Do you have to take the right train to have success? It depends on what you want to accomplish. The same with your guitar playing. Let's see if you can play guitar without goals!
I would like to share some memories with you...
Way back in the late 80's I started to become very interested in computers. Well, not really in the computers but in the things I believed a computer could help me with.
I compose a lot of music and had used ink and paper so far. Mozart used this equipment so it surely is effective in the hands of the right person.
I used my pens and wrote my music sheets with concentrated efforts trying not to make mistakes. The problem was that it was difficult to change things in my compositions. I often changed things then and still do today.
It was quite difficult to use the notation programs back then. I used DOS on my computers and had to peruse the notation program manuals.
However, I had a goal in the back of my head.
To tame the computer to help me in my endeavors to create sheet music!
Let's stop for a second and go to your guitar playing. What about your goals? Do you have any? In many guitar articles you can read about the importance of setting goals as you try to progress as a guitar player.
Well, there are many advantages with setting goals. Let's take a look at some of them:
1. As you write down a long term goal you give yourself a chance to meditate upon why you are playing guitar. Is it to impress your friends? Is it because you like to play? Is it because you want to find a profession as a guitar player? Is your desire to play guitar so strong that you think it is worth to take the time and effort required?
In the goal setting process you will have time to think the whole thing over and maybe turn the whole thing off!
2. Writing down a long term goal and splitting it up in smaller manageable chunks is a good way to use your free agency instead of letting circumstances dictate what will happen with your guitar playing.
3. When you have clear goals and also smaller intermediate goals it is easier to measure your progress and feel the satisfaction that you are on your way and to the right place.
But what if you don't want to have goals? You just want to play!
Let's go back to the previous story..
Somehow things have turned out quite nice as far as my more or less subconscious goal is concerned. I do write my music with the help of computers nowadays and can change my music as much as I want. I can change keys, melodies, lyrics and feel good about it. I am where I wanted to be back in the 80's.
Was this a goal of mine?
Some people define goals as something you have written down on paper with clear deadlines and clearly defined and measureable intermediate goals along the way.
Before we discuss if we need goals or not we have to define what we mean. Is a wish a goal? Is a strong desire a goal?
Let's continue with the story..
There are people using computers the opposite way from what I do. I have friends who have been deeply interested in working with computers and have seemingly aimlessly installed computer programs, messed around with the Windows directory, changed OS, changed hardware, run into trouble, trying to solve the problems and so on.
My friends have sometimes been of great help when I myself have run into trouble with my computers because they have learned a lot about computers by the previosly mentioned activities and accompanying mistakes.
Did the have goals?
In a broad sense we could say that their goals were to have fun with computers. I guess they haven't expressed it that way but we could say that they reached their goal.
Let us take a look at you!
If you don't wish to have written down goals is of course completely up to you. You can have fun just sitting down strumming some chords on your guitar sometimes.
The important thing to think about is this:
Whatever you do with your guitar will lead you somewhere sooner or later. Whatever road you take will take you to a place if you don't change direction. Do you want to come to this place or not? If not, let me suggest that you change road!
Thirty years from now do you want to be a guitar player that is only able to play a few chords and that is not able to play a song on your guitar? We can say that this is the goal you will reach if you are an "occasional strummer".
If this is okay with you you can relax and continue playing this way. If you want to be another type of guitar player I guess you have to think about goal setting a little bit more consciously!
Thank you to Peter Edvinsson