Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including an upcoming 10-year anniversary, the effects of stepping up, and the importance of community.
Here we go…
#1 – 10-year anniversary
I had an exciting realisation the other day.
…And I’m a little surprised that I hadn’t realised this earlier.
It’s the fact it has now almost been 10 years since I took the plunge and quit my job to become a full-time guitar tutor.
Yep, 10 years ago my life changed drastically and in a great way.
At that time, I was working a job I was not at all fond of.
I thought “Enough is enough” and that I should do what I felt like I was supposed to be doing.
…Helping others learn guitar.
Especially those who are struggling or have struggled for some time.
Little did I foresee the journey that I would be blessed to go on.
Anyway, the anniversary is not quite here yet, but it is close.
When it is here, I’m sure I’ll do a little celebration with the family.
…And to celebrate with you, my guitar family, I’ll be doing a few very cool things.
I want to thank you for being part of this journey with me.
…And that goes if you’ve been a long-time reader or student or you’re pretty new here.
I’ve spent a few days thinking about what I can do and I’m excited about these things.
…And I’ll be sharing more about it all soon.
#2 – Stepping up
A pretty famous quote I’ve heard a few times is that “You’re the sum of the five people you spend the most time around”.
I’ve found that to be very true.
In terms of the guitar, when I first started playing in a band…
The other guys in the band were more friends than they were bandmates.
We had a great laugh, but we were not a great band.
It was more about the partying and beers then.
…But when I jammed with some other musicians who were really focused, my guitar-playing skills started to improve much quicker.
That was partly because I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of them…
It was partly because these quality musicians inspired me…
And partly because I was soaking up their attitudes to playing music.
No longer was I cracking open beers in the studio, but I was playing with much more professional people.
It was still fun, yet it was a real eye-opener for me.
Even though there are quite a large number of you reading who don’t practise with others, it’s still worth remembering this for the future.
…Mainly because at some point I think it would be great for you to jam with others if you don’t already.
Who you jam with really does make a big difference.
#3 – Community
It’s not just who you jam with that counts.
…But where you learn from is super important too.
For instance, in the past, I’ve seen a whole bunch of random YouTube comments on certain videos that were really disheartening to see.
Some people could be nasty to each other or insult each other.
Some would try to belittle others by claiming the guitar is easy for them.
(That just made any struggling beginners reading that comment feel totally inadequate).
So, for that reason, I always say it’s super important to spend your time learning in a place that is supportive and encouraging.
I don’t really know where there are many of these places on the net, but of course, the Fingerstyle 101 Facebook group is one such place.
The other is the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy.
Not so long ago, I added the comments section to the site.
The reason why was to create more support and a strong community.
That was one of the best things I did for the members.
There are over 5000 comments from members interacting and asking questions, with plenty of encouragement and support from me and others.
Whatever you do, do try to learn guitar in a place that suits you and is supportive of you.
It really does make a difference.
If you want to find out more about the Academy, you can check it out below.
I’ve just added a few short videos to the top of the sales page from members who shared their thoughts on the academy.
Take a look at this page below to see:
Have a great week ahead and thanks for being part of this journey with me.
P.S. This post was originally taken from Dan Thorpe’s private email list. To get blog posts like this sent to you which are full of great tips to make fingerpicking, strumming, and learning guitar more enjoyable (especially if you are over 40) join Dan’s list. It’s 100% free, HERE.