The first two years has been fun, learning new riffs, licks and songs. It feels like I am improving in very fast pace but the years after, it feels like there is this wall I keep hitting that's blocking me to improve.
Practicing new things becomes boring because I am already comfortable with what I know. Getting to know new positions, playing styles, neatness, improving your ear and knowing the fret board and guitar more is more than just playing around in circle of my comfort zone, it requires discipline. I am aware of that and I know a lot of you can relate to this, so here are a few tips that made me a better guitarist.
Relating Your Daily Activities With PracticingI believe that everything we do is related. Our characteristics are based upon our actions, if we are a neat person, our guitar playing would also become neater. So by doing positive things in your daily activities, such as being washing the dishes, doing the laundry and keeping your room neat, it would reflect positively on your playing in terms of discipline.
Becoming a better musician doesn't mean that we have to be on your instrument. Look at the grass, paintings and people around you, notice their feelings and your feelings towards them. It would incorporate more feelings and articulation towards your solo. While you are watching a movie, notice the music and the scene of the movie, what kind of feelings it generates to the audiences and actors. It would make you a better musician. Use your imagination!
Don't Set Your Daily Goals Too HighBy setting simple goals, practicing would last longer because if you force yourself to practice 8 hours a day but burnout afterwards and made you only practice once a week, what good would it make. The brain needs time to process all the new things you learned. It's better to take your time in practicing, it is better to practice for 30 minutes every day than to practice 10 hours in a day. But then again, everyone is different.
I used to state that today's goal, I should practice 5 hours a day because I missed practice yesterday, I should finish this book, learn this and learn that and in the end, I didn't finish all that become there is too many on my plate. I usually set my goal, to practice 2 hours at least in a day, sometimes its more than 2 hours, it depends on how busy I am with college and stuff. Practicing has become my lifestyle and it feels weird if I skip a day.
The first hour of my practice is usually the boring stuff from books, such as scale practice, arpeggios and ear training, but then I would please myself with learning the fun stuff like a John Mayer solo or practice songs for church. So set this mindset where practicing is like having food in your stomach. Be discipline!
Get to Know Other Musician FriendsHaving musician friends would not only benefit you to become more motivated in practicing but it is fun to talk about what you love to someone who loves it as much as you do. I only have a few musician friends because I only play guitar for church and as a hobby but it's fun to be able to talk about gears, exchange knowledge, licks and have friends to jam with.
Another tip is to start a band or join a band because it would benefit your teamwork and playing skills but most importantly it is FUN. I am currently in a praise and worship team, in my experience is that, I learn from musicians that are better than me and also learn from teaching those who are less experienced than me.
Book RecommendationsYouTube is a great teacher and has been my guitar teacher for 10 years. There are also other books that in my opinion is a really great tool for our daily practice.
"Jeffrey Kunde's Train Your Ear"One of my weakness is my ear, this book really helped me improve your ear. Now music become more clear to me as a musician, instead of just googling chords and reading them, I am now able to listen to intervals and play them directly. I usually practice 30 minutes with this book and I really take my time with this book.
"A Modern Method for Guitar: 123 Complete"This book helps me get independent fingers, read music notations, practice string skipping, learn scales, arpeggios and all, you name it. This book is really brilliant, it helps you to look cooler and become a better musician. I usually start my practice with this book. Again, spend some time with this book because it really will help and always use a metronome.
Those are the books I use to improve my skills, for learning new songs and licks, I use YouTube and ears.
Thank you guys for reading, I hope that this would give you guys some insight, inspiration and motivation! Hope it helps break the wall you are facing.