In this series, you are going to see some of the elements that going in to making yourself a great musician. It doesn’t matter if you want to be a professional musician or if you want to play guitar as a fun hobby, none of us want to be kind of good at something. We want to be the best that we can possibly be.
In part 1 I want to talk to you about having a plan when you practice your guitar and also how to figure out what it is exactly that you want to accomplish in your practice sessions. You don’t have to set goals that are impossible to reach in one practice session such as: “I want to be the best guitar player on the planet”. Taking small steps forward is still a great accomplishment.
When you practice, every time that you practice, you will need to have a plan before you have done anything. You need to have a solid plan for you are going to accomplish that day (not what you would like to accomplish, what you are going to accomplish). Make a list of all the things that you would like to improve about your guitar playing, pick one or two items from your list to work on that day.
After you have picked those items, say each of the following sentences to yourself:
“Today, I would like to accomplish… when I practice.”
“Today, I will accomplish… when I practice.”
Which sentence is stronger and more focused? The second sentence is. Just making that change in your initial statement is going to make you more focused and determined to reach your goal. Now that you have decided that you are going to reach a particular goal (or goals) for that day, you can go about taking all of the steps required for you to do just that.
Another reason having a solid practice plan is the best way to get the results you want from your practice is that having a plan will prevent you from floating around from item to item without paying attention to anything in particular. If you notice that you are just going from thing to thing when you practice, know that you are not practicing at all at that time, you are simply just playing stuff and more importantly, playing stuff that you feel very comfortable in playing and don’t feel the need to necessarily improve upon. You aren’t doing yourself any favors by doing this. Stick to your plan and see how much faster you get the results that you are looking for.