I was looking through some of my old blog posts and I came across this one from all the way back in 2005. I think it is still relevant today so enjoy!
My television ate my guitar!
Eventually something has to be done.
You know the feeling. You have been playing the same licks for so long you can’t remember when you learned them. Playing the guitar (input your instrument) just doesn’t seem to be fun anymore…it has become boring! Boring because you only know the first 10 bars of any given song and maybe 3 or 4 really cool licks that you can’t place into a song anyway. So you might have taken up a different hobby, maybe skeet shooting. (don’t laugh, this really happened)
Well, what are you going to do about it?
1. Set a goal.
make it a small goal, something attainable in a short time. Just like weight lifting or training to run a marathon, we have to work up to the bigger goals gradually. As we build momentum, it gets easier and lot’s more fun. For example, don’t say you want to learn the entire guitar solo to Free Bird in a week. Rather, decide to learn 4 bars in a week. As your ears learn to hear notes and chords better and you get faster at transcribing the solo, add a couple of measures at a time.
2. Be consistent.
Try to pick up your instrument at the same time every day. I know, I know. I can already hear the excuses about being busy with work, kids and the like. I can’t believe everybody is working 24/7. There is always some down time or quiet time. Turn off the TV for a half hour and pick up your instrument. The key here is to play at the same time every day. Obviously playing more is great but at the minimum at least once a day.
3. Have your own area.
One of the biggest time wasters in practicing is clearing off the dining room table and trying to find your books or CDs that you are working from. By the time you get everything together, ten or fifteen minutes has gone by. All you need is a corner where you can keep your instrument and a music stand and maybe a small table. This area is off limits to the rest of the house. You should be able to go there and get right down to work.
4. Have fun!
If music isn’t going to be fun then why bother? There are plenty of other hobbies or activities that would love our time and money. But also keep in mind that if playing music was easy then everybody would be doing it and that would take the uniqueness from it. remember why you started playing in the first place. When the licks or chords get unbearable ( see my posts on barre chords), get up and walk away but go back later and take a smaller section to work on.
That’s plenty for now. Find the time, a place and get down to it!
Energize Your music and Your life!