Learning the classical guitar is a long, long journey of consistent practice, review, and improvement.
Like learning a new language, learning an instrument like the classical guitar requires commitment for years to really improve at it, but without any sort of tracking method, it can be impossible to really know if you’re improving at the guitar, not improving at the guitar, or even developing bad habits that can lead to injuries down the line.
Lucky for you, tonebase has just released a revolutionary feature that allows you to pinpoint exactly where you are in your classical guitar progress, regardless of level.
Here is our Head of Guitar Martin Zimny introducing our new feature to the tonebase platform, Practice Plans:
If you'd like to experience the benefits of tonebase's new Practice Plans firsthand, click here to sign up for a free 14-day trial.
However, if you’re looking for something more old-fashioned, we’ll cover a few methods to track your classical guitar progress all on your own.
Let’s jump into the best methods to track your progress at the classical guitar, so you can excel at faster rates than ever before.
1. Setting clear goals for classical guitar improvement
The first thing every aspiring guitarist should do when looking to track their classical guitar progress is to set clear, manageable, and measurable goals.
What are you looking to accomplish as a guitarist? Do you want to build your interpretive language more, or refine your technique so you can play more advanced repertoire? Maybe you want to learn some extended techniques?
These are things to consider when assessing how you will go about tracking your progress on the classical guitar.
Now, it should be noted that sometimes it can be quite tricky to know exactly what you should improve. Analyzing your classical guitar progress does require a certain level of understanding when it comes to what areas of classical guitar technique exist.
Also, it can be quite confusing to figure out what repertoire will best match your level at certain skills on the classical guitar.
This is why we invented our new Practice Plan feature, a revolutionary approach to classical guitar progress tracking built into the tonebase app.
In case you haven’t heard of tonebase, tonebase Guitar is a massive online library of classical guitar lessons and courses from the world’s best classical guitarists. Teachers on the platform include Juilliard and Curtis professors, Grammy winners, and many more amazing mentors, such as Ana Vidovic, Pepe Romero, and Andrew York.
Now, as a tonebase member, you can fill out a detailed survey that outlines all of your skills at the classical guitar, such as voice leading, scales, staying in tempo, sight reading, and more.
You’ll receive a personalized track for improvement at the guitar, tailored to your exact needs.
Click here to sign up for a free trial to tonebase, and take the survey to find out the best path forward for you as a classical guitarist.
2. Daily classical guitar practice logs
While tonebase’s new Practice Plan feature is the most efficient way to know your progress, keeping daily practice logs can also offer value to you as you make progress.
Start with a piece of paper or a new document on your iPad, and write down what repertoire you’re working on, and what element of this repertoire you’re struggling with. Maybe you’re working on a Bach transcription, and you’re struggling with maintaining continuity in tempo and voice leading. Maybe you’re running into issues with a tremolo figure.
These are issues you’ll want to track over time, so jot them down on a sheet and revisit them every day when you practice to keep track of your improvement.
It’s a very hands on approach which requires more effort from your end, but if this is something that suits you more then give it a shot!
3. Record yourself playing
Taking recordings of yourself (both audio and video) while playing the guitar is a wonderful way to measure your progress.
Prop your phone up somewhere sturdy so you can clearly see the entire guitar, and take some videos of you running through your current rep.
Now do the same maybe a week or two later, and see how you’ve improved!
Check for tempo, see if you’re locking into a more steady pulse without the help of a metronome easier than the previous video.
Also listen for things like squeaks and other unwanted artifacts. These are points of progress you can identify through consistent recording.
Again, this will not solve all of your progress tracking needs, but it is a nice effort that will offer a glimpse into how you’re moving along with your current repertoire.
4. In person guitar lessons
The best way to track your progress without question is through the observation of a private instructor week-to-week.
If regular private guitar lessons are an option for you, these lessons will open doors to attentive progress observation in each lesson, aside from the vast benefits of personalized/real-time feedback from a professional.
However, if in-person lessons are not an option for you, then be sure to explore online alternatives, such as the live + community features included in a tonebase subscription.
tonebase members get to participate in weekly live events, where they can interact with other members of the community. This provides a great opportunity to gain feedback from both the classical guitar mentors on the events as well as the other guitarists, thus advancing your ability to track your progress on the classical guitar.
If you combine this ability with the new progress tracking capabilities unlocked via tonebase’s new Practice Plan feature, you’ll have a detailed understanding of where you are in your guitar development.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to track your progress on the classical guitar utilizing either new online capabilities, or more old-fashioned techniques.
However, simply tracking your progress isn’t enough to know where to go next on the classical guitar.
It’s important to create a plan forward based on your learnings that is tailored to the areas of improvement you should focus on.
This is ultimately why we created our brand new Practice Plan feature, a tool that gives you as the aspiring classical guitarist complete guidance on the next steps to take in your practice journey.
You’ll immediately unlock hundreds of state of the art classical guitar courses, be able to participate in live events, interact with the community, receive hundreds of custom annotated scores and workbooks, and immediately accelerate your classical guitar progress.
We hope to see you in the forums!