Track Your Progress

How many times does this happen:

You are practicing a scale, working on a barre chord, learning a song and it just isn’t going good.

You get frustrated. You wonder if you are any good. Why are you doing this at all? It seems that everyone else can do it, why can’t I?

Maybe you put it away for a while, or worse, you give up.

Look, there is no magic guide with an elixir that will instantly make you the next Eric Johnson, Eric Clapton, or Slash.

You have to work at it. You still need to practice. There is no substitute for that. But sometimes, we often can tell if all that practicing is working out for us.

Here’s the good news, and I can speak from experience, you quite often are NEVER as bad as you think you are.

Us artists are often very hard on ourselves. And sometimes we can even be very impatient.

We aren’t alone. For example, people looking for weight loss or trying to get fit go through the same thing. It’s really the same for anything that we are learning that is new.

Here is what you do, try this:

Find a way to track your progress.


Well, to start, you need at least some tools to track your progress.

The most important, at least in my opinion, is recording yourself. iPhones and Androids are wonderful things in that they have these things called cameras that have the ability to use…wait for it…video.

I know, it’s an earth shattering concept.

Try to find a way to use some kind of recording media to see how you are doing.

Long ago in a galaxy far, far away, I used to record myself on cassette tapes and listen to how I am doing. I still have some of those tapes that are decades old. It is fun to listen and hear how I played back then: both while practicing and working out parts, and some gigs I did long ago.

I also learned a long time ago that the recording device is your most objective listener, it doesn’t lie.

Another way that might work for some, is to journal where you are at in your playing right now.

If you have a guitar teacher, have them monitor your progress.

Or simply have a friend or family member give you regular updates.

We all tend to want to fool ourselves in that we are better, or worse, than we really are.

Take the time to track your progress. It will make the world of difference in your playing.

And ultimately make guitar playing more fun!

After all, isn’t that what it is really all about?

One way to help with tracking your progress is to get some tips on improving your playing. Then monitor how well you are doing.

The Tuesday Tips Newsletter is a great way to help you out. Click the link here. It also has 20 Essential Guitar Licks everyone should know!

Rock On,

Tony G.

Essential Classic Rock Lick: Sweet Child O Mine

Essential Classic Rock Lick: Sweet Child O Mine

I have to confess, practicing scales, though a VERY essential part of learning and playing guitar, can sometimes get a little “old”.

This is NOT an excuse to not work on them. It is absolutely essential to your learning and growing as a player.

However, sometimes it is really nice to take some licks from classic songs and incorporate them into my routine.

This one is cool to do:

Sweet Child O Mine by Guns and Roses

Don’t know it? Great, here is an opportunity to learn it.

Know it already? Great, here is some ways to use it as a finger exercise or regular warmup.

Here’s some fun facts:

  • The guitar is tuned down a half step. You can of course, play it in standard tuning as well. It really doesn’t matter since you are playing it on the same place on the guitar neck. However, if you want to play to the recording, you need to tune down.
  • This seems to be a common theme with guitarists: Slash came up with the riff and thought it was silly. The remaining members of the band thought it was great and convinced him to use it.
  • The song was their breakout hit in 1988. They had other songs released before it that tanked on the charts. After this song, they re-released one of them, Welcome to the Jungle, and it became a big hit.

The TAB, along with 19 others, is here: http://sixstringcorner.com/20-essential-cla…itar-licks-vol-1/

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Rock On!
Tony G

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