Welcome to a new Monday email with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including how your environment affects your playing, The Who, and how to play with a click.
Here we go…
#1 – The Who
The other day I was reading about Pete Townshend from The Who. The Who wrote some great songs and Pete has always been an inspiring guitarist and songwriter.
One thing I found pretty cool in this article was how much lust for life these guys still have.
Pete was saying he was talking to singer Roger Daltrey recently and saying how excited they are to go back on tour.
Pete’s 76 now and was saying, yes, at some point he will retire, but not from music, just from big extensive tours. Roger, on the other hand, said he’d sing “till he drops”.
I love that desire of never wanting to quit music.
I’ve always found it inspiring listening to the legends of music talk. Some people think they’re too old to do this or that, but those guys definitely are not.
I always say, “no one’s too old to learn or improve on guitar”, and when I’m that age, I hope to be like those guys – still having fun and still creating.
Definitely worth keeping all that passion and a youthful attitude like these guys in mind – no matter where you are on your own guitar playing journey. It’s a fun journey, after all.
Anyway, on to #2…
#2 – Your practice environment can make a big difference
At the moment, I’m designing my studio room. Since I’ve moved into the new house, this room has been a little bit makeshift.
…But as I spend a good few hours a day here, I want to make it just right.
I’ll be getting an adjustable desk so I can sit or stand when I like and will be making it as inspiring an environment as possible.
I specifically chose this room as my studio/work room as it’s got a nice big window with lots of light and is inspiring to work in.
I’ve also got a few plants scattered around and the peaceful, tranquil vibe really gets me in the mood to be creative.
This is useful stuff and I always tell students, the room you practise in makes a difference.
I have a few students who have conservatories and like to practise in them in the summer and other students who prefer a room with photos of their favourite musicians on the wall to inspire them.
No matter where you practise, it’s definitely worth making your room and environment as inspiring as possible.
#3 – Easy “clicks”
Using a click is a good thing.
It’s something everyone should try to do each day, even for just a minute or two.
The benefits are big and using one will help improve your timing, tighten up your playing, and get a consistent, solid groove.
Clicks are not easy to use for sure, and of course, at first, you have to keep it simple.
When starting with a click, I like to get students to play one note on beat 1 while tapping their foot on the beats (doing that as a loop is a great way to get started).
So, for clarity, in a bar in 4/4 time, you have four beats:
- Tap your foot on each beat
- Pluck any note only on beat 1
- Keep repeating the above.
It’s a nice simple way to get started with a click and this is something everyone can do.
If you struggle with a click, just do this each day for a week and see how you get on.
For more help with your rhythm and playing in general, you may want to check out my book, The Ultimate Guide to Strumming. It’s a very inexpensive paperback (and kindle) book that will help make a big difference to your strumming in both the short and long term.
You can find out more on Amazon at the link 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.