Here are two more interesting emails I have got lately.
I hope you find the emails and my thoughts useful…
Today we are talking about the power of practising things in different ways and breaking songs down into effective chunks…
I just had to share this…
I have really been struggling on getting this hammer on for days.
This morning I picked up my guitar and figured I’d warm up trying this again…
Immediately it just worked – and it was so easy to do?? So, I tried to evaluate why all of a sudden it was working. The answer, I was just completely relaxed when I attempted it.
What a great feeling!!! BOOM!!”
I love to read stuff like this.
It shows the power of something I harp on about, which is…
Staying relaxed and not letting tension creep in.
It also highlights the importance of trying things in different ways.
Sometimes you try something on guitar, and it just doesn’t click.
Most of the time, good technical advice will help.
There are a few occasions though, where we just need to put the guitar down and try again later.
After all, there are a lot of subtleties with this instrument, and with hammer-ons, that is especially the case.
So, if something isn’t quite working, seek out good technical advice and get to work fixing it.
…But also keep trying to chip away from different angles.
Try using less pressure or sometimes more pressure.
Raise the neck of the guitar higher, or sometimes drop it a little lower.
If an open chord is tough to play, try playing a simpler version of it.
For every Ying there is a Yang.
In regard to a tutorial of “Amazing Grace” I did a few years back, this is what Peter has to say about it after starting it…
“Excellent tutorial. at first glance of the tab this piece looks quite complicated (to a newbie), but your detailed instructions are an enormous help. The pull-offs and hammer-ons are going to take some time to perfect.
I especially like the ‘minimum movements’ required on the fretboard where I can keep one finger ‘anchored’.
Thank you for your continued patience with us ‘oldies’.”
This just goes to show the importance of breaking down a piece into bite-size chunks.
I’ve been there in the past and thought “Woah, that looks complex”. (It still happens sometimes).
…But the good news is if you break a piece down into bite-size chunks, learn it methodically, perfect each phrase, and memorise small chunks…
It becomes far more manageable, which is what Peter is seeing.
The biggest problem I see most people make when it comes to learning songs is that they do the opposite of this.
They often try to learn and perfect huge chunks of music too quickly, which sadly means the songs take ages to progress.
Laser focusing on small parts of songs is key.
Of course, this is all made far easier if you’ve got accurate TAB and a video breaking down all the parts in a simple way.
If that’s something you find helps you, you’ll be pleased to know in the new Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy lessons released on the 1st of November I’ll be teaching a timeless Christmas song.
Yes, it’s early, but this will give you plenty of time to learn it for Christmas.
The song in question is one I’ve never taught in a video tutorial before and it’s a gem.
There will be more on this soon, but for now, here is the link should you want to check out what’s inside the programme.
Have a great day!
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.