July 27, 2022 by Klaus Crow
So what is it that you exactly want to accomplish with your guitar playing? Where are you heading and what is your goal?
Do you want to become a fresh sounding blues guitar player, a fast hell shredding rock dude, an authentic folk singer songwriter or a smooth jazz cat exploring the universe of possibilities?
Do you want to start a band, write, record your own music and build an audience?
Maybe you want to make money playing guitar through teaching and performing. Whatever it is, the stars will all line up for you if you pursue the steps of those who have gone before you.
The most successful guitar players have all incorporated the following habits to ensure their way to success.
Here are the keys:
1 – Define
Begin with the end in mind. Define your goal and what you want to achieve as a guitar player. What do you want to be able to play? What kind of sound do you want? Where do you want to be 5 years from now? Write it down and take the small and necessary steps towards your goal every day.
2 – Set smaller goals
Once you have defined your goal and you know what guitar skills you want to acquire, what kind of music you want to play, what sort of musician you want to become, what it is that you really want to accomplish, you can now start to set smaller goals and take small action steps each and every single day to get closer to your ultimate guitar goal.
Plan a weekly schedule and write down 1 or 2 necessary steps for each day. Make sure each step is small enough to get it done everyday, but also important enough to get you further ahead. Be committed to take the small steps and make it happen. Remind yourself to create results and not get caught up in a habit that feels like you’re being productive but doesn’t get you to your goal straight away.
3 – Invest
Create large amounts of time to invest in your guitar playing. Be selective in your daily activities, hobbies and habits. Learn to say no to things that are less or not important and don’t contribute to your guitar goal. Free up as much time for your guitar playing and goal as possible. Keep expanding that time regularly, protect it and improve the quality of how you spend that time for your goal.
4 – Review
Review regularly how you are doing. Best is weekly. Are you meeting your goals? What do you need to work on most? Are you still on the right track and heading in the right direction. If you aren’t and you didn’t meet your schedule then rewrite your goals and action steps to make it work. Reviewing keeps you in the passenger seat (instead of the backseat).
5 – Collaborate
Find musicians who share the same interests, ideals, dream values and goals. Be a team player. Find people with different qualities that help you towards your dream goal. Examples: Musicians who play other instruments, piano players, drummers, bass players, song writers, guitar teachers, audio freaks and engineers, entrepreneurs, and people who know people.
6 – Stay passionate
If you are truly passionate about your goal and you’re having fun on the path towards your goal then you have already succeeded. If you don’t like the path towards your destination then change things around, make it fun and enjoyable again.
Quit doing things that aren’t your cup of tea. If you don’t like editing music, marketing or some other kind of activity that doesn’t connect with you, find people who are good at that and love doing those things for you. Create the route to your goal in the most pleasant, exciting, amusing, comfortable and challenging way possible. Find the fun and keep it alive!
So, what are you going to do today to get one step closer to your goal?
Hi Klaus sir,
This is really a wonderful article. I like the habits you have mentioned. I’ll incorporate these habits into my guitar playing and really enjoyed reading your article. Thanks for sharing.
Klaus Crow says
I hope these habits will keep you focused and committed.
Thanks for reading and keep on picking!
Dean Hailstone says
I agree that it’s important to find musicians with the same interests. It’s a lot easier when you working with people that are on the same wavelength as yourself. I put up some additional points on my blog for live guitarists. Check it out: http://www.playguitarlive.com/8-habits-of-successful-live-guitarists/
Everett Bonds says
I think sometimes, as committed, passionate musicians, especially guitarists, where the guitar seems to have brought out the passion, we can be swept along with passion and think everyone who picks up a guitar has that same exact feeling. I know, personally, I was about 7 yrs old when I noticed something on the radio…a guitar in the background. That was my first inking, of noticing a guitar.. playing. I could hardly hear it. But, I noticed it! Later, I saw a little blue toy guitar at our friend’s house! I wanted to steal it. I didn’t. The urge was there, tho. By the time, I had gotten into high school, I’d been playing a clarinet. No passion there! Our band teacher asked what notes made up a certain chord. I had no idea and it occurred to me that if I took up the guitar, that information would be known. (9th Grade) Well, that thought quickly flew in and out…of my mind. Then, one day, a few months later, I met a boy who carried a guitar onto the bus going home. He let me play it. He was interested in showing me a few chords. Before I knew it, he was teaching me more. We ended up being friends and playing together for 5 years. And, that was just the beginning. After my last year in high school, I put away my Clarinet for the last time. Since, I’ve had 10 guitars and have loved every one of them. Hope to get more! Have given some away to kids who need them and enjoy that too! Good guitars need homes to needy children! Besides, when children are wanting to be musicians, that speaks to me. It is a blessing to give. And, I have found an inexpensive guitar that is fairly well built and easy enough to play, called a “Teton” guitar. They won’t break the bank and are good enough to learn on. They probably won’t last a lifetime, but if you want that, sell your car and buy a Martin guitar. I’m still not a great guitarist, but I was lucky and ran into a guitar teacher that taught me a simple “Alternate bass, finger-picking pattern that is sort of like…the Travis pick. I can play it, using the root on any string, 6th, 5th, or 4th string(D). And, I can add melody all the while, but (sadly) only with my thumb. Don’t seem to have the Brain power to get my fingers into the action. But, my thumb is willing. And, the funny thing is, I didn’t practice that. It just happened. I didn’t know I could do it. I just thought…Huh…I wonder if I can do that? Tried and it just happened! I was trying to play a song I’d heard in a movie. !!
But, it isn’t too hard.
Oh, I wanted to tell you. Your structure on teaching finger picking is RIGHT ON. Initially, that is exactly the way I STARTED. The same way.
With those exact patterns. Easiest first. You are correct. I imagine you are holding out, tho. LOL. But, you should, because the really difficult ones would only make your students feel over-whelmed. they wouldn’t be ready! Keep doing what you are doing! Awesome job. Ev.
Klaus Crow says
Beautiful to hear how the guitar just drew your attention over and over again.
The post on fingerpicking are indeed basic fingerstyle patterns. Now you’re mentioning it, I think it’s a great idea to do a more intermediate/advanced fingerpicking topic some time.
Thanks for sharing your story. I appreciate it.
Greg O'Rourke says
Hi there Klaus,
Brilliant article, very good advice on how to succeed in any pursuit, not just guitar playing. I shared this on Twitter and had huge interest from my followers! I’m enjoying following your blog and looking forward to your future posts.
Klaus Crow says
Thanks for sharing this post on Twitter. I really appreciate it.
Mohit Rox says
it was very helpful….good article ..thank u
hi Everett actually learning guitar is my passion though the obstacles are buzzing around me
Rudra naksh says
Hey I am have been playing guitar for seven months i started to like music when i was 14 and i am 20 right now .
I practice guitar 8 hours to 9 hours a day (taking rest in between) with full of dedication I enjoy my practice hours.i do this because i want to be the best musician and singer in the world…. will i be able to achieve it?
Is it important for me learn scales on guitar if yes then please suggest…..