Growing up, I remember the first time I watched the Star Wars movies.

I was about 8 years old and my uncle put the VHS on the TV.


At first, I wasn’t very interested.

I just wanted to play football outside.

…But within minutes, I was hooked.

One reason for that was the fact that Harrison Ford (the coolest man in the world in my eyes at the time) was in it.

The other was the lightsabers.

But the thing that stood out to me, even then, was the music of John Williams.


Without a doubt, Sir John of Williams, as I call him, has been a huge influence on me.

I was engrossed by the music, especially Darth Vader’s Theme, but little did I know just how much influence John Williams would have on me in my life.

His soundtracks have taken many a good film and made it so much more memorable.

I mean imagine watching Jaws, Indiana Jones, Home Alone, E.T., or Superman and having bland soundtrack music.

Those movies have been around for a big part of my life and have seeped deeply into my subconscious.

And I think his music is possibly the first music I truly loved, helping to set me on a journey to ultimately play and teach guitar.


Well, speaking of John Williams and Star Wars…

We need to bring balance to the force.

On the guitar, this means having the right balance between two things:

Number 1 – Playing pieces of music that excite you and get your juices flowing.
Number 2 – Having the ability to play everything to a high standard and with good technique.

Too much of one yields an imbalance in the force that would make even Darth Vader weep tears of frustration.


I mean, we all want to have fun…

But if you only focus on the fun, your technique will suffer.

…And fun will feel like it’s a galaxy far, far away (sorry, couldn’t resist that one).

On the other hand, if you only ever focus on technique, you’ll likely lack the excitement to pick up the guitar and will come up with excuses not to practise.


I’m always keenly aware that most guitarists out there are usually only taught the fun stuff.

Many are never taught basic technique.

But there is a small percentage of players who have great technique but don’t have much fun (some classical folk I’ve spoken to are like this – they spent years working on technical studies, but can’t really play many fun pieces of music they enjoy).

So it seems both sides of the force struggle.

I urge you to spend your time wisely and do both.

Every day.

Play some fun pieces AND work on your technique.

Do that and you will have balance.


Every month on the 1st, I release the new Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy lessons.

…And this month’s lessons are especially fun, but with some powerful stuff on technique too.

If you want to have more fun in your playing and get better core technique, you might like to check out the Academy.

The new lessons are out today and you can find out more about it below.

Please be aware though, the deadline to join and get this month’s lessons is midnight tonight (Pacific time).

The Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy


Bringing balance to the force…

Dan Thorpe

Guitar Domination


P.S. In case you missed the emails the past few days, we have two new lessons out today:

#1 – Fun… 8 mini lessons on playing in eight different styles. These include Travis picking, country, acoustic rock, classical, flamenco, and fingerstyle blues. All the lessons are short and give you a great taste of these styles (all taught in video with TAB and notation).

#2 – Technique… This is a smaller, but very powerful lesson on technique. It’s called the “Tension Destroyer” and it will help wipe out tension from your playing faster than a Millenium Falcon at hyper speed (well, it takes 30 seconds to do this, but you get the point).

That’s just the tip of the iceberg as to what’s in the Academy, of course, but you can begin with the above lessons right away.


P.P.S. Plus, Academy members will be pleased to know next week, you’ll be able to purchase my brand-new spiral-bound book at a very inexpensive members-only price.

The book is only for Academy members (as it is designed to work with the lessons inside).

Anyway, if you’re not a member, and you’d like to join, you can check out the Academy here.


P.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.

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