Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including Frodo’s guitar journey, setting goals, and more…
Here we go…
#1 – The power of goals
At school, Archie and the other kids have been given a goal.
Read 20 books and they get a little reward.
Archie has been talking about a Power Rangers toy for ages.
To motivate him further, I said when he completes this goal, I will buy it for him.
Honestly, I have never seen him so determined in all his nearly 6 years.
I normally read him a bedtime story but the other day he read to me at his bedtime, joking saying that it was my bedtime story, I had to go to bed, and he will stay up and do my work!
Having an end goal and an exciting reward at the end of it is really powerful stuff.
On the guitar, this goal could be learning a certain song, completing a course or book, or even performing in front of someone.
Whatever it is you want to achieve, set a goal, give yourself a deadline, and…
Promise yourself an exciting reward when you achieve it.
This is a proven, tried, and tested way to increase motivation.
#2 – Frodo’s guitar journey – Frodo Baggins would have made a great guitarist!
I was joking the other day that learning guitar is like being Frodo Baggins from the Lord of the Rings films.
We all know Frodo had an epic journey to Mordor to destroy the ring (spoiler alert!).
Battling orcs, the ring tormenting him, and with all the challenges ahead, Frodo could quit any time, but he didn’t.
Learning guitar is like this, it is like a Frodo’s guitar journey – it is an epic journey, one that takes time, and you only achieve your goals one step at a time with the courage to keep going when things get tough.
The thing is, Frodo never did the journey alone, he had his mate, Sam, and the others there to help him along the way.
It should be the same with guitar – you need support and people around you to help you on your journey.
That can be a teacher, a few jam buddies, a music group, a support network, or whatever, just don’t make the journey all on your own.
Frodo didn’t and it worked out well in the end.
A dramatic comparison I know, but my imagination does get a bit excited.
#3 – Don’t jam with a blank canvas
One thing I have always encouraged students to do is to jam.
Any sort of jam can be fun and interesting and can help you cement your skills and learn and discover new things.
Most students don’t know where to start though.
There is nothing worse than trying to jam with a blank canvas.
So, what I do is give my students a chord progression they already know how to play and I encourage them to use a strumming or fingerpicking pattern they already know and combine the two.
This is a good way to start off jamming.
It is cool because it gives them something new they haven’t done before, and then from there, they tend to have the confidence to try out new ideas.
It all starts with having a template.
If you ever liked the idea of jamming but got stuck because you didn’t know where to begin, try taking things you already know (chord progressions and picking/strumming patterns) and combining them.
It can be good fun, and it will give you a place to start.
Speaking of which, on Friday I will be releasing the new lesson for the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy.
One of the new lessons will be a two-minute challenge where I show how I go about jamming as mentioned above.
To join the Academy and go from beginner or struggling beginner to confident intermediate, check it out below:
It is not for fair-weather guitarists, and although it will give you great results, these results will only come if you log in regularly, use the lessons, and commit to them.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed these random thoughts and have a nice week ahead.
That’s all from me today.
Have a great week!
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.