Skill Goals VS Gear Goals (Which Ones Are You Setting?)

  • Written By 
  • Shalon Palmer

Worship Skill VS Worship Gear

With the new year upon us, I can’t think of a better time to shake up our thinking in terms of our goals. More specifically, I want us to take a look at our musical skill goals in comparison with our music gear goals.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably got all of the new pedals, amps, or guitars that you want this year, already picked out. And you’ll most likely move Heaven and Earth to get them. You’re probably already making plans about how you’re going to buy that sweet new pedal. (I’m speaking from experience).

Whether it’s working extra hours, skipping meals or coffee to save money, selling stuff off, holding your neighbors’ kids for ransom, nothing is going to stop you from that new (insert shiny new gear item here)!

Now let’s talk about your musical goals for the year. I’ll start with 2 questions:

  1. Do you you even have them?
  2. And where do they fall in order of importance compared to your gear goals?

Okay, I’ve been in the “worship music game” long enough to know how most of us answered this question. I’ll admit that I used to spend about 90% of my time dreaming in front of a Musician’s Friend magazine (remember those?), as opposed to actually practicing my guitar.

Also, you don’t have to go very far on social media to see how our attention is strongly weighted in favor or gear over actual skill.

It seems that worship guitar is the only skill where it is OK to focus on the tools more than the craft.

You wouldn’t hire a carpenter to build your house based on how nice his tools are. You would pick him based on his skill. (And the truth is, if he is truly skilled, he could do a great job even with bad tools. Which is a whole other post.)

Skill trumps tools in ANY profession!

Why is it then that all of our focus and attention goes to gear over actual skill? The hard truth is that it’s easier to get gear. Much easier than increasing our skill!

Anyone with enough money can buy gear. You can buy your way into looking cool with it, getting reposted by the coolest gear pages, and dare I say it, you can even buy your way into looking like you know what you’re doing.

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The truth is that we associate a great worship musician with the gear they have. Doesn’t that sound fantastic that there’s a short road to gaining credibility! But how far does that get you?

If your goal is to get 500 likes per picture on Instagram, that may be the exact route for you. But if your goal is to play, and I mean really play skillfully to the lord, It may be time for a shift.

It’s not fun, or even cool, to practice your butt off for years with no glory. No one talks about the years Nigel Hendroff (Hillsong), Jeffrey Kunde (Jesus Culture), or Stu G (Delirious) spent perfecting their craft and skill.

I can tell you that they didn’t get where they are by just buying the best gear. Furthermore, any skilled guitar player will tell you that 90% of good guitar tone is in the fingers – something you can’t buy.

I want to encourage you to shift your mind in favor or skill over gear. One of our goals at Worship Online is to help you become better musicians and worshipers. To do that, you need to place high value on skill. That mind shift will launch you further faster.

I recently read a statistic that you are 10 times more likely to achieve something that you commit to as a specific goal. I also read that only 3% of Americans actually write down and commit to their goals! That’s insane!

So I challenge you to commit to a musical goal this year. That could be anything from perfecting a specific song, to learning to play by ear or without chords sheets and tabs. Share them down below in the comments and I’m going to be personally praying over each of them.

Then write those goals down everyday for the next 30 days. Get them memorized and engrained in your brain. It’s work, but nothing worth doing is easy. Then continue to look at them and visualize what it will be like when you’ve accomplished them. This is going to be your best musical year ever!

Ok, so I know it may seem that I am anti-gear here, but I want to be clear here that I am very much a gear nerd. Great gear is very important to me. However, I understand the importance of skill and it’s relationship to gear.

Both musical and gear goals can be a powerful thing when used in conjunction with one another. For instance, only buying that new piece of gear after you complete a certain musical goal. It can be a great way to encourage and reward yourself.

If you want to really to step up your skill game, we have the tools to help you do it. If you’ve been a part of our community for any amount of time, you know that we are not a beginner guitar website. We simply teach worship songs exactly as they are played by the artists, whether it’s super simple or crazy hard. This way you are able to start where you are and always be able to stretch yourself.

Worship Online is an opportunity to invest into yourself. And as one of my mentors always says, “An investment into yourself is the best investment you can ever make.”

And that’s it. I hope this hasn’t been too “life-lessony.” I’m really passionate about helping others grow and as hard as this may have been for us to swallow, it’s extremely important!

So what are your musical goals for this year? Share below in the comments!

You may also be interested in these posts as well:

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