Have you ever had the feeling that you haven’t improved much on the guitar?
Where progress just feels slow?
Perhaps all your friends and family are telling you that you are getting better, but you can’t feel it or see it?
There are a few ways you can track and compare your progress so that you can work out how far you’ve come on the guitar.
Before we get started, a couple of things to remember is:
-Progress on the guitar isn’t the most important thing about learning guitar. It should be fun! So as long as you are enjoying the learning process and playing the guitar, that’s the most important thing.
-Don’t compare your progress on the guitar to other people. Everyone progresses at different rates based on various reasons Just focus on yourself and what you want to achieve on the guitar. As long as you have the right instructions and the right training, you will get there.
When you use these tracking and comparing methods, it is important that they are things that you are consistently working on. Otherwise, your brain does forget. The good thing is that the more you play and learn, the easier it will be to refresh your memory and retain the information.
Taking videos of yourself regularly to see how at ease you are
One striking difference between people who seem “good” at guitar vs someone who is struggling is how effortless they look when they play. Video yourself playing something. Then do the same thing six months later and see for yourself how you mannerisms have changed. How much more relaxed you are when you are playing the guitar. Perhaps you can even remember how different it felt each time.
For your initial video, try to pick something that you are slightly struggling with and something you are planning on working in the future. Make sure it’s not a particular song that you’ve practised a million times to get good, and then when you go to rep
lay it a year later, you haven’t practised at all.
Videoing is great for creative skills that can’t be tracked with numbers. Helps to see how you’re improvising is improving, your songwriting, your phrasing. When videoing these kinds of things they don’t have to be things you’re working on every week. Should be videoing these things about every 3-6 months to get an accurate comparison.
Picking items of varying difficulty along the way
To regularly know that you are developing your guitar skills, you can work on items of varying difficulty. You can learn songs that get harder with more tricky solos.
If you enjoy improvising, try using the frequency of “Key” changes as a measure of difficulty. Or adding in more challenging phrasing techniques.
Each time you can smoothly play through something more difficult that you were not able to play a few months before. You know you are improving.
Guitar Theory Knowledge comparisons
Theory will help you with your understanding of guitar playing along with many other benefits.
While it’s important to know the guitar theory that’s relevant to you. The more important thing is how fast you can apply it to your guitar playing.
This is easily trackable and a nice way to feel sure that you’ve made progress.
For example, when you are learning the notes on the neck. It might feel slow initially.
– Time how long it takes to find a particular number of notes in a specific sequence.
Do the same a few months later and see how you get on. As long as you regularly practise, you should see a real improvement.
Other theory knowledge you can test yourself includes what chords are in each key. This information is useful for improvisation, playing with other people or even playing through a piece. Also something you can easily measure.
– Write yourself a little test, time how long it takes you to get the answers. Repeat it 3, or 6 months later.
Measuring speed of playing
A way to very easily measure your progress is to measure your speed on various activities. Here is an easy list of things you can measure:
-Picking Speed through a scale
-Picking Speed through an arpeggio
-A set of chord changes
-Tremolo Picking Speed
-Fingerpicking through a sequence
These are basic core techniques that should improve over time that’s really easy to measure. To do so, play along to a metronome till you are at your maximum speed. Write the results down somewhere with a date. Repeat it every few months and see how you get on!
Above are a few simple ways that you can compare and observe what progress you’ve made on the guitar. Using the information, you can also identify areas you want to work on more.
The more practice you do, the more progress you will make on the guitar. So that you enjoy playing the guitar more.
While progress is not the most important thing, it can be motivating. Hope these tips help you to feel good about your guitar playing and also challenge yourself.
You can even get competitive with yourself too!
I hope these few tips will help keep you motivated on the guitar, and I wish you all the best with your guitar playing.
About Guitar Teacher:
From London, England. Darryl owns a guitar school in London providing guitar lessons to passionate guitar players. Whether they are beginner or advanced, young or old. They are ready to learn and improve their guitar playing.