Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including thoughts on the Def Leppard hit “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, getting out of your comfort zone, and blues debates.

Here we go…


#1 – Pour some sugar

On Saturday night, me and Emma were relaxing on the sofa.

We’d cooked some Chinese food and decided to find something to watch.

On BBC4, there was a show called the Piano Room.

There was a lady playing piano and singing along with a band and a small orchestra.


The song playing sounded cool, but I had no idea what it was.

At first glance, the singer looked like a cross between Alan Rickman and Iggy Pop (at least to me).

I totally didn’t recognise the band or the song, but I liked it.

“This sounds cool,” I thought.


Then, boom, it hit me.

The band is Def Leppard, and the song is “Pour Some Sugar on Me” I realised.

I never cared much for the original version, but this version sounded nothing at all like that.

And as soon as I realised what song it was, it put me off!

It’s crazy.


My preconceptions and bias of the original nearly ruined my experience of enjoying a very clever and unique take on the song the band did.

I tip my hat to them for taking what was an overplayed average song (in my opinion) and making it sound somewhat rather beautiful.

I know some people will love the original and hate that new version, or vice versa.

That just goes to show how music can affect us all in different ways.

…And it was a good little reminder to me to not let bias get in the way when enjoying music!


#2 – “Dad, I’m nervous”

Those were the words Archie said to me as we were sitting in the car on a dark, damp evening last week.

It’s cold in the UK at the moment!

Archie was getting ready for his first football (as in soccer) trial for a new team.

We talked a little about it and then I quickly said, “Right, let’s get to it”.


Almost as soon as we were out of the car, we’d introduced ourselves to the coaches, and then he was amongst the other kids and playing.

He loved it, and it was a great experience for him.

He got out of his comfort zone a little.

He had a new experience of playing football with other kids (who were a year older than him) and that got the best out of him.

I loved seeing him step up just by being around others who were a little more developed.


I say that to students all the time.

If you can ever jam with friendly musicians who are just a little better than you, it will nearly always make you a better player.

It’s not easy to find those musicians and I know some people prefer to play on their own.

…But if jamming with others is something you want to do, I urge you to give it a go.


#3 – Blues debates

I love the debates we guitarists have.

The other day, in the Fingerstyle 101 Facebook group and on my Facebook page, I asked the question…

Who is your favourite blues guitarist?

There were loads of great replies.

Clapton, Hendrix, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert King, Peter Green, Buddy Guy, Gary Moore, and so many more.


I love all of the above and hearing those names and seeing the fun debate got me inspired.

So I started jamming some blues in the styles of all of my favourite players.

…Creating licks and riffs that were my own but were using the techniques that were part of these musicians’ signature sounds.

Doing this was an interesting and creative experience.

I hadn’t done this for a while.


I urge you to give this sort of thing a go every now and then and try creating some music of your own that sounds a little like your favourite players.

Being able to create music that is original but has flavours of your favourite players in it is a fun thing to do – and it takes some skill too.

It’s a kind of intermediate thing to do but no reason everyone shouldn’t try this.

Anyway, for fun I may release a mini course or some lessons on this sort of thing.

You know, maybe a series on how to play the blues like (insert guitar hero) … or how to fingerpick like … (insert guitar hero).

Let me know if this interests you.


Speaking of the blues, if you want to get the basics down and have some fun with it, then check this out…

Find out more about the 12-Bar Blues Mini Masterclass


Right, I hope you enjoyed those three random thoughts.

…And I hope you have a wonderful day of practice.

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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