Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy member, Sandy, left a comment on a lesson saying this…


“Hi y’all, I’m Sandy Williams from McKinney, Texas.

This is my second month in the DTAA. I started playing about two years ago. Initially with in person lessons, resulting in wrist tendinitis in my fretting hand, took 5-6 months to heal and happened again trying to learn bar chords.

Sorely needed Dan’s in depth lessons!

I need to slow down and focus. I love finger picking, been working on Blackbird and Landslide (would love to learn some Dan Fogelberg). I suck at timing/musicality, so lots of room for improvement there.

Ever On!”

– Sandy


Welcome to Sandy.

It’s such a shame to hear about the past issues she had.

…But I am glad she is healing and now on the right path.

The level of neglect from that guitar teacher must have been huge.


Sadly, that is not too uncommon in the guitar world.

I’ve heard many horror stories over the years from people who have tried to learn guitar but have injured themselves doing so.

These range from milder issues such as hand cramps to extremely sore calluses…

…All the way to dangerous injuries like Sandy’s that can massively impact one’s life.


Side note: I once saw a photo on the internet of a student with fingertips that looked like pork scratchings their calluses were so sore and crusty – and they asked, “Is this normal?”! The answer to that is, it absolutely should not be!

It’s serious stuff…

…And that’s why I place such emphasis on teaching students precise “Core Fundamental Technique”.


Here’s something to watch out for no matter who you learn guitar from…

  • If your teacher only wants to teach you songs but fails to mention proper technique, run a mile.
  • If you ask your teacher about how to improve your technique, and they give you a “wishy-washy” vague answer, run a mile.
  • …And if you feel tense, rigid, or an overwhelming sense of tightness in your body when you play, and your teacher never corrects this, run a mile.

There are some good teachers out there who can help with all this stuff.

(Teachers with a classical background are usually better than most here).

…But finding a good teacher to help with all this seems to be like trying to find a needle in a haystack for many.

So, a lot of the time it’s up to YOU to be aware of these things.


Playing guitar should not be as painful as running across hot coals in your bare feet while pulling a Marshall 100w amp!

Even mild tension can ruin the flow of songs, cause your fingers to trip up and stutter, and cause snail-pace slow chord changes.

No one should ever have to go through what Sandy went through.

…But let’s be more positive.

You can change all this.

…And it doesn’t take a huge amount of work to remove tension.


The first port of call is to be aware of tension.

Stop, breathe, and pause frequently when you play.

Scan your body up and down for signs of tension.

Look for tension not just in the fingers, hands, wrists, forearms, biceps, and shoulders…

…But also in your neck, stomach, legs, and even your feet!


Tension is a weird little phenomenon – it can creep up on you like a fog.

Funnily enough, being able to relax with the guitar can help you be more relaxed in life too (many people are walking around with large amounts of tension in day-to-day life).

Anyway, if you want a crystal-clear guide on how to erase tension for good, then the “3Ps” of guitar playing is the place to go.

These are three short lessons that start off the “In Focus” course only available inside the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy.


This is what Christie said about these lessons:

“I’ve just begun my journey with DTAA this week and am working through the 30-Day Plan. I can’t believe how much I’ve learned already…things no one has ever told or taught me before. Learning the 3Ps has moved several obstacles for me. Amazing! This has given me so much more enthusiasm to simply practice the small things and have fun while doing it. Kudos to you, Dan Thorpe!”

Tomorrow is the very last chance to join the Academy for the foreseeable future.


If you’re keen, here is the place to find out more.

Find out more about the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy

Dan Thorpe

Guitar Domination


P.S. Tomorrow evening, I will close enrolment to the Academy for at least a few months and here are a few things to keep in mind:

1 – It’s the last chance to get The Six String Lifer’s Handbook for quite some time. This is the only place you can get the book. The book is NOT for sale on Amazon and never will be.

2 – When I open up the Academy again for enrolment, the price will go up for new members. (Join today and you will “lock in” at the current price)

3 – The new monthly lessons for April, including my Travis picking Masterclass of “You’ve Got to Walk That Lonesome Valley”, a fun challenge on jazzing up your chords, and how to use the Circle of Fifths to make sense of music theory will no longer be available.

Plus, over the next few months, I’ve got some very special things lined up for Academy members, but you’ve got to be in it, to get these things.

Find out more about the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy


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.

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.