Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including thoughts on a little memory experiment, 8 years of the DTAA, and more.


#1 – A memory experiment

I’ve been running a little experiment on myself lately.

It’s a bit weird.

What I’ve done is create an arrangement for a song called “You’ve Got to Walk That Lonesome Valley”.

It’s an awesome song that has been performed by the great Mississippi John Hurt.

I’ve created a Travis-picking arrangement of the song.


After creating the arrangement, I decided to try to commit the song to memory…

…but doing so in a typical “lazy” way.

I would simply look at the TAB, play the song over and over, and then see how much I could remember.

Well, a few days of this got me playing the song really well…

But how much could I remember?

Barely any.



Because I was “passively” learning the song.

What I normally do when learning songs is the opposite.

This includes breaking the song up into small chunks, playing that chunk multiple times, and consistently testing myself.

That’s a much more “active” way to learn something.


It requires a lot more concentration and effort, but it’s worth it.

Guess what?

When doing this, I could almost instantly remember the piece much better.

I knew this would be the case, but it’s fun to test things like this.

…And it once again highlights that a big part of memory is the technique you use to try to remember things.

I hope that makes sense because it’s so important.


#2 – The never-ending journey

One of the great things about learning guitar is that the journey is never complete.

When I started learning, I was very keen on the idea of it being like a computer game or an exam.

I was at school at the time and both of those things were a big part of my life.

The thought of achieving levels and “completing” the guitar journey in some way was appealing.

I imagined once I got “there” I’d have a lifetime of being able to do what I want on the guitar.

…But little did I know the goalposts would keep moving.


When I’d learn something, new doors would open up to me.

I’d get excited by a new rock lick, a bluesy-sounding piece, or an eastern-sounding piece.

Most of this was Jimmy Page’s fault by the way – every time I’d listen to Led Zeppelin, I’d hear new sounds that would inspire me.

It’s the sort of stuff that would make my heart race.

…But I realised the more I play, the more I want to learn, the more sensible I’d have to be about how I learn it.

I was never going to master it all in a few weeks or months.

Even now, I’m learning new things on the guitar and have to remind myself of this.

It’s exciting, but patience is key!


#3 – 8 years

This month marks the 8th year anniversary of the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy.

It’s been pretty epic.

The Academy has changed a lot since it began.

Back then, Archie was only a few months old, I’d only been at the online teaching thing a few years, and the Academy was called the Elite Guitarist Inner Circle.


Over the years, I’ve learned so much more about effective teaching and improved the Academy in many ways (and still continue to strive to do so).

For example, back then, there was little structure to it all.

But as I kept going, I knew I’d have to evolve the membership.

I created the “In Focus” course, added the option for students to leave comments on each page, built much more structure, and recently created the “5-Star Award” (plus, loads more changes).

Plus, of course, I added the new monthly lessons.


In the monthly lessons, we go deeper into a specific subject.

Usually, I take a chunk of the “In Focus” course and go into more detail on it.

Other times, I teach songs or share new breakthroughs I’ve discovered in my teaching studio.

I don’t teach many one-to-one lessons anymore, but the students I do teach are wonderful and I get so much inspiration from teaching them.

As this is the 8th year birthday celebration, I’m making the March Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy lessons very special.


Not only will I be releasing my brand-new book next week, which ties in perfectly with the Academy…

But one of the new monthly lessons is something I’ve never done before.

It’s called “8 years, 8 tricks” and this lesson is like a super fun mini course.

I did think about creating this sort of thing as a separate course before, but instead, I wanted to make the 8-year celebration of the Academy extra special.

In this lesson, I’ll be sharing eight super fun mini lessons.

Each of which will be short, easy to digest, and lots of fun.


You’ll get lessons on blues, Travis picking, country strumming, flamenco, a simple chord trick, beautiful classical, folk, and more.

It’s going to be lots of fun and I’ve made it so everyone can enjoy the new lessons, no matter where you are on your journey.

The new lessons will be out on Friday, the 1st of March…

So, if you’ve been on the fence about joining the Academy for a while, now is a great time.

If you have any questions about the Academy, do let me know.

The Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy


Have a great week

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.


February 26, 2024 Reply

Congratulations on 8 years! Fantastic, Dan. I had been reading your emails for a long while (while trying out the competitors on-line courses) and I’m so absolutely pleased that I finally took the plunge and joined your course. Your book had me at page 1! I’ve had that for years and so very pleased. I love your monthly instructional videos and the 10x. You have evolved without a doubt – and so have your students. We are getting better because of you. Thank you for taking the chance 8 years ago. Lucky us.

Dan Thorpe
March 7, 2024 Reply

Just saw this, Susan. Thanks a million for the lovely words. It’s much appreciated. Keep up the wonderful practice and I love your enthusiasm and passion for the instrument. Cheers 🙂

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