funny thoughts on guitar playing

Today I thought I’d share some of the short and humorous comments I’ve gotten this week on my website.

They’re good fun. Plus, there are some super useful nuggets of wisdom here. Let’s begin…


“My problem is when I am playing a song and I run into a long reach with my fingers or have trouble in a certain spot, the tension overwhelms my hand and body. I need to remember to keep breathing. I swear that if I had a 5 minute song I would hold my breath thru the whole thing.”

– Walter

I’ve probably mentioned the story of my old student before. He would often hold his breath so much when he played, his face would change colour. So much so that he was turning the colour of one of Willy Wonka’s Oompa Loompas. As I told him then, and Walter now, the key is to relax and breathe. Set a timer if you need to and each time it goes off, stop for a moment to breathe deeply and relax.


“Hey Dan…I really appreciated your lesson here…Uncle Fester shoulders! lol…I’ve got them and I never even noticed! Thanks so much for helping me to remember to relax…it’s not like I’m drilling into a sidewalk! For some of the other folks with shorter fingers-I bought the little Taylor GS about five or six years ago-its neck is just the right size for me…it’s made a world of difference-less the “death grip and Uncle Fester shoulders!”

– Thomas F

Ha, “Uncle Fester shoulders” is a phrase I coined. It’s all about when students sit with so much tension, their shoulders are up by their ears – just like Uncle Fester himself. I’m glad the lesson helped Thomas and for everyone reading, remember to relax those shoulders when you play! Okay, next one…


“Brilliant! When I grow up (remember I’m 72) I want to be a blues man like you! Making these short courses is a top idea! Well done!”

– Peter

That’s what Peter said about the 12-Bar Blues Mini Masterclass course I promoted recently. I shared this comment because it made me laugh. I mean, when I grow up, I want to be a guitar-playing astronaut on the moon. Okay, maybe someone will do that one day. Who knows…But do as Peter does and keep the optimism and humour, it’s essential with this instrument. Here’s another comment…


“Hey everyone, my names Rich from Birmingham UK and I’ve been trying to learn to play the guitar for about 15 years. Like Dan mentioned I’m one of the stop start budding guitarists, I make some progress but it’s often slow and painful. I find I lose heart and stop. I love Foo Fighters, Frank Turner and the Stereophonics but was brought up listening to the Beatles. Looking forward to the course and hopefully getting much better at guitar! 🎸

– Rich

Rich is from Birmingham, UK. Same as me. It’s a big city but Rich, if you’re reading, open up your window and get playing something loud on the guitar. I’ll have a listen!


“Hello, Dan! I’m Keith. I look forward to getting better on guitar. I have long loved the instrument and I’ve attempted to play it off and on for many years. I am currently using a Zager Easy play acoustic electric. I am missing the tips of my middle and ring fingers on the fret hand, which is challenging, but I know that others have overcome much worse. Thanks for the course. Look forward to the challenge.” – Keith

Super pleased Keith is here and ready to make some super big progress! Like I said to him, it’s a shame about his fretting hand fingers but I’m delighted he’s determined not to let that get in his way. Onwards and upwards and I hope Keith makes the progress he deserves. Last one…


“Hi. I’m Thomas. I’ve hopped from one YouTube instructor to the next (without actually finishing anything) – I suppose hoping that if I come across just the right instructor / song combination that I’ll have some sort of Robert Johnson / crossroads equivalent experience (maybe without the soul selling?) and just magically be able to play the way I want to.

– Thomas W

What Thomas mentioned is pretty common and if you’ve done the same, here’s some advice… Focus on one course, song, or style for a few months and avoid hopping around on YouTube. I do wonder what would happen if Thanos (the bad guy from the Avengers movies) clicked his fingers and made YouTube disappear. My guess is many guitarists would immediately make much more progress and focus on the course and books they’ve previously purchased. An interesting thought that.


Anyway, I hope you enjoyed those thoughts from the above students and found some useful nuggets to help your playing.

For my best and most in-depth lessons, check this out below…

The Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy


Hope you’ve had a great weekend!

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.

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