A change of direction

When I sat and thought about my guitar related goals for the year it resulted in something of realisation that the direction I’m heading isn’t at all where I planned to go. Rock and metal have always been my thing and are the reason I picked up a guitar but since getting my Taylor acoustic guitar a little over a year ago, that’s virtually the only thing I’ve played and all of my current goals are acoustic. I even find myself browsing fancy acoustic guitars rather than V-shaped ones like I previously did :joy:

So my question is who else has had a similar experience? Maybe you’ve got into a different genre as a result of playing. I suppose in my case I’m mostly seeking out acoustic versions of songs that I enjoy rather than a complete change


I planned to learn classical, got a steel string, dove head first into electric and backed out to classical again with a smattering of steel string acoustic. So yeah, all over the map. Music is fun that way.
Now I am just trying to learn to play what I have and stop buying too much gear.

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A new acoustic and so much fingerstyle /blues wasn’t on the cards when I started that’s for sure!

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Oh 100% this. If I knew from the outset what it was I’d enjoy most I might not have bought all of the electric gear I own and possess one very nice acoustic guitar instead. As it is, I know that I’m fickle and if I sold my amp, telecaster and pedals then I’d only want them back!

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I’ve been there at least twice. When I started playing I quickly got into electric guitar / rock etc and pretty much nothings else. After a long break I played exclusively acoustic fingerstyle, and sold all my electric guitars (I still miss my Yamaha SG300 - super rare, and I occasionally see if I can find another!). After my most recent break I got back into electric, bought a tele and sold most of my acoustics. However I currently play both electric and acoustic - I like the balance.

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The more you know, the more things you realize you don’t know. Socrates told a story once and described knowledge as standing in a circle. Inside the circle are things you know. Outside this circle is what you don’t know.

The more stuff you learn, the more the circle gets bigger. As it grows, you realize the endless learning possibilities.

Once you get into the habit of forming and achieving goals - you’ll find it spreads into your whole life. This is a great thing!

Added below by Rogier:
Don’t know if this makes any sense at all, but what I mean is… learn to set goals and then you learn to adjust them better and better the more you do it



@roger_holland On a somewhat philosophical note I think the thing I’ve learned in the last number of years, about life in general and guitar as well, is not to become blinkered and set in your ways, keep your mind open to other things. Thinking of guitar, metal has always been my thing and it’s really easy to fall into the trap of excluding all other possibilities.
Away from guitar I do a lot of yoga which is something that 10 years ago I’d have laughed at (because I was ignorant and far too sure that I knew everything). It’s an important lesson I’ve carried into the rest of my life about being open minded and prepared to cast aside everything that I think I know


When I started, I intended to learn rock, electric blues, ancient music adaptations for guitar, and Spanish classical. My hopes haven’t changed, but I see that I need to focus on one area so I don’t dilute my learning too much. Too much dilution means that I won’t get to reasonable competency as fast as I would like. Much more satisfying to play a few songs well than a lot of songs poorly or partially.

I didn’t know much about the 20’s and 30’s blues when I started. I received a songbook from a retired music professor and started to figure out how to play some of the tunes in the book. I did this far before I had hopes of being able to do so! It got me started on playing blues finger style instead of picked. I am still using electric, but have it set up as clean as I can get so it is somewhat acoustic-like. I didn’t see this coming in my first few months.

Now, Justin’s excitement about his blues classes has me focusing almost completely on this style to resolve as many deficiencies as I can for the day he stops taunting us and puts the classes out. I still plan to work on my original list, but I have shifted my expectations so that I do this more one at a time than all at once.


This for sure ! But veering back to some rock this year.


I completely get this and have been down that road before where you think you can learn everything and ultimately learn very little which is demotivating. I’m much more of the mindset of learning a few things well these days

Hi Matt,

I’m completely in the same boat. I love playing rock music but struggling to find anyone who really appreciates my efforts with rock songs. Ironically when I do a country song people say wow that really suits your voice better. Country songs are usually really easy to play and have even rhythms throughout the song, but I am definitely from the era of poison, g n r, Metallica, kiss, etc. I want to play fast upbeat rock songs and end up playing the same style of ballads over and over. People don’t even listen to my AVOYP uploads much anymore. Not giving up, just want to do something unique and interesting people will want to hear. Still at the crossroads of where I had hoped to be right now and reality of shortcomings. Great topic!


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Started playing bass then Rhythm guitar in a Rock/Metal band when I was 15. Did that for about 8 yrs then life changed and have played Acoustic guitars ever since. Still love to play/Jam with friends.


Of course and I expect many people have. I never saw myself as a fingerpicking, singing guitarist and here I am! Yet I ALSO play in a band; not in a lead role as I imagined but things went far broader than I could dream.

I’m glad you shared this story with us. In my Live Club about setting goals, I explained that as you progress, your long term goal at the horizon can actually change and you are re-evaluating your goals on a regular basis.


Yeah, it boils down to “I just want to learn guitar” these days. The genre is less important as long as I am having fun and learning.

It will be like Instagram. You can learn something by looking back and seeing what you have selected over the years. It is not always what you thought.

I still have an electric guitar and amp. Can’t quite let it go.


I would suggest not over thinking things or taking things too seriously. Keep learning and practice fun and keep things moving. Don’t die on the vine trying to reach some level of perfection. Keep your eyes and ears open to musical inputs. There is nothing wrong with heading toward the beach but spending some time in the mountains.


I’m similar. Grew up loving rock and mostly hard rock. Now it’s all acoustic. Just love the sound of an acoustic guitar, especially fingerstyle

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Thanks Jeff.

With regards to the rock and metal stuff I think I just know that I’m unlikely to ever reach a standard that I’ll be satisfied so it’s maybe better to not go there! There’s quite a high bar to reach when you grow up listening to the likes of Mustaine, Hammett and others.

Some might see this as defeatist but with my acoustic guitar I’ve found a way into playing that I really do enjoy. Once I’ve worked on rhythm and getting my left & right hands on the same wavelength maybe the noisy stuff can be revisited at a later date.

As long as you get some pleasure from the stuff you’re playing then that’s good. If you’re doing it only because it’s what other people want to listen to then that’s possibly not sustainable. It’s probably possible to have a foot in both camps as long as you don’t spread yourself too thinly. Maybe have something “metal” on the go as well as your other stuff but don’t end up with a load of unfinished side projects, a load of riffs that don’t add up to song etc

I think there is something special about the (relative) simplicity of the acoustic guitar.

I am a gear guy and love stuff. But, with the acoustic, it is just you, the instrument and the sounds you can coax out of it.

No amp, pedals, or infinite variety of tones you need/want to shape.

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Indeed. I’ve tried acoustic guitars like the Yamaha Transacoustic that have built in reverb and chorus and they just don’t do it for me like the unplugged unmodified sounds I get out of my guitars. I’m not saying those aren’t good options for others. Just for me it’s guitar only.

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Yes I joined your session on setting goals, it was very useful thanks.

For anyone to set goals they need to first be honest with themselves which isn’t always easy because it will quite often involve “downgrading” a dream, potentially a lot! It involves getting comfortable with reality and being ok with that. In my yoga practice this is called acceptance. It can be misconstrued as giving up but in reality it’s about being at peace with where you are. If you’re at peace, then you’re happy and if you’re happy, you’ll keep playing guitar and will get better! If guitar is a source of constant frustration because your goals weren’t built on a realistic assessment of your situation then you’ll likely quit.

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