1% Better Each Day

I Want A Parrot - a song that's been the bane of my existence over the past couple of months. I've always wanted to be able to play the super fast run at 1:31 of the Aristocrats' song I Want A Parrot. At first, I tried to learn the entire song, expecting to play like Guthrie Govan right away - which is futile. I felt defeated right at the 1:31 mark.

The song and that section filled my head for days, wondering why I couldn't make that section happen. Then I started thinking about 1%. How could I tackle that riff, and get better at it by 1% each day, ultimately accomplishing my goal.

You may think 1% is a small amount, but it really does add up over time. Last year we did the Song In September Challenge, and made a fun song, challenged ourselves, and learned a lot in the process. Other times we've watched guitarists work on sweep picking for 30 days and go from sounding terrible, to sounding like Yngwie Malmsteen. What do you want to accomplish in the next month, or year? In addition to setting huge goals, you should then break those goals down into smaller bite-sized chunks.

If you want to learn sweep picking, start with 2 string sweeps. If you want to get into jazz, write down all the chord types you need to learn, and practice one a day. If you're working on a particularly different section of music, break it down bar by bar, and play it cleanly until you can get it up to speed. Speaking of which, speed will come when your efficiency gets better. How can you play a riff more efficiently? The more you work on efficiency, the more you'll be able to crank that metronome's BPMs up.

One thing you can try is to set an incentive for yourself. If you try and get 1% better each day for three months, buy yourself a new guitar pedal. This is a fun way to get more invested in your learning.

How will you get 1% better each day?

Think about trying to get 1% better each day until the end of the year. What type of guitar player will you be then? Rather than getting all your practice in one day, spread it out in manageable every day practice routines. If you don't know what to work on, I'd be more than happy to help you create a practice schedule, answer questions and more. Reach out to me on Twitter, YouTube, or Facebook.

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