Progress Over Perfection? 5 Mantras for Learning Guitar in 2022 • Acoustic Tuesday 220

Learning guitar in 2022 is no different than learning guitar in 2021. But you’re different. Your life is different now. Your guitar journey is either developing or just getting starting. By following the 5 mantras in this episode, you’ll prime yourself for consistent progress, fun, and focus on your guitar journey.

I’ve had a rollercoaster of a year in 2021. But the thing that I kept the same was consistent progress in playing guitar. Even with a new child and all the pandemic-related disruptions, I made sure to play (almost) every single day. Because any amount of time playing guitar is better than no time playing guitar.

So, after having a successful year teaching, learning, and sharing some of my insights, I’ve found 5 mantras that can help you on your guitar journey. Whether you’re lost on the path to guitar geekdom or you just need a little inspiration, turn to these mantras. Let them guide you. Let yourself discover what you need to do on your guitar journey. The rest will follow.

In addition to sharing these insights with you, I cant wait to show you the first Tuesday Guitar Lick Challenge of 2022. It’s going to be a blast! I strongly encourage you to follow along, even if you aren’t part of the TAC Family yet!

Featured in this episode…

  • Mule Resonator Guitars
  • Driftwood Guitars
  • The North American Guitar

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  1. Great foundational piece for 2022 (or any year)! Revisited it now – and then checked the “Why I’m Here” part of my TAC profile. Discovered one mantra was embedded there, so it must mean the most. I must have picked it up from previous advice offered by Tony, and it clearly resonated. Here’s that excerpt:

    An inside voice whispers….”Come on, Brian, get real. Too difficult. You don’t have the skills, nor commitment. Sure, you’ll restart, get the right stuff, set up a nice area. But it will all end. Yet again.”

    The key? Changing the story I tell myself. But it’s not only about attitude. I have to put in the time and work (while having some fun). 10 minutes of practice daily, is better than 1 hour of planning and not practicing.

  2. Hey Tony! Thanks for featuring my Guitarsenal on the first Acoustic Tuesday show of the new year. It fits because my goal this first full year of retirement is to accelerate my guitar journey and have more fun as I do. A couple of things, being the hockey fan you are, I don’t know if you are familiar with Sandy Moger who used to play for the Boston Bruins and the LA Kings back in the day, he pronounced his name with the hard ‘G’ (Mo-GER), so I was kinda thinking you would go with the hockey reference. I actually DO pronounce my name with the soft ‘G’ (Mo-JER), so you got it right (always go with your gut). Also, have you considered creating a “Mantra” poster? I have a space on my wall between the 50 best rock guitarists and the Star Wars rules of the house. I’m too old to put it on my refrigerator, but think it would make a great motivational poster to remind me every day. (Just something to kick around) Thanks again for the support. Looking forward to major progress in 2022!

  3. Hi Tony
    Thanks for the pep-talk. The best Mantra is to Stick With It. I get discouraged because my chord changes are so slow and my fingers don’t work so fast. But, then I remember that most of the guitarists I admire started when they were somewhere between 8 – 12 years old and probably didn’t get to be ‘adequate’ until their late teens or early 20s. So at 73 I guess I have until my 80s . Time to practice.

  4. For me, the mantra: progress over perfection. As I’m just starting my guitar journey, perfection is probably a ways off. But progress, now that’s something I see everyday!

  5. My mantra will be “find the win”, cuz it IS easy to be “negative”. I’m sure it will require some creativity to be honest and accurate about the “win”

  6. I think I will be focusing on “progress over perfection” But I have another “mantra” for you and a story to go with it.
    In 2018 (before I started playing guitar) I spend 9 1/2 weeks in hospital with an infection in my spine. I was literally flat on my back for 7 weeks before my feet once again touched the floor. I was starting to do in bed physio and substitute doctor (mine was on vaca) came in to see how I was doing and asked me what I was doing for my in bed physio. I told him I usually did about 15 min. in the morning. He then asked what I did the rest of the day and when I told him I read, watched TV, etc. he told me that he understood that I was in pain and that he didn’t subscribe to the “no pain, no gain” theory but what he did subscribe to was the “no effort, no gain” theory. That hit me like a ton of bricks and I had him write that on the white board in my room. I looked at that everyday while I was rehabing, which was a ton of effort but it kept me focused. I used that “no effort, no gain” mantra in my guitar journey and it has helped get me through the bumps and valleys. There is a lot of effort required to learn guitar but putting in the effort always results in a gain.

    1. Hi Bugmeist,
      Awesome mantra. I was bouncing between ” progress over perfection” and ” find the win”, but you nailed it for me. Sorry Tony 🙁
      Happy New Year to all of the guitar geeks out there.

  7. Thx Tony, as always I look forward to each Tuesdays show in particular the expanded explanation to the Tuesday licks’s. It really helps to put the lick into context and expand it’s potential use. I do however wish that there was a tab to go along with the expanded explanation, is that possible maybe sometime in the future….?
    Much thanks for your continued positive energy !

    1. Become a TAC Member and you’ll have access to the tab as well as being able to rewatch as many times as you’d like in multiple speeds (1/2-tempo, etc).

  8. Many thanks for those mantras and encouragement, Tony. I feel like kind of a ‘case study’ here: I just spent most of my Xmas holidays seeming to actively avoid my ‘guitarsenal’, with my negative self-talk telling me it just wouldn’t or couldn’t feel right. You’re right, spending 10 minutes a day playing is better than none !

  9. Hey Tony – Do you have, or do you know of, a list of in residence workshops for learning how to play the acoustic guitar? Happy New Year and Thanks,

  10. I’m trying to learn “Travis Picking”. It ain’t easy. That’s for sure. I have learned to figure out some songs myself playing fingerstyle. That’s was new for 2021 and is a “Big Win”. I’ve been playing guitar over 55 years and am still learning. Thanks Tony for all the encouragement and videos. Cheers!

  11. Progress over perfection is a good mantra for me. As a new player I have been spending a lot of time on each lesson trying to play it perfect.