blues shuffle

Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, inlcuding blues shuffle, a paradox, and more. Here we go…


#1 – The guitar teacher’s paradox

One thing I hear a lot from students who have had guitar lessons in the past is this sort of thing…

They often say the teacher was a really good player, but they learnt diddly squat from him/her.

(Okay, maybe they didn’t use the term diddly squat, not even sure why I did!)

I have seen this a lot too.


Those who learnt guitar quite easily for whatever reason, rarely know how to teach those who are struggling.

And in my experience, those who seek out lessons are usually struggling and need help.

It’s a bit of a paradox really.

A so-called “natural” guitarist becomes a teacher but can’t teach those who are struggling because he never struggled himself.


It is an interesting phenomenon, and it is why I often think most teachers are better off just teaching intermediate, accomplished players how to play.

They have a lot more to offer them than they do to struggling beginners.

There is always the odd exception, of course, but if you had lessons in the past, I’m interested to know your experience of this.


#2 – The blues shuffle rules

I love the blues but have never really made a huge number of lessons on it.

Yeah, I have played it for donkey’s years, and can play blues riffs and leads all over, and jam it well, but teaching blues is not something I have done a huge amount of…

Apart from teaching one of the most fun things you can do on guitar.

That is, play the 12-bar blues shuffle, incorporate fun riffs, licks, and fills, and jam it to your heart’s content.


Fingerpicking is what I teach most, but I have never taught a student who didn’t enjoy playing a little blues shuffle here and there.

That’s why I have created a new course on this (more on that next week).

A simple 12-bar blues shuffle is great fun and can really break up your playing and add a completely new and simple dimension to it.


Most of my students enjoy playing the blues shuffle even if they don’t really enjoy listening to the blues that much.

That’s how fun it is.


#3 – People love quizzes and challenges

Last week I sent out a little email with a little challenge.

In case you didn’t see it, I sent out some notation/TAB and asked you to play the short passage and work out what it was (“Danny Boy” was the answer).

I got a tonne of replies to this, with lots of you telling me how much you enjoyed it.


Well, I aim to please. I enjoy this sort of thing myself and know how beneficial it is so you will see more of these coming soon…

In the meantime, if you enjoy quizzes and challenges, then the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy is full of them.

There are currently 46 “Two-Minute Challenges” which will test you on a variety of key guitar skills (which most people are not taught), AND there are multiple quizzes on things such as ear training, fretboard knowledge, “sandwich chords”, trivia, and more.


Find out more below and in case you don’t know, if you join, you get a book worth $47 delivered to your door, for free.

The Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy


Enjoy your week!

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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