It’s About Time You Rocked

play an instrument new years

It’s New Year’s Day, but in reality that’s meaningless.

Every day the sun comes up and the sun goes down and you do some work or slack off.

Many people mark New Year’s as a time to make some life changes, yet few actually pull it off.

A lot of you knuckleheads have been sitting around for months waiting to pick up an instrument.

Day after day it doesn’t happen.

Well, I’m here to give you 5 actionable steps to quit thinking and start doing.

Let’s get into it.

Go With Your Gut

If you have always had one eye on a guitar, go with that. Maybe you started piano as a child but never kept it up. It’s time to make a decision and move.

Circle a date on the calendar and make a commitment to acquire an instrument by that date. No matter what it takes.

If you already have one, you ran out of excuses long ago.

Make some calls, send some emails, and find one for free. Somebody has a guitar caked in dust from the last year’s failed mission.

Just make gut decisions and take what you can get.

If you go more than a month, just buy one. You can get cheap practice guitars online or at a store.

Never overpay if you are an absolute beginner. No one needs a $700+ axe right now.

I mean dude, look at this – beginner guitar package for $100.

Just buy it in and go. Comes with a case and a tiny amp which you also don’t need to overpay for.

Jack White made this piece of shit and it can play notes. You don’t need anything fancy to start learning.

Find Lessons Right Away

The same day you get your instrument.

There are a million free youtube videos where some guy teaches you the absolute essentials for beginner guitar.

It’s free damnit.

You think Jimmy Page could’ve cut a few corners if he had YouTube videos at his disposal early? I would argue yes. This doesn’t mean he would’ve been any better or worse. It simply means that we have a luxury of accessible information in 2015.

Some guitar channels that I recommend are JustinGuitar and Marty Schwartz.

I mean look at that list of videos from Justin, in a logical order, that you can just immediately start consuming.

Turn off the fucking TV and spend an hour a day just chipping away.

Set a Schedule

Every Monday and Wednesday you are playing at least an hour. Every day at 8 pm you are playing for 30 mins.

Write down reminders on post-it-notes and put them everywhere.

You are going to suck at first. Accept it and keep going.

Hangovers are the bane of progress. I stopped drinking for 2 months to avoid soul-sucking, day wasting hangovers.

If you find yourself getting sloshed too often, time to lay off for awhile.

Buddy Up

Talk to a friend about starting the mission together. Maybe one guy grabs bass, or picks up the drums.

Call each other once a week to check in and keep each other honest. Simply ask what the other person learned or worked on. If your buddy is losing willpower, try to pick him up.

Have some accountability.

Even better, you might be developing a relationship with a future band mate, an invaluable bond.

Start right now. No excuses. Just do it.

Happy New Year

 If you’re back to this page in 2016, don’t say I didn’t warn ya.


  1. Great advice here, Riz. I’m especially focusing on following my gut and *keeping* my schedule.

    I’ve always been the kind of person who followed my gut, but I can say that last year I pretty much gave those instincts up to keep a bad relationship going. I have a lot of rebuilding to do this year, but I’m so fucking fired up to come back into my own person.

    Scheduling is my speciality, but following it is where I always failed. This year, nothing is more important than what I have to do on my todo list.


    1. The most difficult challenges will reap the greatest rewards.

      I highly recommend treating weekends like a “work” day. Every day is on the table and every hour can be wasted or won.

      Thanks for the comment, Alex.


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