10000 hours of practice

Here are two more interesting emails I have got lately.

I hope you find the emails and my thoughts useful…

Today we are talking about 10,000 hours of practice and the importance of melodies…


Email #1

“I’m getting on great with my guitar education and practicing with the help of all your work.

I am starting again to learn guitar after suffering a stroke last year, I disposed of my guitars and music collection. Then about six weeks ago I thought my hands needed something to do so I started from scratch again with your help, only trouble is to get my goal of 10,000 hrs practice I will have to live until I am over 100, as at 79 in July I have to do as many hours a day as I can.

Currently about 4 hours with time to walk the dog and two frugal meals of zero carbs to aid the brain and fingers ha ha”



Very pleased to hear Brian is back to it.

In terms of 10,000 hours…

That is a nice number to reach.

Yet I’d take 2000 hours of solid, happy, and focused practice over the 10,000 hours of average practice most people do.


It’s like when I’m in the gym.

I see some people “milling around” pretty much every time I’m there.

You know the types.

Those that spend hours a day in the gym but don’t really push themselves and never really make much progress.

On the other hand, there are a few guys I know who train about 2 or 3 hours per week.

Yet when they train, they train hard and fully, and they get great results.

The guitar is the same.

A focused short burst of practice beats hours of unfocused practice every time.

Delighted Brian got back to the guitar and wishing him the best of health.


Email #2 

“I took lessons from a guy who knows the instrument well. However, he really had no teaching plan. What was fun for me was the opportunity to play with someone… just play. Often, it was me that brought a song or two along with me that I wanted to learn or know a bit better.

At the outset, I told my teacher that I wanted to actually be able to play a song that was recognizable. Just playing a series of chords doesn’t work. You need melody for the recognition. If you do not sing or do it so seldom that the voice is just not up to it properly, you have to learn some melody along with the chords. Trouble is, he would play melody and I would be the rhythm guitar. Works when both of us were playing but did not when I played alone. Same old problem.

I can play many chords reasonably well, including barre chords. But playing alone I need to learn melodies.

I know that is something I can look forward to with you.”




This sounds like another one of those situations where a teacher hasn’t done the best he can for his student.

In fact, a student once said to me his teacher was a “glorified jam buddy” who he would pay to drink beer and jam with.

…And Peter’s right, if you’re not a singer, the guitar can be a frustrating instrument.

Many will teach you endless chords and strumming songs which are meant to be sung over.

Melodies are key if you’re not a singer.

Simple recognisable riffs, combining melodies and chord tones, and simple fingerstyle arrangements are what it’s all about if you’re not a singer or a lead player.


Speaking of which, you can get started with this fun stuff in my 7-Day Transformation and Breakthrough Beginner courses.

Tomorrow is the last chance to get BOTH of these two courses for just $7.

After this, the price will go up.

The price will still be affordable, but it will no longer be the ridiculously low price you’ll get them both for today.

Find out more about the 7-Day Transformation Course/Breakthrough Beginner


Breakthrough Beginner is a bonus course at the moment, but it is a fantastic course in its own right.

…And both courses are packed with a balance of good technical advice and fun songs to play.



Dan Thorpe

Guitar Domination


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.

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