Guitar procrastination is reasonably typical of those kinds of people who are somewhat perfectionist in their attitude to life. They feel that they can’t possibly, publish their music, recording the guitar part in the song, set a date for a concert until it’s perfect.
Of course, it’s never going to be perfect.
What I tend to see, being a guitarist myself when I look at some performances that have been published out there on the social media that are highly viral,
what they consider to be early, anything that’s 50% ready is usually okay by the audience.
Even if you’ve only put half the features you’re currently planning in, actually,
the outside world thinks that’s pretty good.
Your Job is to get your guitar music out there into the world
This is a fundamentally important skill I would recommend of to any beginner or advanced guitarist.
Unfortunately, procrastination is a fundamental and very common problem among quite a lot guitarists I know.
It’s the opposite of shipping. It’s doing everything that isn’t shipping. It is procrastinating on the things that you need to do, to move your guitar world forward.
The tricky thing is that it doesn’t feel like procrastination.
If you do this kind of procrastination, and I come to you and ask, “Did you practice your guitar already?”
“ Did you talk to that venue to set a date for your concert and so on, you’ll tell me:
“No, no. I’m working on it; I’m doing things.
I need to re-record it because the sound of that condenser is to……..( fill the blank),
I haven’t found a suitable rehearsal room yet, and I’m waiting to get that pedal from eBay,
and I’m making this part a bit better.
I’m looking for the perfect time to do this.”
What’s the most significant advantage of guitar procrastination?”
What do we get out of working on stuff, but not releasing it?
This is an entirely lovely position to be in for some reasons.
You can call yourself a guitarist because you’re practicing the guitar every day. You can dream big.
You can think about how great this will be once it’s finished.
You can imagine how you play this number in front of a full house, and it will take the world by storm.
It will be a massive success, and you’ll get all this adoration from your friend, colleagues or fans. Many festivals in your niche will invite you to give concerts and masterclasses, and things like that. It’ll be fantastic. This feels good. This kind of dreaming is nice to do because it feels good, but it keeps us from getting things done and finishing things.
The Fear Factor of guitar procrastination
As long as you’re still working on it, as long as it’s still a work in progress, you can do this dreaming, but something will confront it someday.
These dreams will be confronted with reality as soon as you finish this thing. What if none of those things you dreamed about come true? What if no one listens to your music? What if it gets terrible feedbacks? What if you get no adoration and also no money? Then, perhaps worst of all, if that happens, can you call yourself a guitarist?
Then you’ve failed.
That is something we’re afraid of.
It’s a well-founded fear.
If you’re dreaming about how great it will be to be successful, but then you’re afraid that maybe it’s not going to be like that.
Perhaps it’s going to be much slower, or much messier, or, “my piece is going to be kind of rubbish.” Well, that’s a well-founded fear.
You’re probably right.
It takes much more time, and it is just messier in real life than in our fantasies.
The Guitarist Overnight Success
In the musician circles, you often hear on spectacular success stories.
Someone creates this piece of music, recorded himself on the phone, it went viral, and he crushed it, touring all over the world with his guitar, get sponsored by guitar brands, and he just makes all this money.
In reality, this happens to almost no one. In reality, the way guitarists built there career it’s like a slow grind.
The guitar procrastination – How to avoid it?
If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
We want to have this goes into the SMART goal thing again. We want to have a defined result. So we can do more of what works, less of what doesn’t work.
this is the most guaranteed way to success
The first one is to change what you measure
Measuring stuff makes things visible, brings them to the forefront, and makes it easier to replace them. In fact, not measuring things, makes it almost impossible to change them. You can have aspirations about, “I wish this would be better or that would be different.” If you don’t have something to measure it by, how is it ever going to happen? What do you measure? What do you put your focus on?
Instead of just saying: “At some point, in the distant future, my song/guitar playing is going to be perfect, and then I’m going to shout it out to the world,” have a very clearly defined outline, where it’s like: “These are the different things I need to cover, these are the guitar part in that song. I have this concrete goal. I know, for example, that the entire album is going to be ten songs. I’m going to create one sketch of each song every week.
You should check this off on a checklist or your calendar
The stuff that we tend to pay attention to, as guitarists and musicians, is usually wrong:
- The gear quality
- The video clip quality
- Looking for a booker
- Picking the right venue
Instead, we should set goals plus focus on what concrete objective we have, what are the practical steps we need to take and on what date it’s ready.
Think about it, if you release that piece, you got feedback, and maybe you got money for it. Whereas, if you had kept it to yourself, first of all, you would never have had that feedback. Probably, even the finished, polished, however, you want to call it version, would not be as good as a releasing of the song.
Quantity Over Quality
Instead of sitting there going, “Oh my God. This one song I’m working on right now has to be perfect.
I will be judged by how good this song is. It’s unacceptable to make this song anything other than perfect.”
You’re sitting there sweating, feeling under pressure, feeling stressed, and so on.
You’re so attached to the immediate short-term outcome of this one song you’re working on, and it’s just the wrong approach.
What you need to get connected to is the long-term goal of, “I will get good at writing songs. The way I get good at writing songs is by recording and publishing lots of them.”
All kids draw, and they make a mess on a piece of paper with a bunch of colored crayons.
Slowly, over time, they get slightly better at drawing. They can draw little characters and things.
We know that anyone who’s a great guitarist, who can make a masterpiece, built that ability in a very slow progression that starts with this really simplistic, childish drawing, and slowly, over time, one drawing after another, it gets slightly better each time, until you finally have this masterpiece your own.
Get A Finisher
One of the cures for procrastination is to get someone else to do the publishing.
It doesn’t mean that you should have your professional booker or manager but those kinds of people, who you might psychologically call complete or finishers, these are people who finish things off and get things done, those kinds of people will go, “That’s good enough.
We’ll just get it out there. It can be one of your band members, your spouse or else.
You know you’re not lazy. You’re a hardworking guitarist pursuing your goals.
If that’s how you feel, you’re not alone.
But remember: your job is to record and publish.