Motivating Yourself to Achieve More in Guitar Playing

I came up with a great technique to motivate yourself to achieve more. Enjoy the article.

Motivating Yourself to Achieve More in Guitar Playing
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Have you had those days when playing guitar was like a suffering, the hands were feeling like they were frost, all the notes sounded dull and after few minutes of struggling to play anything, you were putting the guitar on the stand, and turning the amp off? I bet you did. But after very many trial and error approaches to motivating my students I came up with a method that works for most of people I am teaching. Here's the deal. Firstly, you have to know what you want to accomplish, before you even pick up your guitar. If you are just starting to play, find a teacher who will tell you what you have to know. When you know it, when you see your goals clearly, you have to make a step towards them, everyday. Sounds obvious, right, I know, but the method is more unorthodox. Lot of people which I was presenting this concept to, considered it childish :) Let's pretend that we are in a computer game. In most of games more or less, the point is to score as much points as you can, and you get them for most of the actions and decisions that occur in the game world. You probably know now what it's going to be... You have to give (or take) yourself everyday points, what I'll call from now exp points for the actions that you do with the guitar. Funny, isn't it? The amount of points for certain actions depends on you, and your goals. If you, for example, want to learn a A minor scale in the 5th position, mark it worth 5 exp points. Write it down on a piece of paper which you will be keeping all the time to monit your progress! So, if you practice this scale for, let's say, an hour, give yourself 1 exp. After three days of practice you'll have 3 exp. In the fourth day of the practice, you will know the whole position of the scale, so give yourself 1 exp for practicing and 5 exp for achieving a goal. That's 6 exp total, and your current score is 9 exp. Got it? But, what if you don't practiced for the whole day? Simply, dock some points for being lazy. I less myself five points for every day without practice. Of course, only if this was laziness, not other important random events that took my attention. Let's say that the fifth day of your practice you were watching TV all the time. So, 9 - 5 = 4 exp points. Bad. The point of this method is to be fully honest with yourself and see clearly if you are getting better, or no. Try rewarding yourself, for instance, for every 50 exp do something that you normally can't afford, make yourself a little gift. (Anybody is a fan of "Twin Peaks"?) It can be a new set of strings (tadaaa), a cake (yum!), or a 6-pack of your favourite beer (burp), even if you are on a diet, huh. (Not for the under-age, though!) Here are some example values of the exp points. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • Practicing - 1 exp
  • Learning a new scale - 5 exp
  • Learning a new chord - 5 exp
  • Learning a easy song - 10 exp
  • Learning a hard song - 15 exp
  • Learning to sweep a new arpeggio - 3 exp The minus ones:
  • Not practicing - -5 exp
  • Pointless doodling - -1 exp
  • Playing "Minecraft" - -100 exp
  • Buying beer when not deserved - -0 exp ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (Under-age-reminder: Alcohol is bad for your health and you shouldn't drink it on no account.) As said before, the values of the exp points is up to you and the prizes are up to you. The whole method takes self-discipline and honesty, but it gives great results. Remember to focus on one goal at a time, and finish every started challenge. Also, the goals have to be a short-term ones. Have in mind, that every sea consists of waterdrops. If you would learn a chord everyday, after 10 years of playing guitar you'd know around 3650 chords, so that's like 50x more than you will need in a lifetime. So vary your practice... :) Thank you for your attention, please rate and comment the lesson, but mostly - visit my Facebook profile and Like it! By Daniel Kaczmarczyk
  • 31 comments sorted by best / new / date

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      Jimjambanx
      I was gonna give this a 7, but after seeing the "Playing "Minecraft" - -100 exp" I promptly bumped that up to an 8, that alone makes this a good lesson.
      Face R1pper
      Wow those hard songs give alot of experience. I guess I'm going to spend the rest of the week grinding hard songs.
      triface
      Better get yourself a guild together to knock some of the harder ones out too. Some of the harder songs require a group effort. Attempting to solo them would be difficult, unless you have good gears.
      Tommat
      "Alcohol is bad for your health and you shouldn't drink it on no account." Oh, double negatives...
      daniel.kPL
      Gimme some time to fix my grammar :o, when translated into polish, the double negative thing is just gone, that's my bad.
      amieldanao
      hahaha playing minecraft gives -100,but for me that's a reward,after playing guitar,I play games.nice post dude.
      daniel.kPL
      I knew that blocky minecraft will do the job! PirateMuffinDan: I'm much into your kind of approach also, I like to watch Vai dvd's a lot, but lots of people instead of motivating themselves, they get demotivated easily looking at the guitar gods playing. It's all about healthy approach to competing with individualities, and not getting into "technique contests".
      PirateMuffinDan
      "Have you had those days when playing guitar was like a suffering, the hands were feeling like they were frost, all the notes sounded dull and after few minutes of struggling to play anything, you were putting the guitar on the stand, and turning the amp off?" No actually. I've been frustrated but certainly didn't quit after a few minutes. I actually really like this article's approach, but I recommend watching and listening to guitarists you like for inspiration and passion; I think passion is the most important factor in guitar progression. So go on youtube, look up some insane guitarist a million times better than you, get your face melted, and then say "Oh crap, I better get practicing!"
      MattyPS
      I totally agree with you ! People should be inspirated rather than demotivated when they see awesome guitar players performing.
      bassthunder
      The only problem with that is it can be more discouraging than helpful sometimes. Even a pretty solid player can have an "I'm never going to be able to play like X guitarist" feeling on bad days. A little suggestion for the author's system: players should set rewards for themselves after earning so much XP. You get stuff for leveling up in games, so why not in real life? Just a suggestion.
      TheRJDX
      exactly! you need to hit those notes like youre rippin their heads off, dig in. dont just play the guitar, feel it. lol
      stateside2
      I do it the other way round... once I down a can of beer I get 10 mins of playing, then I have to down another for 10 mins more. After an hour of this I think I'm brilliant!
      SeanKGray
      i think the exp system is abit overboard but I think its a good idea to keep track of what you want to learn and what youre playing
      EdguyRule_22
      I get lost in what I want to learn and what I need to learn and usually don't end up doing anything. I've started making lists, for guitar and every day life, so I can remember what I wanted to do, and then I can cross it off once it's done so I can eventually see that I have made progress. Same concept.
      TheRJDX
      interesting article, a chord-a-day and self discipline are good points, but why not take it a step further and find out what notes work well with that chord. To me, this article boils down to: play everyday, learn and understand the music and remove/limit the things in your life that prevent your greatness.