broken-hearted guitarist

As it’s Valentine’s Day in a few days, I want to tell you a quick love story about the guitar gone bad.


Years ago, I started teaching a student (whose name I won’t share in case he’s reading this).

This student was an almost 60-year-old busy, successful businessman who struggled to find time to play.

…But he had a big guitar-playing dream.

You see, just before covid, he was due to get married and wanted to play a few songs on stage at his wedding.

There was a cover band who were due to play at the wedding.

His goal was to get up on stage and play a few songs with them.

“Ticket to Ride” by the Beatles was one of the songs.

So, in our lessons, we worked on this song and a few others.


The guitarist in the band (who was his friend) gave my student a guitar to practise on.

It was a nice, unusual Epiphone.

The problem was that this guitar just didn’t suit my student.

He had chunkier fingers (or “sausage fingers” as he described them).

I could see a mile away that he would be better suited to a guitar with a wider neck and one that was more suited to his fingers.

Anyway, did he listen?

Unfortunately, not.

He was too busy to go to a shop and try out more guitars.

I could only nag him so much about this.

Anyway, despite this, we worked really hard on his technique, so he was ultra-precise.

…And he got to a point where he could play the song pretty well and was getting ready for the wedding.


…But covid and the lockdowns that ensued meant the wedding was postponed.

Then it was postponed again, and then again.

Eventually, the wedding was two years later than first planned and unfortunately, we’d mostly lost touch at this point and due to changes in my business, I chose to work with fewer students at that point.

Yet a few months before the wedding, I saw him and asked if he was still looking to get on stage and play.

If so, I was willing to help him get ready.

He never called about the lessons, and it never happened.

I was still invited to the wedding though as we were friends (and my ex-girlfriend worked for him).


So there I was at the wedding, watching the band play “Ticket to Ride” but my old student just stood on the dancefloor watching them play it.

I could see he was a little disappointed and maybe regretful that he didn’t get up and live that dream.

…Because that could have been one extra awesome moment on his special day.

He’s a great bloke and that would have been wonderful.

I know the lockdowns and rescheduling made it 100x times harder, but alas, it was not meant to be.

Yet I’ve had other students perform live in a variety of settings such as this and they all tell me it’s one of the most exhilarating things they’ve ever done.


So, this email is not about that student in particular or playing live in front of others, but it’s all about not letting life get in the way…

…And making sure you give the guitar the time it deserves.

But also, give yourself the time to commit to it like you no doubt deserve.

Because if you do, you can have an instrument in your hands that will give you so many joyful moments throughout your life.

That might be something as epic as playing on stage at a wedding, at a backyard BBQ, at your grandkid’s first birthday party, or for those relaxing evenings at home alone.

There are so many cool moments we can have with the guitar.

Stick with it and enjoy!


…And as Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, I’ve decided to put my Fingerstyle Collection course on sale this week.

This course contains some of the most loved songs I’ve taught to students over the years.

You can check it out below:

The Fingerstyle Collection – learn 18 beautiful arrangements and discover the 3-step method


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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