by Linda Ratcliff
Goals in writing are dreams with deadlines.
Make a Goal List in Your Journal … Every Week
- Warm-up Exercises: Even though I am an experienced player, I need to consistently review the hammering drills in our Hammering Skills section, so I don’t get rusty.
- Old-Time Jammin’ Tunes: I find I like old-time hymns the best, and tend to play something like “It Is Well With My Soul,” or “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” when I have a moment to practice. But I have neglected to practice the old-time jammin’ tunes like “Old Joe Clark” and “Golden Slippers” regularly. I scheduled 2 of those for review this week.
- Something New: I noticed I haven’t challenged myself with a new genre lately. So I decided to work on expanding my Celtic tunes repertoire. This week, I assigned myself Caledonian Club and Dorsett’s 4-Hand Reel.
- Free Exploration: This is something we don’t do often enough. This is how you will expand your musical vocabulary and see greater potential with your instrument. Take something familiar and try new rhythms, new chord progressions, or add new embellishments to the melody.
- A Good ‘Ole Favorite: To close your practice, you should randomly play something you really enjoy. Have fun with your instrument, and end your practice time on a positive note.
A good work-out like this would take me an hour, because I entered TWO things in my journal for each category. I think I might have been overly optimistic. I don’t usually have an hour, and you probably don’t either. Next week I may just give myself just one assignment per category and see how that goes.