When I first started learning guitar, it was a weird time.
The internet was very much the “new frontier”.
We didn’t have the internet at our house for another five years or so.
So to learn guitar, I had to go “old school”.
That was… use books, get a teacher, buy a VHS instruction video, or ask friends for help.
Well, back then I was still at school and money was tight for us in our household, so a teacher was not an option.
VHS guitar tuition videos weren’t that easy to get a hold of (and it always seemed to be leather-pants-wearing 80s rock “shredders” on the covers of the box).
So I found a crusty old guitar book of my dad’s.
I didn’t recognise a single one of the songs inside…
So, what did I do?
I started to get creative.
“If I can’t play songs right now, I can sure as hell make some music,” I thought to myself.
So I took what I knew, and I explored the fretboard.
I didn’t realise it at the time, but those hours of playing about, enjoying making music, and creating melodies out of thin air were crucial.
If I didn’t do any of that, I’m certain I would have quit guitar about there and then.
But I stuck with it purely because I loved being creative.
And as they say, “the rest is history”.
Since then, I’m lucky the guitar has become my passion, my hobby, my career, and led to me making many friends in person and around the world.
I still love being creative on the guitar and I recommend you create music too.
Learning songs is great, but sometimes you probably just want to pick up the guitar, relax, and switch off from the hustle and bustle of life…
And enjoy the moment while you see what your fingers can conjure up.
This is great for the brain, fingers, and your musical soul.
So, how do you begin being creative?
I’ve never really seen anyone teach a method of being creative.
Some might tell you just to “jam” but that is vague advice.
Some might say, “Strum a few chords and see what you can create”, but again, that is not a method.
Personally, I prefer to give students a template for creating and jamming.
…With specific instructions.
For instance, I teach a method of creativity called “The Melting Pot”.
I call it that because you basically take what you already know, put it into a big pot, stir it all up, and see what you create.
I like to teach this while being very structured.
You can take a simple chord progression, a simple scale, and a simple pattern…
Combine them and already you will have something new…
Then you can add in an exciting variety of simple rhythms.
Do that, and voila, you have a little system for creating your own idea whenever you like.
It’s like a canvas where the outline of the drawing has been done.
You simply fill in the colours as you see fit.
This is something I’m teaching in a new Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy lesson which I’ve released today.
If you want in on this lesson (plus the other new lessons) the time to get it is nearly up.
At midnight tonight (Pacific time), enrolment to the Academy will close.
Here’s the link to find out more about the Academy:
By the way, I’ve also introduced the very exciting “5-Star” Award, which will give you goals, motivation, and rewards to help you get the absolute best out of your playing. I’m super excited to release this.
If you’ve been on the fence about joining the Academy, now is a great time for you to join…
Especially if you want more direction in your playing.
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.