Here are two more interesting emails I have got lately.
I hope you find the emails and my thoughts useful…
Today we are talking about the dangers of learning guitar from a certain popular website and something the ancient Greeks were masters of…
“Dan, I think people are so into their own opinions – be it music, politics, etc. that they are unwilling (or perhaps fearful) to consider the opinions of others. Debate and open conversations expand our knowledge and open ourselves to endless possibilities. Music is for everyone and everyone’s opinion should matter, be respected, and be explored for the good of everyone – including ourselves!
Thanks for all of your amazing insights.”
I really like this email from Susan who was replying to my Ed Sheeran/Donald Duck email recently.
She hit the nail on the head in so many ways.
Debate is powerful.
So many people say you “must do this” or “you should NEVER do that”.
Not just in life, but on the guitar too.
Some respectable guitar teachers hate the classical position and mock it.
I know it’s power, so I used to be very forthright and say that is the way to play.
Since then though, I realised that this position is not always for everyone and if you’ve played for 50 years, it can be hard to switch to it.
One or two students in the past though would think if they don’t use the classical position, then the rest of my methods wouldn’t work for them.
That, of course, is not true.
That’s where open-mindedness, debate, and rational thinking come in.
The ancient Greeks changed the world because they had these abilities.
I love the classical position and will always favour it, but…
You can sit with the guitar however suits you best and still use all the other techniques I teach.
That’s just one example.
Another is one that bugs me.
It’s people who teach guitar and are so rigid about it.
For example, I often get emails from people telling me they are casual learners who are age 40+ and just want to play a few songs…
…But they go find a tutor who gives them a sheet with 5 scales to learn, insists they learn “modes”, and starts showing them jazz chords.
I mean, c’mon, that’s no use if the student only wants to learn some Bob Dylan songs!
I’ve heard loads of examples like that over the years and rigid thinking rarely does anyone any good.
Anyway, I could write about this sort of stuff all day.
But the point is, Susan is right…
Debate and being willing to think differently are so important.
It can be like a beacon of light helping guide you through the randomness that is most guitar tuition.
Speaking of which…
“Hello everyone! I’m 67 years old and been “playing” haha, for about a year. Trying to take the quick route with YouTube and it’s just not working. I’ve been playing a Strat because I’m mainly interested in the blues, but once I heard Dan fingerpicking, I was hooked. So now I’m sticking with a hopefully blueprinted plan that will put some enjoyment back into my practice.”
I’m pleased that Kevin is here and ready to make some big progress.
In terms of YouTube…
I am rather critical of it a lot of the time.
That’s to do with the way the site is laid out as much as it is to do with the lessons themselves.
I mean, YouTube is all about getting you watching video after video, and rocketing up your dopamine levels so you get “hooked” and don’t leave the site.
So you watch more and more videos and therefore ads.
That seems to be the obvious reason anyway.
Ad revenue is how the owners make all their money of course.
Saying that, YouTube can actually be quite good for experienced players looking to expand their horizons or have a bit of random fun here and there.
…but even for these guitarists, it can be very overwhelming.
I personally only ever use YouTube these days to find something specific or watch a video someone has sent me.
Even then, I go on that site very wary about getting sucked into the vortex of all the videos.
Anyway, I’m glad Kevin has enrolled in my distraction-free course and is ready to make more progress.
If you also want a distraction-free place to learn, where everything is laid out as you need it, with zero ads, or anything else getting in the way, you might want to check this out.
Have a great day and happy practice!
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.