I sometimes like to share a few emails I get from people on my email list.

Today I’m sharing an email I got recently from someone who I won’t name.


“Dear Dan,

I like what I have experienced as your method of teaching so far, much of your philosophy fits well with the way I experience the world, too, but I find it sickening that a British teacher has so embraced the American form of constantly pummelling people to gain more business. Just take this paragraph from your most recent e-mail for instance:

“In terms of the academy, to get the new lessons, here’s the link to subscribe while there’s still some time left to do so:”

Using the well-worn method of stirring up urgency may work with some people who are not very educated or worldly-wise but, come on, what’s the hurry?

You regularly tell us how much better a teacher you are than most others. This may well be true, as I said I like what I’ve seen so far. I am asking you, though, whether you feel that your method of advertising is an adequately dignified way to present yourself as a superb teacher?

The ball is in your court, of course, whether you reject or consider any of this to be of value. Since you are bringing up a son, and the world – for the survival of the human race – needs the young to step-up and act many times more wisely than my generation and past generations have done, you may see some benefit in bringing him into this equation also?”


Well, that was a heavy email!

“Sickening” – my word, she really was not a fan of that email I sent.

…But you “can’t please all the people all the time,” as they say.

That email came about a few weeks ago when I was promoting some new lessons for the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy.

Each month, to get the new lessons, you have to join by the 1st of the month.


Is it because I am sickening?

Is it because my parenting skills are reliant on how I send emails?

Or is it because the survival of the human race depends on my words?

Of course not.


The reason why I have a deadline for students to join is three-fold.

  1. I like students to begin the new lessons at the same time and do so with a sense of unity and to inspire each other with their comments on the lessons.
  2. If there were no deadline to get the lessons, when a new member joins, there would be a huge backlog of tutorials for them to try to learn. This would be massively overwhelming to them. Instead, as there are just three new lessons per month, everyone can find the time to use them and make progress at their own pace.
  3. Having a deadline means people take action, which is super important. It’s natural, highly motivating, and gets results. Fitness coaches I’ve trained with in the past did this and guess what, it worked to motivate me, as I’m sure urgency does for you too.

I never say I’m better than other teachers, I just give students options for thinking and learning differently.

Plus, I’m not really sure what she meant about “bringing my son into it”. I mean, I use urgency with Archie to motivate him, and it works.


It was an odd email, and it’s a good job I don’t get easily offended!

The thing is though, I’m passionate about teaching students who want to learn.

I’m incredibly grateful that I have very loyal and dedicated students in my courses and membership programme, but that didn’t come about by trying to please everyone all the time.

I always think if there is something you have to offer people that will help them, then it’s only fair to let them know.

Instead of sending a passive-aggressive email, she could have just unsubscribed and left the email list easily (it’s not the Hotel California after all), or she could delete the emails…

Ideally, though, she would see that even in emails where I am promoting something with a deadline, I still try to add value, advice, and help for you – all for free.


For instance, in this email, I’d say use deadlines, either those set by others or those set by yourself.

They are powerful.

Ask yourself what you want to achieve on the guitar by the end of March.

Choose one clear and measurable goal (e.g., learn a song or improve a specific chord change) and maybe set two or three smaller goals (e.g., playing with less tension, or just picking up the guitar every single day).

Goals are fantastic. Deadlines are incredibly useful.

The above is some valuable advice if you use it.

…And if you want to take the next step with me, great, you can do so below, but if not, that’s okay.

Find out more about the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy


You can learn from anyone out there – I just hope I inspire you to be a better guitarist and that I help you on your journey so you can thrive to your full potential on the guitar.


Thanks for reading and 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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