Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including thoughts on awards, overcoming nerves, and an end to madness.
Here we go…
#1 – Archie’s award
I had one of the best nights ever the other day.
It was Archie’s award night for his cricket club.
It was the first thing like this he had ever attended.
And I was super proud as he won the “best bowler” award for his age group.
In cricket, he bowls “leg spin” which is like a mystical art in some ways.
When I played, I’d bowl leg spin too (although I was far from a master of this skill).
It’s a great skill to watch.
The ball hits the pitch and spins sharply away from the batsman with the aim to trick them and get them out.
The art of leg spin is very much like the first time watching someone dazzle an audience with their guitar with hands blazing up and down the fretboard.
I am very proud of Archie.
Not just for the award, but because he was nervous all day and didn’t want to go…but he got up on the stage in front of a very busy venue.
He was the first person up on stage too.
I can imagine how daunting that must feel.
Well, he did it, and he was delighted.
And he’s very motivated for next season.
Rewards are great and highly motivating in all walks of life.
For my next random thought, let’s talk about those pesky nerves.
#2 – Nerves are natural
If you ever get nervous with the guitar, that’s natural.
Maybe someone wants to hear you play.
Maybe you want to share your music with a loved one…
Or you want to jam with others for the first time.
Nerves can be painstaking.
I used to struggle a bit with stage fright when playing in bands.
The first gig I played, I got drunk before going on stage.
The same for the second (was there a pattern there?!)
But years later, as I’d played more and more gigs, those nerves started to stop.
At one point, my band had played about 7 or 8 gigs in a few months.
For the last few of those gigs, I was fine.
I’d had a few little butterflies, but I was mostly excited.
I think that was for two reasons.
Mainly because we were stage-ready, but also because I was getting desensitised to the nerves.
Now these gigs weren’t like David Bowie-style epic gigs at Glastonbury. (Even David had struggled with stage fright).
…But these were gigs in front of real people in venues that were pretty busy.
So, I guess the point here is, if you ever get nervous, it comes down to two things.
Preparation and just putting yourself in these situations more.
It does get easier, and I learned a lot, the more I gigged – more so than I would have otherwise.
Anyway, I know many students here aren’t fussed about playing live…
But at some point in our lives, others will likely hear us play (it might just be a loved one).
Keep that in mind and I hope this random thought was useful even if for just a handful of people reading.
#3 – Ending the madness
The email I sent on Friday seemed to resonate with many.
I talked about how on Black Friday, loads of people like to bombard others with offers they don’t really need.
CrAzY bundles of guitar courses and random things that are the price of my first car.
The guitar world is random enough as it is.
Well, behind the scenes, I’ve been working on something to help end this randomness.
If you ever want clarity, clear goals going forward and an obvious way to see your progress, be sure to check out tomorrow’s email.
I’ll be announcing something that will help to give you rock-solid clarity, no matter where you are with your playing.
It’s a simple thing, but it’s something I’m very excited to announce.
For the time being, I urge you to have a think about the goals you want to achieve on the guitar.
What is it you want?
Where do you want to be with the guitar in 3,6,12 months?
What would you like to be able to do for the long term?
They’re all good questions to ask yourself.
I’ll share more tomorrow, but if you want help with the above, you might like to check this out…
Have a great week!
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.