The subject of this article is about a touchy subject to a lot of guitar players…
Motivation, discipline, and practice habits.
It’s touchy because too many people are being excessively hard on themselves.
But before we even get started, I want to make a bet that we’re going to suggest a solution that’s very different than you might expect.
Don’t worry. We’re not talking about a 4 Hour Workweek.
I’m a big believer that you can’t really shortcut excellence.
But you can achieve excellence quickly if you approach it in the right way.
So let me ask you this…
What do you hear guitar teachers saying about practicing?
MORE, MORE, MORE!!
More scales, more modes, more metronomes, more sight reading, more jazz chords, etc..
Now let me explain.
I’ve had periods in my life where I practiced over 8 hours a day for weeks in a row.
And I learned to enjoy the pursuit of excellence in a demanding routine.
I’ve spent full days learning theory, practicing scales, comping chords, sitting in with rehearsal bands, etc…
And because of all that hard work, I realized that – while it’s good to work hard…
It’s even better to work smart.
It’s possible to over-learn and over-practice, and the result is going to be bad.
It’s also possible to waste time spinning your wheels in confusion trying to learn everything under the sun.
It often leads to losing interest, motivation, and your discipline level suffers.
The cure for struggling with motivation and discipline is to have clarity.
Hah, clarity… really?
The typical (and wrong) fix for improving discipline is to do more.
More scales, more modes, go to more concerts, buy more guitar strings. WRONG.
The answer is actually to figure out exactly what you want. Why do you play the guitar?
Do you love to put on a blues track, sit on your sofa in your undies, and just jam until your fingers hurt?
I totally do that...
I’ll jam until my fingers hurt, then ice them down with a nice cold beverage )))
I’ve realized that the best way to feed my guitar passion is to invest in learning things that I love.
And I don’t really stray from that just because someone else thinks I need to be “well rounded”.
So I’ve stopped beating myself up because I didn’t know every scale and mode.
I’ve also stopped excessively criticizing myself and other guitarists.
Instead of feeling guilty about not practicing at least 2 hours a day, I started learning to enjoy the time that I did play.
10 minutes here, 30 minutes there. It’s not totally consistent, but I’m always excited and looking forward to playing.
I may not be on the road to selling out the Hollywood Bowl.
But I’m actually more inspired than ever before.
And I’ve learned the secret to achieving it quickly without taking harmful shortcuts.
And I’m so thrilled that I can’t help but offer this perspective to you.
Having a clear idea about who you want to be and precisely how you want to play is going to be a game-changer.
And putting your best effort into making that idea a reality is easy when you have clarity.
If “how you want to play” includes playing Blues lead guitar, or improvising in any way –
we’ve worked very hard to develop a new way to help you improve.
A guide that frees you up to learn where to play on the fret board, and also enjoy the process of learning it.
So that any amount of time you can spend practicing will be focused, fun, and well spent.
Here, you can learn more about the full Jam Hackers Guide to Blues Leads and Improvising.
Or feel free to reply and let me know how we can help you get the clarity to completely up your game.
If you have any questions or thoughts feel free to reach out at any time.
Thanks again and happy sofa jamming!