The New Year is a good time to reflect on your playing and what you’ve achieved during the previous year. It’s also a great opportunity to set some new goals for 2015 and work towards making them happen. If you’re not sure what to focus on this year, here are few ideas to start you off on the right foot.
1. Learn the notes on the neck.
If you haven’t done this already, this is probably one of the most useful things you can do to advance your understanding of how the guitar works, as well as apply any theory knowledge you’ve learned. There are plenty of methods out there claiming to be able to teach you the notes on the neck in no time at all but the truth is that there are no shortcuts. By doing something as simple as incorporating the following exercise into your daily practice routine, you’ll have it down sooner than you think.
2. Try something new.
It’s a New Year so why not try something new? A new tuning; DADGAD and All Fourths/P4 tuning are my personal favorites. A new style, new picks, new strings, a new instrument, maybe try a 7 or 8 string. Try using your fingers instead of the pick a la Jeff Beck. The possibilities are endless.
3. Get out of that rut you’ve been stuck in.
4. Learn the modes.
Another one of those things you’ll have to do sooner or later, so why not make it one of this year’s goals?
5. Play live but play anywhere.
All those hours of practice, composition and rehearsal would be wasted if we didn’t play live once in a while but resolve to play anywhere and at every opportunity, especially if this involves getting out of your comfort zone.
6. Start a band.
If you’re not in one already then get something going.
7. Get serious about the guitar.
2002 was the year I decided to get serious about playing the guitar and go to Music College; read more on that here.
8. Commit to writing music
The New Year brings new energy so why not channel it into being creative on a regular basis. Set yourself a realistic target to write, and more importantly, finish a song or piece of music at least every month, if not more frequently.
9. Do some ear training.
Possibly the most neglected area of learning the guitar, or any other instrument for that matter, is ear training. The benefits of regular ear training are endless and it’s one of those things that will noticeably improve your playing in the shortest amount of time. Thanks to modern technology, ear training apps are now available on nearly all cell phone platforms, which is a godsend for working on your ear when you have time to kill. I use this one.
10. Have fun.
The important thing is to have fun while working towards your goals, not be too hard on yourself but be persistent and you’ll soon be rewarded for your efforts.
Have a great 2015!
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU: