Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including a rare tip, guitar-playing crossroad, and more. Here we go…
#1 – A rarely talked about tip
In the past, I’ve had some folk accidentally unsubscribe from these emails.
One chap emailed me the other day, asking me to help him get back on the list so he could get the Monday emails in particular.
I enjoy writing my whimsical thoughts on guitar playing, so it’s nice to know you folk enjoy reading them.
Well, in case you don’t know, you can always go to my blog where all the emails I’ve written over the last few years are located.
You can scroll through and read a tonne of my random thoughts if you like.
This brings me on to a good point…
Even if you have digested a lesson fully, it’s a really good idea to go over it again and again.
…So it really hits home.
My best students are the ones who learn something and revisit the lesson multiple times
…Because each time they do, they cement the ideas, or they pick up on new things.
This is especially important with courses and books which go into the fine and intricate details of guitar playing.
…But it’s the same even with little tips.
You can get a lot of value from re-reading the tips I share via email – many of them will help you to refresh some key concepts that you might have learnt from my books and courses.
If you want to revisit the blog and see plenty of past tips, you can do so HERE.
#2 – Driving to the guitar-playing crossroads
In my membership programme, there’s a leaderboard that rewards the most active users.
Each month, the top three winners of the leaderboard get prizes.
Some months I offer the prize of a 30-minute zoom lesson with me.
The other day me and Denise (from Washington) got online and had a great little lesson and chat.
One thing we talked about was “thinking ahead as you play”.
As I always say, it’s key to always be thinking in advance about where your fingers will go next – if not, awkward pauses in the music will often appear.
We summed it up nicely with this analogy…
Guitar playing is like driving a car.
Changing chords or notes is like driving up to a crossroads.
In real life, as we drive towards the crossroad, we think ahead about which direction we will go once we are there.
It should be the same with the guitar.
As you’re playing a chord, think in advance about where your fingers will travel in the next bar.
Don’t just play the chord and then stop at the end of the bar.
That’s the equivalent of pulling up to the crossroad, stopping, and putting the handbrake on before thinking about where to go next.
Always try to think about the next turn in advance.
On the guitar, this means knowing what changes in the music are coming and mentally preparing for them.
It’s not easy, but get good at this and your music will flow better for it.
#3 – The power of the word “why”
I’ve long said it, “why” is a very powerful word.
…Especially with guitar tuition.
I’ve always encouraged students to ask me “why” when teaching them.
In fact, I’d love it when a student would ask, “Dan, why are we doing this exercise, how will it help?”
This gave me a chance to ensure the student understood why we were doing something and the benefits of the exercise.
An example of where the word “why” would come in handy is with a student of mine.
Long before he came to me for lessons, his previous teacher told him to learn 5 scale shapes.
Yet the student was almost brand new, had no real interest in playing lead guitar, and just wanted to play some simple songs!
I doubt the teacher could have given a satisfactory answer as to “why” he was getting the student to do this at this stage.
The point is, though, asking “why” you are being taught something is super important.
If you don’t get the right answer, it can be a sign to move on to a new exercise, method, or even teacher.
“Why” is a powerful word indeed.
A great place to ask any questions you like about guitar playing is in my membership programme.
Not only do you get brand-new lessons every month (plus a back catalogue of older lessons to use as and when you like)…
You also get to email me ANYTIME and have me give you help and support when you need it on anything in your playing.
It’s one of the perks of being a member.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg, and you can find out more about it below.
The Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy
I hope you enjoyed that and 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.
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