Today, I want to give you two little tips.

Growing up, I loved to watch boxing on TV.


Years before we formed a band, as young teenagers, my best pal and I would sometimes put on boxing gloves and have “sparring” sessions in my mom’s garage

Not a good idea!

Well, a great quote that everyone knows from a great boxer is this:

“Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.”

That was the great Muhammad Ali who said that, of course.


It’s a great quote that is apt for guitarists too.


Well, you want your fingers to float like a butterfly and you want your music to sting like a bee.

What do I mean by that?


Float like a butterfly

The fretting hand should be graceful like a butterfly, it should be relaxed, and free from tension.

I talk about this a lot but…

One way you can do this is to…

Practise taking your fretting hand OFF the fretboard and do the fretting hand movements in the air.

…Just like you are playing “air guitar”.


If there’s a tricky chord change you struggle with, try the “air guitar” version.

A lot of people can relax their fingers when playing in the air like this…

But as soon as they touch the strings, the fingers can fill up with tension.

If that’s the case, try this little tip here and there.

It won’t skyrocket your playing overnight, but it can help you be more aware of tension and also practise reducing it.

Both of which, of course, are super important.


Sting like a bee

This is all about making sure the music you play has an impact.

It should be passionate, captivating, and exciting. In other words, it should sting like a bee.

One way you can make your music have this bee-sting-like impact is…

Use dynamics.

Most people play at the same old volume most of the time.


It’s easy to do this – playing at your standard, comfortable volume often becomes second nature…

…But using dynamics is powerful.

Try playing louder, softer, and everything in between.

For me, I love to do this especially when strumming.

It’s a really exciting way of playing that doesn’t require much in the way of technical adjustments, but it can sound great.


Anyway, there are two little tips for you.

I hope you find them useful.

How useful they are really depends on where you are with your playing right now, and what you need to improve…

…And I should say, as always…

There are no quick fixes on the guitar, but trying out new ideas and new ways of practising can yield big results.


Anyway, if you want much more detailed lessons, lots of new ways to think about practising the guitar, and ways to reduce tension while increasing your musicality, then you might like to take a look at this:

The Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy

Have a great weekend!

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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