• How To Build Momentum Towards Your Musical Goals

    in Motivational Minutes,Self-Improvement

    Not to get too scientific but Newton’s First Law Of Motion states: “Objects at rest tend to stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion unless something stops their momentum.”

    What does that mean for your playing? Your life?

    It means that whatever state you’re currently in will most likely remain that way until some external force (motivation, inspiration, etc) reverses its direction. The longer you skip practicing (or exercising, or reading daily, or anything you’ve committed to), the more likely you’ll continue along the same path.

    On the other hand, the longer you stick with an activity, the more likely it is to become a habit or unconscious practice. In fact, experts say it takes around 21 days to turn a new activity into a habit and approximately 300 positive reinforcements to turn a new habit into an unconscious practice.

    That’s why, in my “6 P’s of Productive Practice,” I talk about the importance of planning and persistence. Psychological studies show that when you plan an activity at around the same time everyday, you’re more likely to stick with it.

    At the end of the day, what this all comes down to is the “M” word — Momentum.

    And if you don’t have momentum at the moment, keep reading this blog. I’ll be your “outside force” to get you up and going in the right direction. Invest in one of my programs — they can be the “outside force” you need to start moving.

    There’s another scientific concept called “Escape Velocity.” One of the definitions is: “The lowest velocity (speed) that a body/object must have in order to escape the gravitational attraction of a particular planet or other object.”

    Think about a space shuttle for a moment.

    At launch, the space shuttle uses more fuel during the first few minutes of its flight than the entire rest of the trip. Why? Because of the escape velocity needed to penetrate the gravitational forces of earth. But once it breaks free, it can glide and reserve fuel for the remainder of the voyage.

    That’s how new activities and commitments will feel. It will take a lot of energy to get going. A lot of focus to commit to something new. But once you achieve “escape velocity” (21 days as a habit, 300 positive reinforcements to become unconscious practice), you’ll be on your way.

    Like the merry-go-round, you put a lot of effort into getting it going but once it’s going, momentum takes over.

    Until next time.

    The following two tabs change content below.
    Hi, I'm Jermaine Griggs, founder of this site. We teach people how to express themselves through the language of music. Just as you talk and listen freely, music can be enjoyed and played in the same way... if you know the rules of the "language!" I started this site at 17 years old in August 2000 and more than a decade later, we've helped literally millions of musicians along the way. Enjoy!

    Attention: To learn more about this, I recommend our 500+ page course: The "Official Guide To Piano Playing." Click here for more information.



    { 11 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Leonor

    I think I am in “escape velocity” mode right now, and I don’t know how to ESCAPE! My problem we play “fake” music at church, so I need something that will help me improvise with the music we use–words only with chords on top of the words. I think your program is GREAT, but I’m finding myself in a royal rut, discouraged with no motivation or direction as to which way I should go.


    2 Jermaine Griggs


    Thanks for your message. If you’re reading chord changes, your approach should be to better understand how progressions work. So when you’re in the key of C, and you see the chord “C major” on paper, you should immediately be thinking the “1 chord.” You have many options: C major 7, C major add 9, C major 9, C major 9 add 6, Cmajor2, C sus2.

    When you see an F major chord in the same key, you should be thinking the “4 chord.” The same options you have for C major, you also have for F major. Then you start thinking about passing chords. What chords can lead me to the “4th” of the key. We explore plenty of those in GospelKeys 202 and in the Gospel Music Training Center. But first things first — knowing your scales and number system.


    3 Joseph

    It’s a great stuff and I have enjoyed it ready to share with friends and ready to apply it in my daily activities.
    keep on searching and inspiring us.
    God bless you man of God.
    Joseph Shonga


    4 Jermaine Griggs

    Thanks Joseph!


    5 El Daniels

    You just take your time to be a blessing. Beyond the music, I appreciate what you bring and how you do it. I get a lot of e-stuff that clearly tells you someone is trying to sell something to you. Jermaine wants to add value besides, and that is what sets you apart. Looking forward to being in the US soon and sure would love to meet you up. You are doing real ministry, bro.


    6 Jermaine Griggs

    El, appreciate your kind comments and the observations you’ve made about my approach here at Hearandplay.com. God has really blessed us to help a lot of people and I’m grateful everyday to be able to do this for a living. Thanks again, JG.


    7 Luis

    Keep these inspirational articles coming. It was much needed at this time. Let me go practice now to achieve that “Escape Velocity” that I truly need to reach. As always, Thank you!


    8 Jermaine Griggs

    Yes! Escape velocity is what most of us need. But we don’t stay committed enough to build up the momentum (the minimum speed) to break through. Many of us turn back right before that point. Then when we get inspired again to go after the goal, we start back over instead of continuing the momentum we built before. Keep up the great work Luis.


    9 mitema Emmanuel

    Thank you for being so humble to give us your best.Only few professionals are concerned about raising people and giving value.You are simply the best!!!


    10 Jo.Jayno

    I just finished up my music CD and I’m trying to build up momentum. What should I do with no budget?


    11 Helaine Maupin

    I visited a lot of website but I think this one has something extra in it. “Anyone who refuses to speak out off campus does not deserve to be listened to on campus.” by Theodore Hesburgh.


    Leave a Comment

    Previous post:

    Next post: