Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including thoughts on a challenge, holding your breath for 7 minutes, and some refinements.


#1 – A challenge

I gave this little challenge to a student in my coaching programme the other day and it’s one that you might like to do too.

The challenge is this…

Pick one song and work it out by ear and play it from memory.


Sounds hard?

For sure, but this is a challenge to build up to if you’ve never done anything like this.

For some, you might like to work out a very small section of a song to begin with.

…Or you could learn a little riff or melody by ear.

Or just work out part of a song that someone is teaching you (i.e. let them teach you some of it, but you work out the next part by ear).


When doing this, it’s okay to write down the notes, of course, but then after a while, you’ll want to play it from memory.

This is one of those intermediate to advanced skills that is good to develop over time.

Of course, this is no easy feat – especially the first time you do it, but the more you do it, the easier it gets (just like anything, it takes practice).


#2 – The 7-minute breath 

I was watching a show about Devon and Cornwall the other day.

They are two of my favourite places to go to in England.

I will be heading back there in the summer for some surfing.

On the show, they were talking about these sea divers who can hold their breath for 7 minutes.

That is ridiculous!


One lady was saying it took a lot of practice to get to that point.

I can imagine it did!

As I’ve written about before, I have come across many guitar students who like to hold their breath – but many don’t even realise it!

Holding your breath when you play guitar is a sign of tension.

It’s also a sign that the student is a bit disconnected from what their body is doing.


Full body awareness is super important – and that’s something one of those divers mentioned.

Being able to play guitar and scan the different parts of your body for tension is key.

At first, you’ll likely have to stop playing and “freeze” for a moment to try to see where there is tension.

Eventually, though, you’ll be able to spot tension in your playing “on the fly”.

Breathing nice and deeply is one of the key steps to getting to this point.

Plus, taking deep breaths actually feels nice and relaxing!


#3 – Consistent improvements

One thing I always aim to do every day is to make small improvements to my guitar playing.

I encourage all students to have this mindset too.

Each day, I’ll try to refine or learn one thing to help make me a better player and teacher than I was yesterday.

I like to do this with my teaching methods and resources too.


A simple way I do this is to keep adding and refining things over time.

For instance, today, I’ve added a new audio training/podcast to the Guitar Domination Super eBook Bundle.

It’s a fun bit of training where I give you tips on using the eBooks, share some key insights from each eBook, talk about my favourite parts in each, and I even throw in a bit of random chat – such as how and when I wrote the books and some of the inspiration behind them.

If you want the bundle and this bonus, you can get it on the link below.

Find out more about the Guitar Domination Super eBook Bundle


Just to let you know, the sale will end at midnight tonight (Pacific Time).

Have a great Monday!

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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