It’s barely 2 weeks before the beginning of a new month yaaay?. I know many of us guitar players made tons of resolutions at the beginning of the year which included doing things better or doing them often. Truthfully, most of these resolutions have long been forgotten by this time of the year. It’s widely known that resolutions are a category of promises that are very difficult to keep, maybe because they are usually impractical and inconvenient to keep up with. This particular article is to share with you some practical, realistic and considerate resolutions you can make for the incoming new month and actually stick to it till the end of the year and beyond…
1. DEVELOP A REGULAR PRACTICE SHEDULE AND DEFINE YOUR PRACTICE
It’s quite normal to hear people say “I want to practice everyday” or “I want to practice for 6 hours daily”, but the question is “will it work?”, “do you have the time?”, “how long will it last?”. Truth is that life gets in the way of our schedules and we end up not fulfilling most of these promises. The best and most honest way to go about this is to properly look into our daily schedules and create a spare time that would not clash with any other activity. Note that the time you set doesn’t have to be in hours, it could be in minutes just to make sure you stick to it regularly. Use reminders and alarm clocks if you would easily forget this new routine, the whole point is to be consistent with whatever will work for you, do this and your guitar playing will improve in no small way.
2. RECORD WHATEVER YOU PLAY
Practice sessions do not have to be about learning new things only , it should also be a correction ground and a ground where you’ll improvise on old or already known stuff, but how would you know what needs to be corrected and worked on if you don’t record yourself? Make it a habit of recording yourself whenever you play. You must not like the way you sound at first, the purpose is not to like or hate your playing, it’s to identify the loopholes in your playing, know where you’re getting it right or wrong and correct yourself or find means of correcting and improving on yourself.
3. LISTEN TO GUITAR PLAYERS YOU FIND INTERESTING
One thing you should make a resolve to do that would help you improve is to listen to players that interest you. Don’t just listen to the overall groove of the song, listen to their guitar part over and again even while you’re busy with other chores, just keep playing it. During your practice time, try and see if you can get what was played and play it on your own. Make this a habit and it would never leave you; keep listening to great musicians, keep scoring what they play and keep trying it out on your own.
4. FACE YOUR DIFFICULTIES
Never run away from what you may tag “difficult” in guitar playing, because that’s where your growth and improvement lies. Whenever you find anything difficult in a piece of music, resolve to put in extra time and effort until you get it right, don’t avoid it or just move to simpler stuff. Running away from challenges only makes the challenges look worse and makes you a slow and dull player. If you do not learn to play technical stuff, how then can you jam with other great guitarists?
5. CELEBRATE YOUR SMALL SUCCESSES
As much as you want to motivate yourself by not getting over excited when you get some difficult stuff right, also celebrate yourself every once in a while when your efforts yield productivity. Reward yourself by getting a new gear or even taking yourself out whenever you set a goal and accomplish it (without cheating of course). Yes you want to be better but do not beat yourself up about it, revel in the satisfaction of your small accomplishments, it has a way of positively reinforcing you to do better.
6. LEARN NEW THINGS
Isn’t it wonderful that we have the 21st century advantage of technology? Watch YouTube videos, join online music groups where you’ll be given tasks and assignments to submit and take up online classes. All these will speed up your process of becoming a better guitarist. Learn other genres of music asides the one/ones you already know, make new friends and music companions that you can jam together with and positively challenge yourselves.
7. ATTEND MORE EVENTS, GIGS AND LIVE SHOWS – YOU’LL STAY INSPIRED!
There’s nothing more inspiring for a musician than to constantly be surrounded with good music! We get our inspiration from watching other great musicians do their thing and that’s important. If you detach yourself from a source of inspiration as a musician, you begin to get obsolete with nothing new and fresh to offer. So, go out, attend live shows, gigs, buskings and whatever will keep your music fire ablaze!
Resolutions are not only considered as good when they are draining and unattainable, you can make nice and sensible resolutions too despite your insane life’s activities and still stick to it, it’s all about going for what will work for you and setting up your mind to make it work. Make your resolutions a part of your life, see it as another activity(ies) to be included in your routine and it will make it better to handle and keep to them.
Consult with yourself and begin next month, and you’ll see how far you’ll go by the end of the year.
Have an amazing month ahead!!!
Do you know any other resolutions that will help guitar players? Comment below.