One thing I realized over the years is that there is no magic wand or anyone that will come out of your computer screen to make you better as a guitar player, songwriter or anything similar. In short – the greatest way to achieve progress is to define goals of what you would like to accomplish with your guitar playing and start chiseling away at them as the year progresses.

But, being general leads us nowhere as well. We must be specific. Not so specific that you will have every day planned out, but I recommend you thinking of 3 major things you want to do with your music or playing in the p-coming Fall, Winter or whatever season is coming up.

Your goals could look something like this:

1. Get way better at alternate picking

2. Write 8 really great songs

3. Play a show with my band or play live at least once (Open mic, workshops)

Or … maybe something like this:

1. Learn and nail the solo for “I Don’t Know” by OZZY note for note

2. Learn how to change strings on my guitar so they hardly ever go out of tune

3. Learn all the notes on my guitar across all the strings and on the entire fretboard

You can make them as challenging as you want depending on what you want to get done, how much time you have for playing guitar and so on. It is important to keep the big 3 in mind as the year goes on. Sure, you can get other things done, but you would be surprised how close you can get to accomplishing your goals if you keep an eye on them and work little at a time as the year goes on.

Getting the big 3 on paper first really helps. It keeps them in plain sight, gives you something to strive for and having three goals is much simpler to process than trying to get “great” by picking up your guitar, noodling and doing the same thing a week later.