As I’m writing this, it is the start of a new year, full of resolutions for change and improvement. But setting goals isn’t just for January. I’ve used goal setting year-round to make major improvements in my own musicianship and I’d like to share how you benefit from setting goals.

As a younger guitarist, I wanted to explore many styles of music. Some of these, like playing leads for Country music, seemed really daunting. While I loved the music, I knew almost nothing about how those guitarists made it seem SO COOL. And easy. This was going to be a big job.

So I took this really big goal and divided it into small parts. Many small parts. I started by listing all the songs I wished I could play. I made the list in a big spreadsheet (because I’m geeky like that) and it was about 40 songs. Then, I started transcribing each song, one at a time. Every time I finished learning a song, I’d mark it down on my spreadsheet.

I called it my “Summer of Shed” because I gave myself all Summer to finish learning the list of songs and “Shed” because “woodshedding” is an old-time musicians term for practicing. (I guess they used to do a lot of practicing out in their woodsheds? Now that I think of it, it probably sounded really good in there, surrounded by all that firewood!) At the end of the Summer, I had a huge vocabulary of Country music licks and solos and the playing confidence that I’d always wanted.

You don’t have to be a fan of spreadsheets, but I do recommend you write down your goals so you can watch your success happen. It is super-motivating when you see a list of all the things you’ve learned and can now play.

So, set a timeline, break a big goal into lots of little ones and then take note of your progress. My e-book ” 9 Things You Must Know Before Teaching Yourself Guitar ” details even more about goal setting and helps you take action and enjoy success when learning the guitar. I want you to see real improvement in your playing and confidence soon, so I made it free.  Download the book here.

Leave a comment and let me and other guitarists know what goals you’re setting.

-Andy Schneider

From the eBook, “9 Things You Must Know Before Teaching Yourself Guitar”. Download it for free.