Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including tinkering with a song, baseball, and making the impossible possible.
Here we go…
#1 – Tinkering over time
I’ve been working on a new arrangement of a famous song.
It’s a very cool bluesy tune with loads of cool little parts that sounds really sweet.
The problem was I’d been playing around with this arrangement for ages.
Last year, I tried it in the key of G, and it sounded cool.
…But some of the movements were a little awkward, which affected the flow.
So, I transposed it to the key to A.
That was better, but it still wasn’t quite right.
In the end, I changed the key to C, and with a little tinkering here and there, it is now pretty much the ideal arrangement.
It’s sweet, bluesy, melodic, and it’s got loads of cool fills and exciting stuff going on too.
Anyway, the point is that sometimes we have to keep going back to things.
If something on the guitar is not quite working, a little break from it can help.
This is especially important when it comes to creativity…
Tinkering with it, coming back to here and there – that can all help.
Some things can’t be forced and sometimes you have to let the music come to you.
It’s a little bit philosophical, I know, but letting things evolve over time can be really helpful and that can go for everything on the guitar.
#2 – Having fun in a baseball batting cage
On Saturday night, I got to fulfil a small dream of mine.
I’ve always loved the sport of baseball.
In the UK, baseball is not a sport that is played all that much.
…But a lovely lady I’m dating (she is wonderful) booked a slot for us to go to a batting cage in town and face a pitching machine.
It was in a trendy sports bar where we had a few drinks as well.
I’ve played a lot of bat and ball sports over the years, like cricket, but this was a first for me.
I loved it.
I wasn’t at Chipper Jones level and it took me a few pitches to get up to speed…
…But feeling the bat connect with the ball and feeling it smash against the back wall was exhilarating.
When I was in the zone, I had complete concentration.
I had to focus on timing, technique, total awareness of the moment, avoiding distractions (it was a noisy place), and being just the right amount of relaxed.
The more I focused on the above, the better I was.
These are important skills for baseball, and of course, essential for the guitar too!
#3 – Making the “impossible” become possible
I’ve been enjoying creating social media “reels” lately.
In case you don’t know, these are the 1-minute videos where I share a little tip or a fun piece of music.
The other day I posted a video on how to spice up an Am chord.
The video was called Am versus Amadd9.
The Am chord is a chord most people know.
The Amadd9 is a much harder chord in comparison – even though only one note changes.
Someone rightly pointed out this is a hard chord to play.
…But the thing is, what might seem impossible to play now might be comfortable for you in the future.
I was there with that chord myself once.
It felt almost impossible.
The stretch was brutal.
…But being methodical and patient allowed me to develop my dexterity and skill to be able to play this chord.
You can too – yes, tricky things take time to learn, but learn them you can.
Just be patient, keep developing and keep aiming for small improvements.
Over time, they build up massively.
I hope you enjoyed those three random thoughts.
In other news, I’ve revamped my membership programme and created a new sales page to go with it.
I’m super excited about these changes and you can find out more below…
Dan “just call me Chipper Jones” Thorpe
P.S. To all the dads out there, I hope you had an amazing Father’s Day yesterday. I spent it with Archie and my dad. The three of us had a very cool adventure out at a local town by the river where there was a very cool blues band playing. I hope you all had a great day too!
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.