New Years Resolutions for Guitarists

With the new year 2024 fast approaching, we’re pretty sure you have thought about brushing up your guitar skills; we certainly have!

New year resolutions can be very fulfilling and a rewarding pastime and you’ve got loads of opportunities to work on things that matter to your passion as a musician.

Setting new goals and being able to shred on an ax is great – but did you know that more than half of new year resolutions get wasted. You may follow through for the first few days, but eventually – you lose the drive. So, how do you *actually* improve your skills?

Like Jared James Nichols says – being in the moment and playing with intent and focus is a great place to start. However, being smart about it and being mindful of something called habit engineering is how I have developed long-lasting habits in my own life. It’s not easy – but once you get in the habit of putting in the work, it does get easier. It’s kind of like learning to play chords all over again. First, you don’t know a single shape – and in a week’s time, you have mastered every basic shape!

New Years Resolutions for Guitarists

Keep a Journal

This may sound old school when there are digital gadgets and shiny tablets available everywhere. You even have a smartphone you carry everywhere with you – but I think keeping a journal has it’s own benefits. You can also use an app on your phone for this – just be consistent.


An example entry on your journal could be – Tuesday I will learn the solo to Stairway to Heaven, and on Wednesday, I will learn the first parts of Autumn Leaves. Starting slow and having small measurable goals is the key to being successful. I also like the To-do list feature that comes up in Gmail. It’s simple, and quite handy for keeping notes.

Start a Band

On the same note, signing up for an open mic event is also a great experience. Not only do you feel the Adrenaline rush but you get to play in front of other people. The hard truth is – you will never be ready to perform in front of others but the good part is – most of them won’t be able to tell just how bad you were.

We like to think that everybody pays attention to us way more than they actually do. Just get a gig, prepare well, and have fun. That’s the best way to improve. And the easiest!

Keep it Measurable

One of the mistakes I am guilty of committing every time I set a new goal is – being unrealistic. And this has backfired. A lot!

When writing down your goals, be sure to keep it simple, achievable, and easy to track. Sample goals could be:

  • Play in a band
  • Perform at an event
  • Write one song
  • Learn a song
  • Learn a solo
  • Learn to play with a metronome
  • Learn vibrato, trills, and legato
  • Learn scales and modes
  • Learn arranging and composition
  • Learn DAW (digital audio workstation) basics
  • Learn to read notation

It can be intimidating if you list out many goals at once – focus on just a bunch of things at a time so you have the energy and drive to pursue your goals. Better yet, find somebody who can keep you accountable – a friend would be great – make sure to have a bet so you don’t go easy on your goals!

Get lessons

I know you were probably looking for some resolutions for the new year – but trust me, the best advice is what you don’t want to hear. I have been self-taught for a long time but taking lessons improved my technique and broadened my musical sense. There is no substitute for a real music teacher – just make sure you like the way they teach and they are actually listening to your concerns.

It’s easy to think that you are smarter than most teachers or students and will figure out your own path. Trust me, we all do. And sooner or later you will realize that having an instructor would have saved a lot of your time. Of course, it’s really up to you – but that’s my two cents.

The other thing I would strongly recommend is – get in shape.

If you have a few extra pounds, change your diet, get in control of your lifestyle – and think of healthier options. I believe this is the best resolution to have – after all, a healthy mind can learn much faster, and if you’re healthy, you can use your savings to buy meaningful stuff. Trust me, it’s no fun trying to pay hospital bills when you’re old.

Thanks for reading this post – I hope you have a great time ahead with your family and friends!

Some supplies you may want to keep (these are affiliate links and help support my site, at no extra cost to you)


I hope you have found this helpful – it’s really up to you to put in the effort but I hope you have gained some insight about new years resolutions for guitarists that may actually help your playing. The important thing isn’t how big your goals are, but how consistent you are with them. Especially when it’s got something to do with mastering an instrument. You may no realize it but you will progress more if you keep practicing every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

If you liked this post, you may also like our essential guitar accessories guide where we break down the best accessories I have come across and some free alternatives.

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