January 7, 2022 by Klaus Crow
Happy new year to all of you! May 2022 bring you good health and utmost joy. While some things are beyond our control there is a lot we can do ourselves to improve our health and overall happiness.
As a practicing musician (and a human being) it’s important to maintain a good physical and mental state, so I like to do whatever I can to work on my health and strengthen my immune system and of course this comes in phases. Life works like that. It’s high tide and low tide, its Ying and Yang. It’s all part of the game, as long as you get back up again and go for it.
For music and guitar goals it’s the same thing. I set out goals where some survive and others don’t and that’s okay. It’s the intention that matters.
For me goal setting makes me happy, that’s why I do it. It’s not the result I’m after to be fulfilled, it’s the writing down of things that I want to do, the process, the workflow, the effort and everything that occurs from that.
I write down my goals. Writing down goals makes the probability of executing them much higher. Writing them down in detail on a weekly or even daily basis will make that probability huge.
My Previous Guitar Goals
One of my guitar and music goals for 2021 was “improving my guitar skills”. Now I must admit that’s a little vague, because if learned one new guitar lick I would’ve reached that goal. So I’m going to make my goals more specific this time.
Another one of my goals was “writing songs”. Now that one I have accomplished. I’ve written 12 songs in the last year. I’ve written the music and lyrics, but I haven’t recorded them yet, so you can guess what’s coming.
I’ve performed before a live audience only once in 2021 which was a great joy, but any effort or attempt to start a band or musical group has not come off the ground because of all the covid restrictions.
For all my other goals in the categories “health”, “mind”, “work”, “family and friends” I did well. In the category “health” it was on and off, but I always bounced back. I regularly drink water (much more than I used to do), I stretch a lot, I have times were I don’t eat after 7 or 8 p.m. and I work hard to get my 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
I also spent a lot more time with my kids in 2021. I played a lot of soccer with the boys, we did a lot of family trips and now I’m teaching all three kids to play drums (They prefer drums over guitar. Haha!)
Now let’s take a look at some awesome happy guitar and music goals to have a vision and aim to realize some good stuff for 2022.
New Guitar and Music Goals 2022
Guitar and Music
- Learn to improvise over a new jazz song every two months.
- Learn Logic Pro inside out
- Record, produce, mix and master 12 songs
- Learn one new drum technique each week (on the Roland Td-17 which I absolutely love, I so do my kids! )
- Learn 2 new songs on bass guitar each month ( I just bought a Sterling by Musicman Stingray, really happy with it.)
- Batch stuff
- Do more things that move the big needle
- Apply the 80/20 principle as much as possible
- Love every aspect of what I do
- Wim Hof Method
- Adding small incremental healthy habits everyday
- Yoga / Stretch
- Drink enough water
- Learn to cook new healthy recipes
- Get 7,5 hours of sleep
- No food, snacks or treats after 8 p.m
- Live in awareness
- Name 5 things I’m grateful for everyday
- Think love, talk love, do love, be love in everything and with everyone you encounter.
I hope you have some good intentions for 2022 and go after your goals to live a more passionate life! I’d love to know your guitar, music, health, work and overall happiness goals are for 2022. Please share them in the comments. I’d love to read them!
Have an amazing new year!!
Dan Allen says
I’m going to practice everyday for at least thirty minutes I got to get those scales under my fingers.
Klaus Crow says
That’s a good resolution for the new year. 30 minutes a day will give you solid results overtime and
you will feel good about it. The more you practice the more you create a good practice vibe that will make
you wanting for more.
Go get ‘m!
Chris Dempsey says
Started in December doing the spider walk/Crabcrawl every day so at least the fingers will be warmed up.
Klaus Crow says
Besides being it a good warm up, you will notice that your overal playing becomes easier and more fluent.
It’s a great yoga workout for your fingers and muscle memory.
I got some more if you need some inspiration.
Check it out:
My main issue is knowing how to practice. I have a stock of 6 or so songs I practice regularly and have had a go at grade 1. No idea what my next step should be. I really need to be able to play bar chords but I have small hands and can’t work it out!!!
Klaus Crow says
Small hands isn’t a problem at all. My wife has small hands and she worked through it and plays bar chords clean and clear. All different kinds of hands have different challenges but you will get there.
Bar chords take time, they suck in the beginning and don’t sound like you want them to.
You have to accept that fact in the beginning. Just go over your different bar chords for 5 to 10 minutes each day and hit every string one at a time, so you become aware of which finger you have to push down the string a little harder or which finger gets in the way of another finger.
Just try to fix the issues a little step by step, but don’t expect it to resolve it instantly. Just become aware and practice. Then after 5 or 10 minutes you let it go and start practicing bar chords songs without thinking about it too much. Just play through the songs. You’ll get better as you go, but be patient. The combination of a short bar chord awareness practice and then playing bar chord songs will get you there.
Also adjusting the action of your guitar to make the guitar play easier can help and will make playing bar chords easier, but it isn’t a necessity.
Go get ‘m!
Bill Sullivan says
Good advice. For me, it is too many guitar things – teachers, subject-areas, sites, songs
going on at once. Have been a member of Jamplay for years now, but have not used it
Klaus Crow says
Internet learning is overwhelming. There is so much to learn on any subject.
Just ask yourself. What do I want to learn first?
You want to learn to play a song? Learn a song and don’t think about anything else.
You want to learn a guitar solo? Pick a solo and learn just that one solo and forget about the rest.
Just focus on one thing and go with that. The rest will find it’s way when the time is right, but if you think about too many things at once you won’t start. That’s too bad. Just start with one thing, one song or one scale, one small step and go from there.
I hope that helps.
Bob Hunter says
Arthritis is restricting my fingers when playing Spanish guitar so….I’m moving to a lap steel/resophonic guitar Challenging but still playing!
Klaus Crow says
That’s a beautiful sounding instrument. Love to play that one time.
I don’t want to be a wise guy, but have you ever heard of the Wim Hof Method?
There are a lot of people with arthritis who benefit from the WHM.
Maybe it can help you in anyway.
I’ve been playing a little over year and practice everyday. Sometimes it’s only 20 minutes sometimes its 2 hours. I started playing at 55 so I’m probably a slow learner, lol. I just purchased a fender amp with a looper. My goal is to work on my timing. The first attempt with the looper really showed me how important it is to be able to keep up. Another goal is to learn how to solo. I have learned several scales but more by position memory than what the notes are. I’m assuming if I continue to learn guitar theory then I’ll know how to create a solo to go over a background loop.
I think your goals are great! Good luck.
Klaus Crow says
If you want to learn to solo, the best is to stick to one scale first.
Choose a scale like the major scale, the natural minor scale or the minor or major pentatonic scale.
Solos using the major scale and natural minor scale tend to be more melodic.
Solos used the minor pentatonic scale are used in blues and rock, while the major pentatonic is widely used in country music.
Learn that one scale inside out. Learn to play licks and exercises with that scale.
Learn to create melodic phrases with that scale.
Then learn the theory of what scale to use over what chords and progressions.
Learn famous solos using that scale so you learn the vocabulary and things will start to dawn on you.
If you have any questions reach out.
Holy Maduha-Ncube says
THANK YOU KLAUS FOR EVERYTHING. MAY GOD RICHLY BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY FOR THE SELFLESS WORK YOU DO TO HELP US ATTAIN BETTER GUITAR SKILLS. I AM STRUGGLING TO GET FORWARD IN BASS AND ELECTRIC GUITAR . I BELIEVE MAYBE I SHOULD PLAY SONGS INSTEAD OF CONCENTRATING ON SCALES AND CHORDS. BUT I WILL NEVER GIVE UP.. WHAT DO YOU THINK..????
Patty Adkins says
Klaus thanks for your continued encouragement to all those who are students of the guitar. I am not liking getting older very much…
I’ve always told those younger than myself that “how you treat your body the first 50 is how your body will treat you the second 50.”
Either that is a very wrong statement or I’ve been bad to my body. I always thot eating right and/or being a vegetarian, running-biking-swimming, weight training, pursuing education, taking time for rest and relaxation, meditation, having a bright and positive outlook, interacting socially and giving back, being an ‘outside dog’, having a truly grateful attitude daily, etc. would not only benefit myself in the long run but also those around me.
Yikes. This last year (6 years if I’m really honest) has been an education and true eye opener. I’ve never given genetics any real credence. I have found that even with best of intentions and practice we are not in control of the future, at all. And life has smacked my family and I full in the face. Ugh.
Not wanting to sound like a bummer, I now realize that clean living, although it is great and the best gift we can give ourselves, is no guarantee we will escape the pitfalls and frailty of our humanity. Yet, in the midst of our trials and set backs we can still pick up our instrument of choice. Thus we may find ourselves briefly tho it be, in our own personal place of peace and contentment. Where we can feel safe. Where we can exhale and truly relax. We can find serenity, harmony and balance. And tho we may never fully understand the whats and wherefores we experience on our life journey; at the very least it is good to know we are amongst friends. Even if it is across the oceans, who genuinely care enough to send an encouraging word.
Thanks again for the positive influence you are having on my life and others.
Bless you Klaus.
This is the first time I’ve looked at guitar habits. I put down the old girl a month ago and want to pick it up again now! Thank you for all your wise comments that help us all…
Klaus Crow says
Thanks for your feedback. I appreciate it.
You’re totally right, we have no control over our lives and life can be pretty hard at times,
yet it is good for the mind and body to create some healthy habits, rituals or routines to
get you back up your feet and keep your spirit up.
Our mind is programmed that way. The brain likes to get thing organized and
see a clear picture of things and the ego likes the be in control. And that’s a good thing, it keeps us alive and balanced.
The Ego is also scared, overwhelmed, and afraid to fail, so just tell it that it’s going to be okay. It wants to be reassured.
Thanks again for being so open and honest.
Keep on picking!
Klaus Crow says
Happy to hear this post has got you back on track.
Just practice a couple of minutes a day. If you practice regularly you’ll build momentum
and you start getting back into the flow and it becomes a joy again.
Have a great one!
Love the goals and especially the inclusion of the health goals!
If you are interested in Wim Hof, I would highly recommend checking out ShiftAdapt as well. They have some great info on breathwork (of which the technique taught by Wim is only one piece). I think this is an area that could benefit musicians in so many ways, glad to see you’ve become interested in it and I hope you find it useful!
Best of luck in 2022!
I appreciate your lessons Klaus.