What?! He's talking about New Year Resolutions already?
There's a reason: they are a trap for guitarists that promise a brighter future, a better tomorrow, true, but they also provide you with an excuse to slack off over until 2018.
That's nearly a month of slacking off. 1/12 of the year. And most importantly, for many of us, it's a time of year when we actually have more available practice time than normal, brought on by the break between Christmas and New Year's Eve.
Prime guitar time!
Instead of setting some lofty New Year Resolution, I encourage you to think smaller. Way smaller.
How long is your Christmas break? 1 week? 1 month? 3 days?
Now, what do you want to challenge yourself to achieve over this break on the guitar?
We're going to call this your HOLIDAY MINI-GUITAR CHALLENGE (or HMGC, pronounced huh-mah-guh-ka when you're talking about it with family and friends over the holidays to maximise their confusion).
Why Shouldn't I Just Take Some Time Off?
Why do you play guitar? Probably because you enjoy it!
So why give up something you enjoy just because your usual routine has gone out the window?
However, I would still recommend taking time off from your regular practice, to some extent. That's what this challenge is all about - giving you something new, fun, challenging and special to work on in place of your normal playing.
Take something you've always wanted to do but just never had the time for and get stuck in!
What Should My Challenge Be?
All of our students are working on a songwriting project over their two week break, for 3 simple reasons:
- It's often easier to find time to be creative when you have no official schedule to stick to
- Songwriting is something that can be as involved or simple as you want it to be
- All musicians NEED to be composing music regularly. In my opinion, a virtuosic artist who doesn't create music has missed the point of their instrument.
However, your challenge could be a specific technique, a particular song you want to learn, maybe even a mini course that you can do online or from a book.
Don't assume there's one "perfect" challenge, or that you need to go super difficult to make this exercise worthwhile. If you just want to learn 50 songs with only 3 easy chords in them, go for it!
Can't I have my New Year Resolution too?
Sure. But I would argue that you shouldn't wait until an arbitrary holiday to change and adapt your approach to guitar - just do it now.
If you think you should be doing more practice, work out a way to fit it in today! If you want to learn 6 new songs next year, start on one now!
At the end of the day, you're responsible for your guitar progress - not your teacher, not your friends or family, not even your guitar idols. So, if you're not happy with how things are going, make a change, set yourself a short term challenge and get playing.
I'm looking forward to seeing what you guys master over the break!