Sometimes all we want to do is sit down with the guitar and relax.

…Yet sometimes it seems the guitar gods have other ideas.


Today, I sat down to work on a new arrangement for a song.

I tuned up and was excited to play, but then…

“Tap, tap, tap.”

The door knocked with an annoyingly polite and quiet tap.

“Of course”, I thought, that is typical.

I answer the door and chat with the chirpy fella.

He was keeping me updated on things in the street as it is carnage at the moment with everyone having the gas pipes and supplier changed over.


After this distraction, I sit down again to play some guitar.

Then there is non-stop banging as they seemingly dig up half the street.

I stop and try again.

…And then his colleague knocks, asking me to move my car.

I see the postman down the road and think, “Yeah, I bet you will be coming for me next!”


At this point, I think I’ll just drive off into the woods and play in silence!

Ha, I see the funny side of it, but it was a little annoying.

It’s hard to get into the “flow” when the door keeps knocking or there are distractions.

So I put down the guitar for a little while and do some other important stuff.

Oh, well.


I don’t know if you are like me, but I am pretty focused when I’m in the zone, yet when there are too many distractions, I’m hopeless.

My mind wanders.

It’s the reason I like to work from home.

Fewer people around to be distracted by.


Years ago, I had the idea that I’d write my emails and do my work in a coffee shop or park on my laptop.

Well, when I tried that I got nothing done.

I’d usually end up getting in a conversation with someone or being distracted by a street performer/quirky folk/shiny object.

Now, we are all different, of course.

…But the point of all this really is about doing what works for you.


Practising guitar takes a lot of concentration.

Those who concentrate on a deeper level and practise with purpose nearly always make more progress than those who don’t.

When I was learning guitar, I’d probably only really concentrate on around 30% of my potential.

Sometimes I’d noodle around for an hour while watching TV and only properly concentrate when the adverts were on.

Guess what?

I maintained what I had but rarely improved by doing that.

Instead, it was only when I made an effort to practise with full concentration that I made proper progress.

…And having a “safe space” with no distractions really helped me.

I’ve always found my best students have this too.


I’ve not talked about it for a while, but having that time and space where you can really practise without distraction is powerful.

Sometimes, the gas man will knock on the door and we can’t help that.

…But it’s always worth doing your best to protect your practice time.

It’s a special time, after all.


Right, I’m off to do some real practice now that the street is quiet.

…but wait, is that the sound of the door knocking again… 

Dan Thorpe

Guitar Domination


P.S. Don’t forget, if you like the blues, my course is on sale this week. The sale will end on Saturday and if you want the course, you can find out more about it below…

The Beginner 12-Bar Blues Mini Masterclass

Happy practice!


P.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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