Welcome to our new blog here on LearnGuitar.org. This is going to be the new location for lots of informal discussion about all things guitar related. We’ll have lessons, gear tips, and discussions about my own journey with this lovely instrument.
So before we dive in, I figure I ought to tell you a little bit about my experience with guitar. If you’re going to take someone’s advice, you ought to know who you’re taking advice from.
I have over 15 years of playing both acoustic and electric. My tastes run from Dominoes-era Clapton to Hendrix to Nick Drake. After playing mostly electric, I spent four or five years playing acoustic, and have recently hooked up with a new band and am diving back into electric playing. I’m sure you’ll hear more about the band later, as I share my experiences jamming, writing, and performing.
One of the first things you need to decide, when it’s time to take a step forward with your music skills, is what your goals are. What motivates you to pick up the instrument every day? Obviously, this is going to dictate how you approach learning and improving – or even if you care about learning and improving at all.
Let me invite you to share your goals. What do you want to get out of playing guitar? Maybe you want to write and perform songs at open mic nights. Maybe you want to learn to rock out, and perform in front of cheering crowds. Maybe your goal is to nail the solo to Stairway or to play a note-perfect Cliffs of Dover. Maybe you just want to push yourself to see what you can learn, or make music that makes yourself happy. Heck, maybe you just want to learn enough to impress girls.
There is no wrong answer to this question – but asking it honestly can help guide your practice and make you excited about picking up your instrument every day, and those are the keys to rapid improvement. It’s fine if your goals are ambitious – just be aware that it’s going to take some time before you can accomplish them.
I’ll start the ball rolling by talking about my goals. In the short term, my goal is simply to keep up with my bassist (that guy can play just about anything – he’s a music encyclopedia!). But in the next year I’d like to write more songs that I believe in (so far, I’ve written one which I think is pretty good, and a few more which no one will ever hear), and perform them in front of an audience that isn’t just my friends hanging around at a party. I’d like to perform both solo with my acoustic, and with my new band.
And I’d like it if the audience seemed to genuinely like what I was playing.
So those are my goals. What are yours?