Setting Goals and Managing Practice


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We have had a long week in JamPlay world. The business needs executed; taxes need to be filed, quarterly reports need to be created, publishers need paid, plans need to be made, and efforts need to be evaluated. I woke up today and realized a few things. First, I'm out of gas. I have had trouble sleeping as of late and has left me drained by noon each day. Second, I made a commitment to you, to myself, and to our subscribers that I had to get this Weekend Warrior newsletter completed. Sure, I could not send this week's episode and relax today, and the world would still turn, JamPlay would still exist on Monday, and I'd be sure to get a new episode out the following week.

Chris, what is your point? Setting Goals for Guitar Practice

Goals. Goals are my point. We planned out this Weekend Warrior series with the goal to get a fresh episode out as consistently as possible. Once a month was the minimum, and weekly the maximum. Why not go all the way, make it tough? The goal was born.

How this applies to learning an instrument is a simple parallel.

  • Make a Goal (short term, long term)
  • Schedule Your Time
  • Be Consistent
  • Plan on how to handle Failure
  • Celebrate the Successes
  • Replicate Success & Perfect Skillset

You could write this generalized blueprint for developing just about any skill, but is critical in learning an instrument. This is because of how contagious it can be to practice inefficiently, which leads to becoming a permanent noodler with only a handful of skills. We are all guilty of it, which directly leads to getting stuck in ruts and not seeing much improvement. It's a lot like losing weight or sticking to a diet.. it's easy to become complacent when you see a little bit of success, but the true tests are making these changes a part of your lifestyle. We are what we prioritize.

Practice & Time Management for Guitar Players by Jim Deeming

Taught by Jim Deeming

This is where my thoughts end, and Mr. Jim Deeming takes over. If you don't know Jim by now, he is a staple of JamPlay and has been teaching acoustic guitar with us since way back in 2008 (holy cow, JamPlay is 8 years old now!). He is both a monster player, and polished instructor. He can blend the ability to wow you on the instrument, yet infantilize his instruction to aggrandize the student.

I know this is a long, long video but it addresses many key points in the cycle of becoming a guitar player. It also addresses a lot of the pain points that beginners can experience, and offers many ways to remedy them. Get All Lessons from Jim Deeming - 50% Off Jim has a huge library of lessons on JamPlay, starting from the absolute basics all the way to becoming a fingerstyle master. Make your practice count!

A little entertainment before we go...

Whether you have heard of Jim or not, I wanted to present a few performances of him for either audience. There are seldom times when I see a Deeming video on JamPlay or YouTube and don't stop what I'm doing and just watch his playing. Jim is a gem and we are lucky, yet proud to present his knowledge to you.

U.S. Armed Forces Medley

This is an awesome performance Jim arranged which covers the U.S. Armed Forces.

Windy and Warm

Yes, Jim teaches this song on JamPlay if you want to make this a long term goal!

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Cheers Friends.

Goals. Goals. Goals!

I think that is all for this week! Ironically, next week we are having a planned promotion for Spring finally arriving across Ohio and Colorado (where the JamPlay offices are located), and won't be offering up a Weekend Warrior (ironic due to my opening monologue this week). That being said, I do hope you enjoyed this episode and the topic at hand. Efficient practice is one of the most difficult topics for guitar players of any age, skill level or natural talent... but once mastered, can be the defining factor in how quickly your progress as a musician.


Chris Dawson
JamPlay Co-Founder

Chris Dawson JamPlay Co-Founder Chris Dawson is a JamPlay Co-Founder. He graduated from the University of Dayton in 2005 with double majors in Entrepreneurship and MIS, and shortly after began creating with partners Jeff Booth (Colorado) and Kevin Wimer (Dayton, OH). He first began the development of in 2007, but transitioned to artist relations, video editing, and operating the Ohio production studio from 2009-2013. Chris is now tasked with front-end web development, client-side code, accounting, music publishing, and writing crappy publications such as this. Go easy on him, he's shy.

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