Every year people think of meaningless new year’s resolutions in general that flop before the end of January. I wanted to solicit ideas for “Guitar New Year’s Resolutions” as in what do you hope to do this year, either specific or vague. Here area a few of mine:
Slow it down and master the techniques instead of always rushing into new lessons. There is nothing wrong with backtracking, even things I learned a year ago or longer.
Start memorizing the songs I play. How embarrassing it is for me to lug a song book or notebook to play most of my songs. Also get off my rear end and stand while playing. I need to stop being lazy lol.
Do an open mic as soon as possible. If I can squeeze in the January one, I really hope to. If not, no later than February. I am not nervous playing in front of strangers, why not peers here. Part of it goes back to memorizing songs.
Songwriting is long overdue for me. At a minimum, play the songs different than the original artist for some originality and musicianship.
I really need to memorize the scales, music theory, and work on improvising. I spent ten weeks last fall studying nothing but that and I am still struggling.
Hope this gives someone ideas or starts thoughts as to find the direction you are going instead of doing things day by day with no plan at all (me in 2022) lol
My resolution last year was to learn to play. Which was really vague cause I had no idea what that really meant. For me, I think it meant simply sticking with it. Having accomplished that I feel like I want to be much more specific this year, much like your goals.
I’m going to steal your #1 and say that’s my major goal this year. I don’t care where I’m at at the end of the year as long as I took to time out to really try and take my time to really learn everything I attempt.
I always give arbitrary deadlines to myself. for example, I want to record this song by X date. The problem is that sometimes I’ll watch a video days after I posted and think it could have been way better if I gave it another week or 2 of practice. I’ve gotten to the point where progress is slower than the initial “beginner” stage. My brain wants to get the endorphins of being finished something and starting the next thing so much, but in the end it does more harm than good.
So yes, my resolution is to get in a groove and being content with inching forward bit by bit.
They’re some great goals, guys! Mine are (in no particular order):
Improve all tracks on my set list to a decent playable level (maybe not at 100% speed, some are pretty fast! but to a high standard for the speed I get to).
Become somewhat fluent in theory (enjoying the course so far!).
Continue to learn transcribing songs with the (perhaps unrealistic goal) of hopefully listening to a relatively easy song a couple of times and getting fairly close almost straight away (knew someone when I was young that could do that and always thought it to be an amazing skill).
Write a song, anything, just write something, to make a start!
Try to sing… aaaargh!!!
See how it goes?!
All the best with yours. Can’t wait to see how you get on!
My advice to anyone who is setting resolutions is to avoid time based goals for anything you don’t have full control over, as soon or later you’re setting yourself up to fail. Things like practicing every day is largely within our control, but the speed we pick up new songs isn’t. You can practice a song daily but the fact is we pick up some faster than others, not always based on complexity. So what if you haven’t learned a song by x date - if you’re practicing and improving then that’s not failing.
And if you don’t practice today, no problem, get back on the horse tomorrow - it’s only a fail when you give up.
With that said I have 3 things that come to mind for this year…
Keep practicing each day, a few minutes is better than no minutes
Learn some metal - it’s the music I listen to most and why I first picked up a guitar. It’s maybe something for the 2nd half of the year as I still need to keep on with fundamentals (walk before I can run)
Keep learning theory and the fretboard. It’s a big subject so not a specific goal, but obvious things include learning the major scale patterns as so much stems from them and instinctively knowing the notes on the fretboard
I have just one, to try and be more creative!
It’s about time I really found my own voice instead of just copying others. My real thing in my own music is moody relaxing music, drifting along through the clouds
My favourite listening is, as most of you know Metal of most subdivisions but symphonic predominantly. Some of this does give me inspiration to do my own thing, we shall see what happens!
I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. The reason most people’s fail before the end of the month isn’t because they’re meaningless. It’s because they’ve set them as a new year goal, and at the first stumble or failure they give up and need an excuse to try again… usually another new year. The cycle repeats and they achieve nothing.
So my advice to people who want to set goals for genuine improvement is to ditch new year’s resolutions. Instead, have new month resolutions. On the 1st of each month, set your goals and review those set previously.
This gives you twelve “excuses” per year to try again at any goals that have slipped during the month. It allows you to see improvements made more often, helping to inspire you to continue. It gives you the opportunity to complete goals and then switch them for new ones immediately, instead of waiting for another new year to come around first. And the goals you set can be bite-sized and achievable, rather than humongous and unrealistic. It’s a monthly review instead of an annual resolution.
I can’t speak for everyone of course, but personally I have found this process far, far more effective than new year’s resolutions. If you absolutely need a new year’s resolution, resolve to try monthly reviews!
My main goal for this month is to go back over all the things from grades 2 & 3 that I didn’t spend much time on, and get them into my practice routine.
A lot of resolutions also fail because they’re too big and unrealistic. Away from the world of guitars that would be cutting out all added sugar from their diet, or walking for an hour EVERY day, both of which for most people are unsustainable. Setting smaller goals that you can choose to build on is often more successful, such as going for a 10 minute walk each day which you might choose to extend as you’re already out of the house etc
I suppose in guitar terms this would be the equivalent of saying you’ll practice for an hour a day, which is great until you don’t manage it, and then one day becomes two and the habit is largely dead at that point! It’s better to resolve to pick up your guitar each day and go from there. There’s a book called “Atomic Habits” by James Clear that I’d recommend that has a lot of advice on making habits stick. Some will dismiss the book as just common sense, but then fail with all their resolutions!
As you mention, setting monthly goals is something I often do as well although I’ve not applied it to my guitar playing as yet. I suppose at the moment it might be that I’m going to practice my F barre chord for a few minutes each day in January because I need it for a song I want to learn!
Thanks for this topic Jeff Memorising is also one of my goals and hence develop my ear, as the two things are much interconnected. The main goal though is to stay organised focused and structured, even on those days when I’m busier with job and life commitments…Less is more, this will be the principle I’ll stick to
Good luck Tony!! I’m pretty sure you’ll survive there’s nothing better than playing live with or for people to kick my neurons in their…that…and make them connect so that I can learn…in more proper words “to trigger neuroplasticity”…hahaha