7 Ways to Become a Better Musician with the Help of… SMARTPHONE NOTES (?!)

Hey good people! My name is Alon, I'm 27 and I play mainly the guitar, piano, and harmonica. In the last few years, I traveled through four different continents with my guitar while performing and teaching music. Currently, I am based in sunny Tel Aviv, Israel. The GuitarHippies mission: To get you to enjoy your musical journeys to the fullest. Cheers!

So do you want to reach your MAXIMUM ACHIEVEMENT pace with your musical skills progress?

smartphone notes

I am a very organized person – and thanks to that I slowly came up with a system that helps me “keep my musical shit together” in a way that helps me become better way faster and achieve much more in my music life! It's a fact that if you are organized you can achieve way more in a shorter time. As a bonus, this also gives me a lot of other benefits as well that I will tell you about in a minute.

Thanks to the notes, I always know in which direction I am going musically, and I am going there probably faster than most people who “wander around” a lot on their musical journeys. Take a look at my system and see how you can adapt it yourself.

On my iPhone Notes app, I keep all of these as different notes:

Guitar Songs Learn Repertoire 2
1 – My Repertoire Note

This one is titled “My Songs List” and in it I keep the list of all the songs that I can play by heart, so I am never “blacking out” about what to play and I can always refer to it when I am with other people and trying to think of a song to play. Never again run out of songs to play… It's constructed in a unique way and each song is numbered on a scale of 1-5. For

It's constructed in a unique way and each song is numbered on a scale of 1-5. For a detailed description of how I construct this list, hop into my article about personal repertoire development.

repertiore development

Never run out of songs to play by heart. Click the promo to find out how!

2 – My “Songs to Learn” Note

Did you ever stumbled upon a song and said “that would be a cool song to learn” but ended up not doing anything to actually learn it? Whenever I stumble upon a song that I like and I think it will be cool to learn because the guitar part sounds challenging or because it fits my personal style, I put it on this list.

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Later, when I am looking for ideas about songs that I want to spend some time learning, I just refer back to this list so I am never bored, and always expanding my repertoire!

3 – Songwriting Notes

This is actually a few different ones that all relate to songwriting if you are into that. The first one contains all the best tips and tricks I accumulated from different sources about songwriting, from books to websites to people I spoke with. Whenever I want to write something and feel stuck, I refer to this one for some “kickstarters”.

I also keep another note for “song ideas” so whenever an idea springs into my mind I shoot it down and make sure I'll remember it later. Also, I write the actual songs on in a note, usually one note per 5-10 songs so I will not have too much of a mess with too many notes around.

best songwriting tools songwriter

Check out the 6 best songwriting tools in this post:

guitar chord book5-0001

Did you already create a custom chord book with your favorite songs?

4 – Singing Notes

Here I write down technical key points about singing that I sometimes like to remind myself with before I practice or sing with other people. These are points I collected over the vocal lessons I took while I lived in New Orleans, but mostly from the professional online course on howtosing.com that also gave me more than 40 different lessons for the price of those three lessons in New Orleans. The advantages of living in the internet age…

5 – Musical Goals Attached to Completion Dates

It is proven that people who have their goals written down (and review them regularly) will achieve much more. This works for everything and for music as well. Here I write down precise goals such as “play the intro of “Yellow Ledbetter” perfectly on the actual tempo by December 25th” or “to be able to immediately recall every degree of all the major and minor keys by Feb 25th”, or any other goal you can have in the musical world or performing world.

Related Post:  4 Steps to Never Run Out of Songs to Play! REPERTOIRE Development

This serves as a huge boost of drive to your subconscious and will make sure you work on it and hit that goal. If you do not hit it by the designated date – no problem, just set another date and keep working on it. There is no such thing as an unreasonable goal – only unreasonable dates.

6 – Musical “Enlightenments”

Whenever I suddenly reach an “enlightenment” that is music related and can help me – I immediately jot it down in here. Usually, it happens when I am really digging some part of a performance I see and I want to implement it myself, or when I randomly come across something unique while jamming and want to remember it later, but you can take it however you want.

The last time I wrote something in that note was when I was watching some dude using a loop pedal while playing a live gig in a bar in New Zealand, and I wrote down that I HAD to get one myself and start playing around with it. This also resulted in the next article I wrote here – 8 Ways You Can Unleash Your Creativity With A Guitar LOOP Pedal.

7 – My Guitar Practice Exercises Note

I use this one every day as part of my daily practice routine. For more details on starting a routine and how to become a better guitar player faster – click here


guitar practice

An example of a guitar list of exercises note


This is it. Some of it may sound odd for some of you right now, and that's cool. I still highly recommend keeping an open mind and giving it a try since the benefits are just waiting for you! Stop forgetting stuff that can make you a better musician and get used to writing it down!

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Start by using only the one or two notes that make the most sense for you and after you'll see how much it pushes you forward, I am sure you will come back here to get some more ideas. If you are using a different method for organizing your musical ideas, I'll be glad to hear about it in the comments section!

Peace and I hoped you enjoyed reading. Keep having fun and enjoy speeding up your improvement process!

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