Reaching Your Guitar Goals
Learning to play guitar is more challenging than many instruments. It can be quite the uphill climb if it isn’t approached correctly. If you have proper guidance and the right approach you will be extremely satisfied in reaching your guitar goals. Unless you don’t like guitar, but then why would you be reading this if that was the case! Let us take a look at what the process of reaching your guitar goals looks like.
What is a Guitar Goal?
Often what comes to peoples minds is being a rockstar or famous. This is a great goal, but many people do not have that goal. Or it is simply just too massive to consider.
A guitar goal is defined by you. I would recommend keeping it big, whatever that means for you. But don’t just set the goal and get started working towards it. You might think, “I’m an A-type person and I do not have time or the patience to mess with the details, let’s get this done!”
That is going to be a very frustrating attitude to take into your guitar playing. Because guitar is a long game endeavor I would suggest doing this simple technique 1st. It will not take long and it will make the rest of your journey much smoother.
If your goal is to perform at a popular local venue and you are a beginner, that is going to seem too far off. You will also not likely know where to begin unless you have already done that with another instrument.
You could talk to other people who have done it, but you aren’t them and from what I have found is that most performing musicians do not know how to guide beginner musicians even if they are great at what they do. It is best to speak to someone who has done it and is trained on how to guide someone at your level.
We will need to work backwards. This is why the goal should be big. If we don’t have a destination to work towards then you will hit it too soon and not know where to go.
If you have never worked backwards or reverse engineered a goal, that is ok. It is simple, but it will take some thought. Write on a piece of paper your end goal. From there, ask yourself, “what do I have to have or have done to be able to reach that goal?”
Tip: you don’t have to have all the answers and details. Just do your best and adjust as you go. You will always need to add things in or adjust. Having a perfect plan will only lead you into procrastination and that will get you no where fast. Success comes to those willing to be imperfect.
Your answer might be, “to play at the venue I would need to have at least a video of me performing the song at a smaller venue.” This might still seem far off, so we will ask again in accordance with that step in the process.
“What do I have to have or have done to play at the smaller venue?” Your might say, I video of myself performing at home. Keep asking yourself the same question for each level.
“What do I have to have or have done to make a video of myself performing at home or at a local open mic?” To confidently know the songs.”
“What do I have to have or have done to play these songs confidently?” Have the skills and knowledge to learn the songs and execute them on autopilot?”
“What do I have to have or have done to get the skills and knowledge I need?” To find a great teacher to teach me, guide me, and support me in my journey and take guitar lessons from them.
“What do I have to have or have done to find this kind of guitar teacher?” Start looking for one and make sure I know what to look for.
So we have reversed engineered the big goal 8 steps down. Each of these individual steps or individual goals is the best approach. Smaller goals leading towards a bigger goal make it easier to achieve, feel success, and get momentum going. Aiming for the big goal is great, but if you do not break down the big goal into smaller pieces it will be discouraging when you have challenges along the way.
You will still have challenges hitting smaller goals, but the smaller goals will be much closer and in reach. There will be even smaller “micro goals” to hit each of these. Especially the stage of getting the right guitar teacher to then being able to play the songs. Getting on stage to perform songs is the scariest part, but it isn’t complicated if you have all the other pieces in place.
The Final Piece
You will need confidence to pull this all off. Confidence is built by taking action, working through failures, and getting results. No one who has ever reached their big goals ever did it without first failing along the way. See your failures as practice runs.
This is what confidence is about, persevering despite what looks like it is not possible. Keep your goals in mind all the time and work towards them daily and you will get one step closer every day. Have fun and when you put this into practice and get success, let me know! I will look forward to hearing about your journey and victory.
About the Author: Ryan Duke is a professional musician, songwriter, educator, and owner of the best guitar lessons Franklin, TN, Supertonic Guitar.