You want to make 2019 better than 2018, at least you want to play guitar better by the end of it. Fret Zealot is a great start to that, and you will play new scales, new chords, and new songs, provided you pick up the guitar and play it. The days are long, and a lot of extraneous circumstances can dampen the fire to play, and time slips by. Before you know it, it will be 2020 and you aren’t doing what you set out to do in 2019. You will see how these tips will all work together to help you maintain creativity.
1) Set Realistic Goals and Realistic Expectations.
This is something we have mentioned before in our free download to get started playing your instrument. It is imperative to do this, so you do not burn out and lose confidence. Set realistic time for practicing, and set goals for what you want to accomplish on the guitar. This can change as you get familiar with the guitar, and establish a routine. Ask yourself the following questions: Which scales do you want to learn by the end of the year? How many songs a month do you want to learn? How long can you really practice in a session, and how many days a week?
Fret Zealot absolutely will help you play quickly, and learn quickly. BUT, you do have to play to learn and play regularly to improve. Obviously, the more time you put into this, the better you will become. Don’t expect to be Jimi Hendrix overnight, but maybe you will play the lead solo from “Hey Joe” within a few months, or sooner! If your job keeps you busy 40 to 50 hours a week, if you have children, and family obligations, expecting to practice hours each day is not realistic. Amidst the stress, 30 minutes is worth it, and good for you. Do more if you can, and if you only have 10 minutes another day, that is, too.
2) Practice Regularly & Mark it Down.
So you can practice a few times a week for 20-30 minutes? Great! Get a calendar, pick the days each week, and write it down in ink. This is a tip that works with all goal setting. You have likely seen it before. Learning to do anything requires discipline. Marking it down will help you visualize your success. You can also set a repeating calendar “event” digitally (e.g. Google Calendars or another phone’s calendar app) to remind yourself.
3) Seek fresh inspiration.
This can be difficult to do. You may grow tired of listening to the same solos by the same heroes. Listen to new ones, and new music. There is a lot of music you won’t hear on the radio, so search YouTube, iTunes, Spotify, and BandCamp. Spotify helps do this with their “Discover Weekly” and “Made for You” automatic playlists. Go to a local live music performance with an open mind. We’re huge fans of SOFAR Sounds! They have secret gigs all over the world. Listen to artists around you exercising their creativity. No, it may not be as well polished as what you are used to, but you may actually enjoy it more.
4) Jam with other musicians.
This is really important to growing your ability to play. It will improve your ear, and grow your confidence. You may even be inspired. Go to an open mic, sing a song you learned. Go to a jam and sit in. Work up to it if you have to. Go and listen a few times, then sign up to play. Ask someone to show you the ropes if you want. The music community around you will keep you inspired and give you tips that helped them succeed.
5) Exercise Creativity and HAVE FUN!
As you learn new skills, don’t be afraid to jam, write songs, and carve out riffs. There is no wrong way. You will improve your skills doing this, and could even help you escape the stress of life while you do. One our favorite pastimes is noodling around on a new Scale on Fret Zealot (hit any light and it sounds good!)
Have fun! That is what music is for. If you aren’t having fun, why are you doing it?
As with many things, growth ebbs and flows. Sometimes you will lean into the discipline of a realistic practice routine, other times you will lean into a new song, or maybe even writing your own songs. If you keep it up, music and guitar playing all become a way of life. You will discover a routine and practice method that works well for you, and you may be inspired to share your discovery with friends.
We upload new lessons and new songs to our Fret Zealot app often. Our goal is to upload new content weekly and let you know on our social media channels. We have partner apps like Guitar 3D and Uberchord to help you stay inspired as well. We post other guitar videos to inspire you on our social channels as well. Our goal is to keep you playing. So stay tuned, and get jammin’!