I hope you had a good break over the festive period and are all excited about starting up again?
Because it is the first lesson of 2022 I thought it would be a good idea to set some personal goals for your harmonica practice this year. I originally posted this video in 2018 but it is still valid and useful now…
What are the three steps to achieving your goal?
Step 1 – What do you want to achieve this year on the instrument?
It is easy to set open-ended goals like “be better on the harmonica” or “be awesome” but they are not concrete enough. Instead you need to set a concrete and achievable goal.
Here are some examples –
• Sit in at a blues jam session
• Learn a song from start to finish
• Learn to play in 3rd position
Once you have a goal, write it down on your goal sheet.
Step 2 – Work out what steps are necessary
Big goals are achieved by mastering a number of “micro-skills”. This is why it is important to write down all the smaller steps you need to take to achieve the goal.
So, if we take the example of sitting in at a blues jam, here are some smaller steps that will get you there;
1) Learn the 12 bar blues structure
2) Understand how the 12 bar structure relates to harmoncia
3) Improvise using root notes
4) Learn the Blues Scale
5) Use Blues Scale to spice up your root note improvisation
6) Learn 3 great licks
7) Learn about keys and positions
8) Practice with a microphone
9) Find a jam session and talk to the organiser
Once you have worked out the smaller steps required to achieve your big goal write them on your work sheet.
Step 3 – Commit to a regular (and realistic) practice schedule
Little and often is the best way to practice and achieve what you want quicker but because of how life is we tend to end up with a largish practice session every week or so rather than more smaller regular sessions.
Try to fit in a little bit each day because sleep is an essential component of practice.
Use your practice sheet to keep track of your daily practice sessions and what you are working on.