Motivating Yourself to Achieve More in Guitar Playing

author: daniel.kPL date: 05/22/2013 category: practice tips
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Motivating Yourself to Achieve More in Guitar Playing
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
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