flotsam vs gold

Recently I talked about how YouTube is pretty poor for finding guitar lessons that teach beginners proper technique.

By that I mean the sort of technique where everything you play becomes effortless, relaxed, and free of tension.


In that email, I talked about how no one I know of on there really teaches this stuff.

I even challenged anyone who disagreed with me on that point to send me a link to a video or an instructor and show me I’m wrong.

One person sent me a name of a very popular tutor – Erich Andreas.

I replied to this fella and asked what Erich taught in terms of technique.

His reply:

“He has strumming, chord fretting, fingerstyle many other exercises to help”


My reply…

That’s surface-level stuff.

It’s not core, basic technique I’m talking about here.

In fact, “strumming and chord fretting” is what EVERY man and his dog on there teaches.

What I’m talking about is technique on a super deep level.

This includes the way you hold the guitar, touch a string, contract the muscles in your arms, move your elbow and shoulder, the angle of your wrist, and much more.

How many times has Erich Andreas, or ANY YouTube teacher, mentioned those things?

(I’m not having a personal go at Erich, by the way, and he may cover this, but I’ve never seen all of his lessons).


The fact is, most tutors don’t teach this stuff because they don’t have enough hands-on experience with real students “in the trenches” so to speak.

…So they never figure out how this all works.

Often the teacher themselves got good at the guitar through lots of trial and error over a long time.

They then teach the way they learnt.

Here’s something you can try the next time you play something…

Stop halfway through and scan your body for tension up and down – everywhere.


Look for signs of tension in your shoulders, neck, jaw, belly, arms, hands, fingers, and even your legs and feet.

Do you feel any tension?

The chances are there might be some tension there.

Tension of any sort is a sign that something technically needs working on.

…And this technical stuff goes way deeper than strumming and chords.


Without nailing your core underlying technique, it’s hard to play things such as chords and strumming to a high level.

Lessons on chords and strumming can be a bit like “flotsam” from a shipwreck on the water’s surface.

The deep technical stuff is much more like the gold underneath the surface.

It’s under the water, it’s deeper, and you have to search for it, but it’s very valuable.

That’s what real fundamental guitar technique is like.

So always get working on your core technique.


For specific help finding these techniques, you may want to check this out:

Guitar Domination Super eBook Bundle


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.

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.