Master the Art of Self-Evaluation: Tips for Tracking Your Progress as a Learner Guitarist


The exhilarating journey of learning guitar online is filled with exploration and self-discovery. Whether you’re a complete beginner embarking on your first online guitar course or a seasoned player looking to refine your skills, self-evaluation is a crucial tool. This critical skill allows you to identify strengths, pinpoint weaknesses, and track your progress over time, ensuring you stay motivated and targeted in your online guitar learning journey. Here, we delve into effective techniques for self-evaluation, transforming you from a passive learner to an active participant in your own musical evolution.

Embrace the Power of Recording:

In the heat of online guitar practice sessions, it’s easy to miss subtle flaws in your playing. Recording yourself is a powerful tool for self-evaluation, especially when learning guitar online. Here’s how to leverage it:

  • Capture Your Playing: Use a smartphone or dedicated recorder to capture yourself playing exercises, scales, or songs you’re working on during your online guitar lessons.
  • Listen Back Objectively: Listen to your recordings with a critical ear. Can you identify missed notes, sloppy transitions, or uneven rhythm?
  • Focus on Specific Areas: Instead of feeling overwhelmed, isolate specific aspects you’re working on during each practice session based on the guidance from your online guitar teacher. For example, one day focus on the clarity of your picking hand, and the next, hone your fingerpicking accuracy while recording.
  • Track Your Progress: Record yourself periodically as you learn new skills or practice specific techniques covered in your online guitar lessons. Over time, compare recordings to witness your improvement and celebrate your achievements.

Setting SMART Goals: A Roadmap to Success

Having clear goals is essential for staying motivated and focused in your online guitar learning journey. However, not all goals are created equal. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Let’s break it down:

  • Specific: Don’t just say “improve my playing.” Instead, set a specific goal like “learn to play the C major scale cleanly at 100 beats per minute within two weeks” based on the techniques covered in your online guitar course.
  • Measurable: How will you know you’ve achieved your goal? Being able to play the scale at the desired speed is a measurable benchmark.
  • Achievable: Set goals that challenge you, but are still attainable within your current skill level based on the online guitar lessons you’re taking. Gradually increase the difficulty as you progress.
  • Relevant: Ensure your goals align with your overall guitar aspirations. Do you want to master fingerstyle playing or become a shredding lead guitarist?
  • Time-bound: Set a realistic timeframe for achieving your goal based on the pacing of your online guitar course. This creates a sense of urgency and keeps you focused.

By incorporating SMART goals into your practice routine after your online guitar lessons, you’ll have a clear roadmap to track your progress and celebrate milestones along the way.

Identifying Your Strengths and Weaknesses: A Balanced Approach

Self-evaluation isn’t just about finding flaws. It’s equally important to acknowledge your strengths, especially when learning guitar online. Here’s how to strike a balance:

  • Celebrate Your Wins: Did you finally master that tricky chord change or improve your alternate picking speed after practicing the techniques covered in your online guitar lesson? Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements! This reinforces positive practice habits and keeps you motivated.
  • Embrace the Challenge: Don’t shy away from your weaknesses. Instead, identify areas that require more focus based on the feedback from your online guitar teacher or by reviewing your recordings. Is it mastering barre chords, improving your strumming technique, or struggling with music theory concepts covered in the online lessons?
  • Seek Targeted Improvement: Once you’ve identified your weaknesses, dedicate focused practice time to address them. Many online guitar courses offer additional exercises or resources to help you improve specific skills.
  • Ask for Feedback: Don’t be afraid to seek feedback from your online guitar teacher or fellow students in online guitar learning communities. A fresh perspective can help you identify blind spots and areas for improvement you might have missed.

Self-Evaluation as a Continuous Journey

Self-evaluation is not a one-time event; it’s an ongoing process that fuels your growth as a guitarist. By regularly recording yourself, setting SMART goals, identifying your strengths and weaknesses, you’ll be equipped to chart a course towards achieving your musical aspirations. Remember, the most important aspect is to enjoy the journey! Embrace the challenges, celebrate your wins, and most importantly, have fun while making music on your guitar.