Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including fun music, questions to ask yourself when pracitsing, and more.
Here we go…
#1 – No songs are easy
The other day, I posted a question inside the Fingerstyle 101 Facebook group asking what songs the good folk of the group are working on.
One of the responses was this:
“Happy birthday for my daughter’s birthday on Saturday. Should be easy, right? Not for this beginner.”
I left a comment saying what I tell everyone…
No songs are easy.
Just because it is supposed to be easy or you think it is “easy”, doesn’t mean it will be.
There are no easy songs.
All songs require some skills such as clean chords, smooth chord changes, accurate fretting, precise picking, etc.
Even if a song is easy for someone, it is all relative anyway.
…Because Happy Birthday may be “easy” to someone who has played for 20 years and can already play lots of songs, but for someone new to guitar, nothing is easy, and we all usually struggle with our first few songs no matter what they are.
Always good to keep that in mind if things feel frustrating right now.
#2 – Music should always be fun!
Archie has got a new favourite song. It is the Carl Douglas classic…
“Kung Fu Fighting”.
I loved the song too growing up even though it was not really from my generation.
In the early ‘90s, when I was a kid, I had my first CD player and my mom randomly bought me a CD called “Disco Dynamite”, a double CD of disco classics, and “Kung Fu Fighting” was a track on it (along with other great tunes such as Ottawan’s “D.I.S.C.O.”).
I still have no idea why she bought a 10-year-old who enjoyed indie and rock music a disco CD, but I loved it.
It is funny watching Archie high kick ‘round the kitchen, singing it and doing the backing vocal “huh” sounds from the song. (Yeah, I might have joined in a bit!)
I did try him out with Neil Young, Thin Lizzy, Nirvana, and Paul Simon but they didn’t stick (yet), but it is nice to see him passionate about a song and fun music.
It is a great reminder of how the old tunes were so much better and how much joy and fun simple songs like this can give.
#3 – The importance of questions
As musicians, we spend a lot of time practising alone.
That is the case even if you are in a band, play in a group of some sort, or have a one-to-one teacher.
The fact is, most of the time we spend learning and practising is spent doing these things alone.
Obviously, it is key to make the most of this time.
One thing you can do to make the most of your practice time is to ask yourself positive questions.
For example, instead of kicking yourself for making the same mistake over and over, you can think objectively and ask yourself, “why is this specific mistake happening?”
Or at the end of a not-so-good session, you can ask yourself, “what were the good bits that I played well?”
This is quite a big topic really but trying to ask yourself positive questions where you look for solutions and positivity can be far more inspiring than beating yourself up when something goes wrong.
I find this is one of the multiple small things that separates successful students from the ones who find learning hard.
This is certainly not easy to do, especially if you are quite critical of yourself, but this small mindset shift can make a big difference.
Anyway, those are three of my random thoughts this week.
I hope you enjoyed them and have a great week.
I’m off to high kick ‘round the kitchen with my lad!
P.S. Ready to take your playing to the next level? If so, you may want to check out my bundle of eBooks.
The 7 eBooks will help you with the things mentioned in this email (i.e., having fun, being positive, and improving your skills so you can play songs better).
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P.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.