guitar advice

Here’s a “thought exercise” for you.

What would you say to this fella?

He left the following comment the other day on my Facebook page.


“This might sound funny I’ve had a guitar for 25 years I’m now 72 and I still can’t play.

I practice as much as I should but I find I cannot get my small hand around on the strings.

Honestly about to give up plus it hurts the tips of my fingers”


I’ll tell you what I would tell him in a moment.

First though, please take a moment now to think about what YOU would say to him.

Imagine you are his guitar teacher.

I like these sorts of “thought exercises” because they can get you thinking outside of the box.

…And potentially see solutions you might not have otherwise seen.

Do it now, have a little think about what you would tell him and then I’ll share some of the things I’d tell him.



…And now, I’ll tell you what I would say.


You are not alone Many others have struggled for a long time like you. The sheer number of frustrated guitarists who find me via my blog, podcast or courses telling me about their frustrations is testament to this.

It’s probably not your fault – The fact is the guitar is a challenging instrument that isn’t always taught very well. Do your best to avoid all the random lessons out there and either create a solid plan for yourself or find a ready-made one.

You probably have ALL the ability you need – While I can’t say for sure having never met the fella, if he’s like the rest of my students there’s a 99.99% chance, he is more than capable of playing guitar to a good standard. 

Play using “MPR” – This stands for “Minimum Pressure Required” and it is all about using the lightest touch possible with your fretting hand to play the notes. This tip alone can save you years of hair-raisingly frustrating finger soreness.

Get a guitar that suits you and get it set up properly – This is crucial. You wouldn’t go running in size 11 trainers if you’re only a size 5. It’s the same with the guitar and if you don’t follow this step, the previous step (and everything else on the guitar) becomes far harder than it should be.

Follow my #1 Rule The rule is simple, and it goes like this. “Try to improve one tiny thing and play something fun on the guitar every single day”. Do that, and in a few months, you will see big changes.

Stop doubting yourself – If you’re like most struggling beginners, you might be constantly telling yourself, “I’m not good enough” or I’m “too old” or something like this. If so, please stop that now.

Learn a simple piece of music – Most people who struggle do so because they don’t learn simple fun pieces of recognisable music. Playing simple and famous music is a great place to begin.

Start afresh today – Put the past behind you, focus on the above tips and everything will change. Draw a line in the sand, the past is done. We only have the present and the exciting future. Embrace it.


I hope that was useful.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this and what you would also say to the fella in question.

If any of the above resonates with you, then you may want to check out my 7-Day Transformation and Breakthrough Beginner courses.

I created both of those courses specifically to fix the precise issues the chap mentioned in this email, which I know countless guitarists out there also struggle with.

Find out more about how to solve these issues today


Remember, those who never give up will ultimately succeed on the guitar.

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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