Warning: This is not a New Year’s Resolution Blog Post

sound hole close-up vibrating strings

How tempting is it to discuss a new plan for a new year for something so progress-based such as learning a musical instrument.
I’ve done it plenty of times myself… sitting down to practice on January 1st & feeling like I am somehow newly recharged & refocused.

However, all the things that I have been working on are still at the same level they were at on December 31st.

So in reality, this is not any different than any other practice session- I am deciding to sit down & continue the work on my agenda of making a little progress
on developing my musicianship skills, to the extent that I can achieve in that practice session.
Except for being a little more psyched-up… which is cool.

As a matter of fact, it is essential to “re-psych-up” (new word) your attitude because maintaining a consistent level of motivation is a big part
of the game here. The “game” being making progress with your guitar playing. And sometimes that means giving yourself a re-charge every time you need it.
Which could be every day, not just once a year.

I think we all know that new year’s resolutions are seldom adhered to & articles on the subject often refer to the psychology of the ineffectiveness of setting unrealistic goals and other such things.

So maybe you could try this- state a personal resolution every month, or every day, or even every time you sit down to play.
Do whatever it takes works for you to be positive & motivated with your own efforts in taking your playing to the next level.

The more you do this, the more it becomes ingrained in your psyche.

Because you don’t want to have an anxiety attack on 12/31/2015 because you realize you are going to have to practice 300 hours before midnight in order to keep your new years resolution of playing an hour a day.

4 Comments

  • Gary Mellard

    Reply Reply January 5, 2015

    This is very true. It’s the same if you get a new guitar and get a rush to play more because you got the new guitar and want to improve immensely. I find it is better to do smaller concentrated regular sessions and make sure I improve a technique on the guitar or learn something new each time and get good at that. Don’t try to do too much and skip important techniques that take time to learn.
    Trying to achieve large leaps forward can be daunting and even make you feel that you just cant do it. I call it ”brick walling” in guitar terms. You hit a wall and cannot get past it. By doing bite size improvements each day I have realised its better and I’m amazed how over just a few weeks the progress I keep making.
    The ’99 decisions’ course lessons seem to be the right size for me and my recent progress has been great. My confidence is high and I feel like I am getting better each time I sit down to learn.

    • Matthew

      Reply Reply January 31, 2015

      I am very pleased to hear that the 99 Decisions Course is working for you, Gary! You did an excellent job right away of using it in a manner that worked for where you were at with your playing. By starting at Decision 1 and proceeding until you caught up with yourself in terms of your musicianship skills, you were able to identify any missing pieces & fill them in. “Brilliant!”, as all my friends at LickLibrary.com are fond of saying constantly, all the while making fun of Americans who constantly say, “Awesome!”.

  • Jerry Kelley

    Reply Reply January 18, 2015

    Matthew is a master teacher/performer and has the unique skill of being able to guide you down the musical path you need to be on based on where you are now. 99 Decisions is an extension of that well honed ability. This program is logically laid out and designed to get you into a routine, which is essential for making progress and having fun. What are you waiting for!

  • Rich

    Reply Reply January 22, 2015

    Great entry – I know from personal experience that sometimes as players we lose sight of those small steps towards our goals. Especially once you reach a certain level of playing, its much tougher to see those large leaps in our progress as a player. I really like the terms ‘Re-Psych-Up’ and ‘Re-Charge’!! NOTED!!

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