What Do You Plan to Accomplish in Your Playing this Year

I figured I'd start a festive, New Years themed thread to kick off 2017 in Playing and Technique.

Do you have any goals for the year? A new technique, or bit of theoretical application and understanding? What are they? Let's help each other figure them out!

I, for one am diving into bluegrass, country, and Piedmont blues fingerpicking, and trying figure out how to use that to provide a rootsier, edgier sound to my long jams, which usually sit sadly in between jazz, Lawyer Blues, and the Grateful Dead. I bought a book, and I'm starting lessons with an experienced fingerpicker soon. But that's just me. What are you all planning?


I love setting goals and helping direct my practice time. All of my goals for 2017 are continuations from last year.
  • I started an ear training course in November, and I plan on continuing that. I've got 20 hours of practice so far and I've definitely noticed an improvement.
  • Keep making progress on my instrumental album - writing and recording hasn't been my focus the last few years so it's been slow going. Even finishing one or two more songs would be good. A couple are close, but I tend to finish songs when I have big blocks of time to sit down and do it. My schedule hasn't afforded me big blocks of time, but we'll see.
  • Continue working on playing over changes of jazz standards. I made some really good improvements in 2016 and I want to push that forward.
  • Continue tightening my rhythm - I'll probably still have this goal when I'm 80. Your rhythm (and ear) can never be too good. :)

don carney

Gold Supporting Member
I am planning to continue to explore the tones available in the new Katana amp that I bought, explore some country playing, and work on playing without a pick (this comes as a result of working hard on Sultan of Swing for the past year- I like playing without a pick because of the feel - also helps with slide work which needs attention). For a break from all of that I will work on harmonica. For the record I like Lawyers Blues.


I have a variety of 'fuzzy' goals that I plan to solidify this week, and then develop an intense plan to get there. In general, they involve:

- Style enhancement
- Singing
- Improv
- Some technique

Oh, and I am going to look for a 2nd band to play with to round out the first band.


I've been playing acoustic for almost a year now so my goal for this year is to branch out from strumming open chords.

My list:
  • Faster picking (finger, sweep, alternate, and economy)
  • Be able to do all 5 Pentatonic scale variations
  • Learn some cool Country licks
Last edited:


Thanks for starting this thread. I know my goals this year.

  • Learn Ear Training, really getting into Ear Training because that is the number one place I'm lacking right now. I'm starting a thread on it right now
  • Playing with Fake Books, someone on her exposed me to Chuck Sher. I have bookmarked some books that go into how to use a Fake Book. I'm doing it to be a better improviser.
  • Oh, and posting on here clips of using a Fake Book for feedback, done around March or April.
I like to keep my goals very few so that I can cross them off as they get done. I'll make more goals when these are complete.
Last edited:


I would like to get my playing to the point where I can play with other people.

I have been playing for a while but I feel that I've been stuck a this level for a while. I going to begin taking lessons tomorrow with hopes of identifying and improving the weak areas of my playing.


One of my most important goals is...to define my goals. I want to start taking lessons, I believe this will help tie together a lot of my knowledge and experience. but I don't want to tell a teacher I don't even know what I want. What I did for 2016 is read about theory and practice scales and modes, trying to fill in the gaps of my knowledge so I will be more prepared for lessons. I need facetime with a professional so I can better apply what I've learned. I want to be able to walk into a band session and intuitively lay down a solid bassline on the fly. My band plays all originals so I don't have to do that, I have time to craft my lines as I see fit. I want to expand into other bands, playing covers, and be able to keep my head above water when they whip out a song I haven't studied. For example, I can play Working Man by Rush note for note, but it took months of intense woodshedding with tablature. Not very efficient if I am going to join or sub in a band with a three hour set. BTW thanx to the OP for posting.
learn every arpeggio and triad position on the entire fretboard until it becomes 2nd nature.

train my ear more

learn at least one New challenging song every other week. just something to push me more.

play more with other musicians

work more on rhythm playing

learn some more jazz standards.
learn some country songs
learn some surf tunes
learn more slide music.
learn some funk tunes
nail these styles and tones perfectly

min of 20 hours a week of practice.

other things too but these come to mind first. hopefully I can continue make big improvements

Doug G

Silver Supporting Member
Learn more new tunes.

Play out more. Try to get a regular solo gig, even if it's low key (did this last year, but fell off due to other commitments).

Finish stevel's MTMS series.

Develop better fluency with navigating jazz changes.


Silver Supporting Member
I'm starting to play bass at church starting next week. Historically we have had an orchestral sound and are now adding bass and electric guitar. I've played bass on and off since the 7th grade, but this is my first regular gig since 2008.

My goals are to have good dynamics and be able to groove with each of the drummers, who play on a rotational basis and typically don't practice with the band except for a Sunday morning run-through. I'm also the primary gear supplier to the guitar players, and my goal is that my love of the Timmy, Klon, etc. has a positive contribution to our worship.


My goal is to improve my vocals. I've played guitar for over 50 years and am pretty comfy with my playing and style. I've started real vocal lessons two months ago and am already seeing results.
I've song alot in bands over the years but was never really too impressed with my abilities. My biggest problem has been breathing properly after 50 years of smoking pot, it could also be that I'm just too friigin' old at this point. I've been lucky lately and have met some pretty fair singers that want to hang with me and play. My vocal instructor has also mentioned that her and I should go do a open mic together in a couple weeks. She is a great singer and great player ~ keys, flute, guitar. So here is to a great 2017.

Steve Hotra

Silver Supporting Member
A few things:
Getting more confident in playing without a pick "live"
I need to start listening better when playing with a second lead guitarist - sharing lead guitar lines, harmony, etc.
And playing more " free - flow" in church worship services.
Some of the songs are 10 min long: lots of dynamics.
Learning how to dial in house guitar amps ( Vox, Orange) when its off stage and I am using IEM's.


Hi everyone ... well, I'd say I'll concentrate on improvement of Fretboard Knowledge ... one thing I just recently realized is that by doing exercises like the ones they have for piano, aka Hanon and by doing those by reading the sheet music instead of tabs it actually helps you to fix the notes location on the fret, plus helps to internalize the notes sounds, so that's one of the strategies one may use ...
I picked up a copy of The Advancing Guitarist at a flea market a while back and started working through it yesterday. Just reading through it before picking up my guitar gave me a lot to think about.

Trending Topics

Top Bottom