Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including the importance of chilling out, thoughts on Ed Sheeran, and helping others.
Here we go…
#1 – Chilling out
I’ve had a couple of interesting emails from people lately.
One told me about how she’s struggling a little bit with her motivation.
Another person told me how he absolutely loves to just pluck a few notes and make some pretty tunes in a nice, simple way while sitting with the lights off.
The difference between the two is stark.
Guitarist 1 is a superb player.
Guitarist 2 is very much new.
…But how they feel at this time is miles apart.
There’s a lot to be said for just picking up and playing for the sheer love of it.
I’ve always told students if you have fun when you practise, you will probably improve.
…And you don’t always need to be striving for new techniques, new goals, new desires.
It’s okay just to pick up the guitar and have some fun.
When you’re having fun, a strange thing often happens…
Motivation and desire to learn new things often come back.
Just make sure, if you ever feel lost, that you use “fun” as your north star and the main reason you play.
#2 – My love/hate thoughts on Ed Sheeran
I heard Ed Sheeran on the radio the other day.
The DJ talked about what an amazing musician Ed Sheeran is.
I know he is well-loved, but I’ve always had mixed feelings about Ed.
On the one hand, I’m not a massive fan of his music.
I find it rather bland.
While he’s a good singer, writes nice songs, and can play guitar to a good standard, for me, he’s not special at any of those three things. (Although some of his playing on his earlier tunes such as “Tenerife Sea” is really good).
This is certainly not to hate on him or anyone who likes his music.
One of the best things about music is having our own opinions and the debates we can all have about certain artists and bands, and the state of music.
I will say this about Ed though, he has done a lot more for acoustic guitar playing than many.
I mean, there are a gazillion other pop stars who purposely shun the guitar for electronic instruments.
…But Ed has inspired lots of people to play and that is always a good thing.
When I first started teaching music at a secondary school around 10 years or so ago, some kids had problems, but the guitar seemed to help them and most wanted to learn Ed’s songs.
After all, the more people who play the guitar, the better.
It means more happiness and more people improving their health against arthritis and dementia.
So overall, even though I give him some stick, I have to give credit where credit is due to Ed.
(Just please never ask me to teach the song, “The A-Team” – I did that way too many times in the past, haha).
#3 – Dementia
I heard a sad advert on the radio the other day.
It went along these lines:
“David, do you take Jayne to be your lawfully wedded wife, to love and to cherish through sickness and health…
“…Even when you cannot remember her name or when she forgets who you are…”
It was an awfully harrowing advert about the destruction of dementia.
Anyway, I don’t want to be negative, but I wanted to mention this for two reasons.
1 – As I’ve talked about before, playing the guitar can help your brain health and makes a difference in helping to prevent this illness – and that is amazing.
2 – I want to start donating more to a couple of dementia charities to give back.
One way I’m starting to give back has already begun with this week’s promotion of my short eBook, The 7-Day QuickStart Plan.
It’s been newly added to my eBook bundle and for a very short time, the bundle is on sale with a discount.
There are 7 eBooks in total, plus some exciting bonus content (such as a mini songs eBook, a guide to fingerpicking if you can’t yet play chords, and a really cool quiz)…
…If you order before the sale ends, I’m also going to donate 10% of the sales to dementia charities.
That’s just a start.
I’m going to have a think about other ways I can help and later this year, I’ll be doing more for a couple of charities.
Anyway, you can check out the bundle below…
Plus, if you order by the time the sale ends, I’m going to give you a bonus eBook I co-wrote called Playing Guitar with Arthritis.
I hope you have a great Monday.
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.