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Setting Reasonable Goals While Taking Guitar Lessons

July 16, 2018

Learning to Play guitar can be very rewarding but you have to set “reasonable” goals. There are good goals and there a bad goals.  When my friend Ron, age 50, said “I want to learn how to play guitar”.  That’s not a great goal because it is much too vague. It’s much better to say I’m going to work with my instructor and learning materials and practice 10-1



5 minutes every day. With a daily reasonable goal, you can actually see your progress week after week, month after month and be satisfied with your progress.  If you say “I want to learn guitar, you might not ever be satisfied as there are so many levels.  I have been playing guitar now for many years and you never reach the top because there is no top.  There is always someone doing something better.


What are reasonable goals?


I can say that practicing 15 minutes everyday on something challenging is MUCH better than 3 days a week for an hour.  Consistency is everything when learning to play an instrument.  If you can’t do 15 minutes do 10.  If you can do 20, Great Job! You might find 5 or 10 minutes in the morning and the same at night.  With my electric guitar, unplugged,  I practice scales and lead patterns quietly while watching TV. Once you get the pattern down, its just a matter of time and practice and your brain connecting with your fingers.  Focus comes at the beginning, but later its just repetition.  



Practicing vs. Playing


There is a difference. Its always nice to sit and play what you know and play well but to move forward in your skills, you need to dedicate yourself  to practicing something challenging for at least 5-10 minutes a day pushing your abilities to the max during that time.  In short, during your practice time, do those more difficult things you know will propel you forward in your playing skills.




It’s Hard!


Yes, your fingers will hurt and they won’t stretch easily to make the chords but It's Worth It! 

Playing guitar at any age is both enjoyable and therapeutic.  One interesting thing I found out is when I am practicing; it is almost impossible to think about the bills, family issues or whatever.  There are even studies that it helps veterans with PTSD and other issues. As a matter of fact, the benefits of music therapy are becoming more apparent, with schools, health organizations using playing the guitar to manage a person’s stress, enhance their memory, improve their communication and motor skills, and to help them feel more able to cope with life. Enhancing motor skills as well as social skills and team work particularly applies to younger students.  At any age, when working with other musicians to make music, their must be an element of "team" to get the job done.  The whole concept of a good band is a "Good Mix".  This means that each instrument is heard, but not so much over the other.  



Great for the mind


Guitarists have long recognized the therapeutic benefits of playing guitar.  When adults and young students get stressed out, playing and practicing guitar can actually help lower your blood pressure!  Writing original songs and lyrics helps open up the creative part of the brain which is crucial in maintaining a balanced life.  One interesting thing is that when musicia


ns come together and "Jam", often ideas, songs and concepts come out if that simply through collaborating with others.  There have been so many times where I have been playing in a band and we hit on a new tune or riff that no individual thought of!  It juIt’s good for your heartMusic therapy is widely implemented in general health care in test comes out of nowhere through collaboration.  I have personally seen spontaneous songs be recorded and gone to number 1 on iTunes.  Spontaneous Jams are great for creating new music. Playing guitar reconnects us with the creativity that we were born with.

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