Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including blues jams, the key to success, and more. Here we go…
#1 – Simplicity is key
I had a really cool lesson with my student Glynis, the other day.
Glynis is a long-term student who is very dedicated.
A while back, I emailed her over a few solo fingerstyle arrangements for a book (which will be out next year) for her to work on.
We met up for the lesson and Glynis played through the arrangements and they sounded good.
…But when we simplified them a little, voila, they sounded even better.
The main melodies were still there, so was the richness of the bass notes.
We just took out some of the other fancier stuff.
If you are learning anything that is a challenge, see how you can simplify it, even in the short term.
It is something not enough guitarists do, but something simple played well nearly always sounds better than something complex played not so well.
Always good to keep that in mind.
#2 – Sing like you’re Irish
I was watching a show the other day about the best Irish musicians on the BBC.
It was interesting with a good mix of old and new artists.
What was cool was how good all these singers were/are.
I remember hearing someone say once, “try singing in an Irish accent”.
They claimed that the accent makes you sing in a way that helps your voice resonate better…
Meaning your voice will have a better and richer tone.
Not sure if it worked, or I sounded a bit drunk when I tried it, but it was fun.
I know, I know, it is not a guitar tip, and I am not even sure if it’s a tip, but for a laugh, grab your guitar and sing in an Irish accent.
It might be fun – I mean, the Irish often really do have lovely voices after all!
#3 – There is nothing like blues jams
The other day I had some spare time, so I just sat back and picked up my guitar, jamming the ‘eck out of the blues.
I have been working on this fingerstyle blues piece with a fun triplet 16th note kind of groove, and it sounds cool.
It is tricky but the other day I got it all to click in this long-form blues jam where the bass was solid, the rhythm tight, and the melody was exciting.
It was a lot of fun like most blues jams are.
I might make a lesson or a recording out of it at some point.
Anyway, this all started as a new subscriber was asking me about what blues lessons I had available to learn from.
He wanted to know if I had any Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, or acoustic Eric Clapton blues lessons.
I was pleased he also said he knew he needed to start off simply with the blues (crucial that).
Believe me, like most styles, the blues can get pretty complex, very quickly, so keep it simple.
Anyway, hope you have a great week ahead!
P.S. If you want to learn the basics of the blues, you might want to check this out:
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.