All tagged guitar goals

Process Over Product: The Secret to Learning Guitar

Vintage Guitar by Photos, CC0 Public Domain

Not too many people understand exactly how much fun it is to learn guitar slowly.

There's no rush, no need for urgency. A lot of people are wrapped up in the hope that they will one day experience the magical moment when they can play guitar and can label themselves "good" at it. They rush to experience that feeling, and it doesn't end well.

I've practiced and studied guitar for more than twenty five years, and I've still not experienced a complete enlightenment with it. Moreover, the process of learning guitar is so enjoyable for me that I don't worry about outcomes anymore. I might get a moment or two of elation from time-to-time, but these moments are always fleeting and short-lived...

Favoring Adventures over Guitar Goals

Guitar by bogitw, CC0 Public Domain

When someone has an adventure, there's an aspect of mystery and magic to it. We love stories. We love crazy adventures. If we didn't we'd hate reading fiction, and we'd never would have enjoyed watching The Lord of the Rings.

In recalling an adventure, a person could describe his or her experience as momentous, nothing that could have been expected, and totally memorable. The vagueness, the unexpected joys and sorrows that adventures present are so meaningful to those who have undertaken them...

What should be my top guitar goal?

Airness by Dave, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

The top guitar goal that I recommend is this: Enjoy the process of learning guitar in order to enrich your life with music.  

Notice that this goal is free from judgement, comparison, achievement, deadline, or even a sense of urgency. This is definitely on purpose. If guitar is a hobby for you, this goal will help you learn it in a very satisfying manner without it taking over your life. 

Let's break it into two chunks, and get into why this goal is so helpful.

Comparison-Based Guitar Goals

Cat Guitar Case by The Pixelman, CC0 Public Domain

Comparison-based guitar goals are goals that depend upon being favorably compared to a better guitarist.

In order to achieve any comparison-based guitar goal, we must be specifically viewed by all other people as being better at guitar than the guitarist we are comparing ourselves with. 


The rest of this post will go over some very common comparison-based goals, how beginners are negatively by having them, and how to rewrite them to be more useful for enjoyment of guitar in the long run.

Judgement-Based Guitar Goals

Carlos Montoya sitting on floor with four guitars by Walter Albertin, Public domain

Do you like to be judged on how well you do on your hobbies? Do you like to be graded on things you do to pass the time? If you’re like most people, the answer is no.

Then, why do so many beginners make the mistake of making extremely judgemental guitar goals for themselves? Why do so many of them want to "be good at guitar?" That won't end well.

No doubt, ridding ourselves of judgements is paramount to making guitar more fun in the long run. Lucky for you, the rest of this post will help you get rid of them forever. Let's kill it judgements altogether.

Achievement-Based Guitar Goals

Play Guitar, Guitar, Music by CondesignCC0 Public Domain

When most of us think about setting goals, we think about setting achievement-based goals. These are goals like, "I want to learn how to play five songs."

Achievement-based goals are clearly defined and they can help us measure our success, but it depends on how emotionally attached we are to achieving them: The more we need to complete the goal, the harder a struggle to learn guitar we will have.

This post goes over some very common achievement-based guitar goals that beginners make for themselves, and how to make them stronger. Let's hit it. 

The trouble with urgent top guitar goals

Banjo musician by Public Domain ArchiveCC0 Public Domain

The big reason why you picked up a guitar is important: It's your top guitar goal. I find it very odd that most beginners haven't articulated their top guitar goal, considering the implications.

If this top guitar goal is riddled with the worst infectious disease of learning, if it's completely surrounded with the biggest enemy to practicing guitar, you are in for a world of hurt. 

What is this disease I speak of? Urgency.

This post was written to shine a clarifying light on urgency. I want to help you get rid of it forever. Let's jump in.