Jamming more isn’t always a question of time, but maybe even more of motivation. In this blog post we’ll go through some handy tips and tricks to tackle this, so that you can expand your skills and knowledge of your instrument; and become a better version of yourself as a musician.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a pro, you can always improve something; anything really, from learning new chords to refining your technique. Everything comes down to practice. So here are three simple tips to improve your motivation so that you can rehearse more.
1 – Start with a goal
So what do you want to improve? Is it learning an instrument so you can play your parents’ favorite song at their anniversary? Or do you want to expand your setlist so you can jam more songs when chilling next to the fireplace? Every journey starts with a plan. So what is yours?
Here is a tip: take it easy on yourself. Keep it simple and less can go wrong. So what does this mean? Well, just pick an unambiguous goal like: I want to add twenty new songs to my setlist in a year; I want to learn how to play barre chords; I want to play in alternative tunings; or even more simple like, I want to learn the chords to “Wonderwall” by Oasis.
2 – Make a plan
Did you write down your musical goal? Good! So now what? You know what they say right? “A goal is just a dream with a deadline.” And to have a deadline means you have a plan and a schedule. Well have you?
Let’s say you want to learn those twenty new songs we were talking about, where do you start? By picking the songs you want play, of course. After that, just divide twenty songs by twelve months. That makes 1.66 songs a month. So you have to learn one whole song and start practicing a new one every month. That‘s not that much, right?
2.5 – Backup plan
Again, practice makes perfect, but perfect practice takes courage and consistency. Your brain gets excited when you commit to a new goal, that’s called motivation. But once motivation wears off – and trust me it will – you’ll have to have a backup plan.
The backup plan should be something that is so small to commit to, that even when not motivated you can fulfill it. That something can be playing a minimum of three chords a day, or just the chorus of one song you already know. That’s it. Easy, simple, you just can’t fail.
3 – Stick to the plan
Now, you’re probably asking yourself why you have to do all this stuff since you just want to learn a few songs. Creating routine alters your attitude towards rehearsal. When you have created a routine in which you pick up your guitar every day and play a few chords it reminds you of your goal – learning twenty songs in a year.
Every time you play a song you get better at it, but you also create focus on your instrument which in turn creates momentum. So the benefits of having a goal and a plan combined with a basic routine enhances the probability of you not only reaching your initial goal, but most likely surpassing it.
3.5 – Don’t be afraid to fail
In conclusion, everything comes down to having fun and just doing it – yeah Nike had that figured out a long time ago. As the saying goes: the master has failed more times than the apprentice has tried. And that’s just the way it is.
So what is your musical goal? Plan it out, schedule carefully and commit to one simple daily task you can perform on your instrument. Even if it’s playing one chord, it will benefit your routine. Have fun, don’t stress and happy jamming!