try branching out into jazz, pop, or funk. This will introduce you to new techniques, chords, and concepts, and can help you become a more versatile and well-rounded guitarist.
As you work towards your goals, it’s important to track your progress. This will help you stay motivated and see the progress you’re making. You can track your progress in a number of ways, like keeping a practice log, recording yourself, or even asking a friend or family member to listen to you play and provide feedback.
One way to track your progress is to set milestones along the way. For example, if your goal is to learn a new song, break it down into smaller goals, such as learning the intro, verse, chorus, and solo. As you achieve each of these milestones, you can mark them off and see the progress you’re making.
Possibly the most effective way to see your progress is to record yourself playing. This can be a helpful way to properly hear yourself and identify areas for improvement. You can also share your recordings with other musicians who can provide feedback and guidance.
While achieving your guitar goals is important, don’t forget to have fun along the way. Playing guitar should be enjoyable, so don’t get too caught up in reaching your goals that you lose sight of why you started playing in the first place. Take breaks when you need them, and don’t be afraid to try something new just for the sake of enjoying yourself.
One way to have fun while practicing is to mix up your routine. Instead of always working on the same songs or techniques, try throwing a little curveball in there. This could be trying out a new guitar effect, or even just playing along with your favorite record. By keeping things fresh and interesting, you’re more likely to stay engaged and motivated.
Another way to have fun is to play with other musicians. This can be more formal, like playing in a band, or just a casual jam with some of your friends. Playing with others can be a great way to learn from each other, try out new ideas, and ultimately, have a whole lot of fun making music together.
As you reach your goals, don’t forget to reward yourself. This could be something as simple as treating yourself to a new piece of guitar gear, or going to a concert featuring your favorite artist. By rewarding yourself, you can stay motivated and continue to make progress toward your goals.
Rewarding yourself doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate either. It can be as simple as taking a break from practice to do something you enjoy like binging a show on Netflix or spending some quality time with friends. By taking time for yourself, you can recharge and come back to practice refreshed and ready to tackle whatever comes next.
Achieving your guitar goals in 2023 is within reach with the right mindset and strategies. By finding inspiration, outlining your goals, creating structure, staying disciplined, challenging yourself, tracking your progress, and rewarding yourself, you are all but guaranteed to make steady progress toward your goals and become the guitarist you’ve always dreamed you could be.
Remember to stay focused, committed, and above all, have fun. With a little hard work and dedication, you can achieve your guitar goals in the coming year and continue to improve and grow as a musician. Best of luck, and here’s to a successful 2023!
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