It is not new that planning, strategy and goals are the key for the development of a project. We set goals naturally just by wishing to achieve something, but the will of such achievement is not enough to stay on track until you reach that goal. It is important to define a strategy, especially when our goals are long term goals. So we need a systematic routine as a strategy!
10 good guitar practice habits to learn this year:
DEFINE SHORT AND LONG TERMS GOALS
It is easier to stay motivated if we set small waypoints (short term goals). Having small goals to achieve every week keeps us busy and on track to achieve a major goal. Maybe you want to learn a tremolo piece, but it is now too difficult. You could build up your technical skills by start with op. 60 nr. 7 by Carcassi, for example.
PRACTICE EVERY DAY FOR 30 DAYS
Consistency is also a major key to keep improving. Being consistent allows you to find out on a daily basis what works and what doesn't.
use a tracker to write down whenever you practice, that way you will see how well you do after a week or month
when you finish practicing make a list of tasks you want to complete during the next practice session. This will help you to clear your mind and when you pick up the guitar again you know immediately what to do
f you want to be consistent, it might help to build up your practice sessions' time. Start with small durations and increase it gradually
RESEARCH / CHECK YOUR SOURCES
Researching is probably not the most exciting thing to do but it will save you a lot of time. I have experienced so many times having to restart learning a new piece because I used a "not-so-good" source of music. Make sure you use original sources, such as manuscripts, prints or good arrangements/transcriptions.
LEARN HOW TO ANALYSE A COMPOSITION
Understand the music you play. Jazz players know exactly which chord, function, rhythm each piece has. We can take that as an example. Music theory is very important to understand how it should sound like and also to make musical choices when it comes to interpretation.
LISTEN TO MUSIC COMPOSED FOR OTHER INSTRUMENTS
What will you search for if you want to listen to Piazzolla's Tango? What will you search for if you you want to listen to flamenco? For example, whenever you play piano music transcribed for guitar don't listen only versions for guitar. You could also search for the original version for piano to get some inspiration and learn its language.
LEARN A NEW TECHNIQUE FOR 30 DAYS
Dedicate one month to learn a new technique. It can be scales, harmonics or tremolo. Gather a few exercises that employ this technique and focus on it every day for 30 days.
RECORD YOUR PRACTICE
It is very important to seek for improvement every time we practice. It's quite difficult to evaluate yourself while you play and focus on the fingerings, music, etc. so recording might help you to listen to yourself as the audience would.
TRANSCRIBE ONE PIECE BY YOURSELF
Learning a piece of music without using the score is a skill classical musicians don't master so well. Although we have access to lots of music that is written, transcribed and arranged for guitar it is also good to develop that skill, so you can play your own transcribing style. In case transcribing is too difficult, you could start by learning a simple melody by ear, as ear training.
LEARN HOW TO PLAY RELAXED
Relaxation is very important to be musical. Your sound is directly connected to how smooth your technique is. Watch the great musicians and notice how fluent their music sounds like.
WARM-UP AND STRETCH
Warming up and stretching is also related with playing relaxed. Keeping your muscles without tension produced during the day and also during practice will help you to play faster and lighter.