Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life. Here we go…
#1 – Darts and the guitar
I love a game of darts.
So I went to the pub the other day for a game.
It’s been quite a while since I played so I was bad!
What I like about darts, though, is that you can throw anywhere on the board and get lucky and get a good score.
…But to win you have to score a double which is pretty tough (unless you’re good!).
This means you can have fun playing, but finishing a game becomes a challenge.
…And there is real skill and accuracy needed.
That is very much like playing guitar in that respect.
For instance, you can learn all the notes in a song, but finishing it off to a high standard requires precision.
We’ve all been there at some point, where we’ve learnt the notes for a song, but it doesn’t sound that great.
Trying to make the song sound musical is a bit like getting that almighty double to finish a game of darts off.
It takes perseverance, patience, and accuracy.
That’s why I encourage students to focus very much on breaking songs up into small chunks and to treat each section almost like a mini song.
Perfect each mini section, put them together bit by bit and you’ll have a much better chance of winning the game of guitar.
#2 – If you ever struggle…
I’m noticing I’m getting a few more questions lately from new subscribers about a certain issue.
That is, a lot of guitarists out there are struggling and feel almost ready to quit.
Sometimes, you might feel like you’re in the “last chance saloon”, so to speak.
The thing is, it’s important not to put that sort of pressure on yourself.
The truth is, most guitarists don’t succeed at their first, second, or even third attempt.
The guitar is a very technical instrument that often isn’t taught very well (especially in terms of fundamental technique).
That, of course, makes it harder.
So, I often tell new students to treat now as a fresh start.
All the hours you’ve spent practising chords, scales, learning to read TAB, theory, etc., will all be useful and are not wasted time.
For now, though, if you’re struggling, avoid being distracted by trying too many things.
Getting good basic technique is critical but to begin with…
Playing a simple and recognisable piece of music is hugely confidence-building.
If you feel you are struggling, avoid distractions and start there.
#3 – Templates for jamming
Do you ever sit down and jam on your guitar?
I find that not enough guitarists do.
That’s likely because there are so many other things to practise.
It can be hard to fit some jamming in.
…But at least once or twice per week, I highly encourage you to have a jam – even on your own.
Jamming is fun, great for creativity and your brain, and it helps you solidify your guitar skills.
A good jam is your chance to put all the bits and pieces you know together and use them in an enjoyable way.
It gets my creative juices flowing, and when it clicks, jamming is super fun.
When it’s not so good, I’ve still had fun flexing those creative muscles.
So, if you’ve never really jammed, it’s worth trying it a few times per week.
One of my favourite things to jam is the blues.
I’ll talk more about it this week as my blues course is on sale for this week only.
…But let’s just say as the blues has a solid 12-bar structure that never really changes, it makes for a perfect template to jam.
Plus, it sounds great!
You can check out the course below:
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.