It's January and our phones are ringing off the hook! People all over NYC are making the resolution to play guitar in 2016. Many of them will be successful but some of them will lose momentum as the year moves on and life invariably happens. Not you, though! You will be successful because you will have clear, achievable and definitive goals. Here are a few suggestions to help keep you on track!
1. I will practice every day (even if it's just a few minutes).
Studies have shown that the amount of time you spend practicing in any given week is far less important than how often you practice. If you can get in just 15 - 20 minutes a day you'll be better off than someone who practices for three hours twice a week even though you've spent less than half the time!
2. Leave my guitar out of the case at home.
This one is really easy. You just get a guitar stand for the wall or your floor and when you get home from guitar lessons, you take your guitar out of the case. This small step will remove one obstacle that, believe it or not, actually stops people from practicing. Plus people will come over and see that you're a musician and know that you're super cool!
Our most successful students are the ones who perform. It's as simple as that. Music is meant to be heard and a guitar player who doesn't perform is like a football player who never leaves the bench, always practicing for a game that never gets played. For performance opportunities check out our events page or just google "open mics nyc" and find one in your neighborhood.
4. Make a point to hang out with other musicians.
If you want to lose weight and get fit, hanging out with your friends who drink beer all day and eat buffalo wings is ill-advised. Well, you can still hang out with them but know that it's not helping your fitness goals. We take on the characteristics of the people around us so if you want to be good at something, hang out with the people who are already good at that thing!
5. I will get my friends to support me.
I always tell my songwriting students - "If you want to write songs, book a show and tell everyone you know that you'll be playing original songs. Guess what? You'll write the songs!" The same is true for learning cover songs. Make a commitment and tell people about it. You'll get it done because you'll have to!
6. I will accept the inevitability of setbacks and push forward.
So you said you'd practice everyday and it was only a week before you missed a day. Oh well, maybe next year right? Wrong! Resolutions aren't about perfection! They're about failing over and over again before dusting yourself off and starting over. Know that you will fall and plan on getting back up every time!
7. Master a specific song or an album.
You can learn more from mastering one song than butchering a thousand songs! NYCGS Founder Dan Emery is always saying that because it's so true! So set your sights on a specific song or collection of songs that you're really excited to learn and don't quit until you've really got them. Not only will you grow as a musician but practice will be fun because you're doing something you love!
Finally, start your year off with a free live webinar open to anyone who knows a few open chords!