Ah, motivation, that old chestnut which often trips us guitar players up.

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” as the Billy Ocean song goes, but…

Sometimes, you may feel like doing any old chore before you get going to play your guitar.

It happens to us all.


Back in the day when I was learning, on some deeper level, I was not always aware…

There would be days I would avoid practising as much as possible.

My motivation was so low, I would rather sing a Michael Bolton song at karaoke than practise the guitar. (I found learning guitar really tough in the early days though).

As much as we want to will ourselves, or even guilt ourselves, into playing guitar when we know we should, it is not that easy.


The truth is, forcing yourself to play is not always the best way.


Obviously, if you have fun and enjoy your practising, you will be more inspired to pick up your guitar, but motivation can be fluid, and even the most motivated of us can feel like having a break from guitar.

Sometimes a break is a good thing, but if you want to play guitar and need some motivation, try giving yourself a reward after you play.

Tell yourself it will be something exciting or enjoyable.


For instance, if you like to have a beer, a glass of wine, a piece of cake or if you like to sit down with your favourite TV show in the evening…

Why not tell yourself, you can have this treat after you have practised.

Rewarding yourself in small ways will help to motivate you in both the short and long term.


This sort of thing works for me and the science backs this up – a lot.

The key is, make sure you reward yourself right away and make sure you reward the effort, not the results.

Some of you will know about the above, but there is plenty more good research on motivation.


The above ‘rewarding of effort’ is just one example, but I have put together 7 of these ideas into a video, giving you a mix of the tips I have used over the years to help even the most unmotivated students.

Back when I started teaching, I seemed to attract a fair few of these students, so I had to work hard to get them to play.

It was around about then I discovered one of the best books I have read on changing behaviour. It was written by a professor called Richard Wiseman, a man frequently praised by illusionist Derren Brown (who is huge in the UK).


This video I created is available as the October bonus for those who are in my membership programme.


Here is the link to join…

Elite Guitarist Inner Circle


This is some of the juicy goodness as featured in the bonus:


  • How asking yourself a simple question can fire up your desire to play, solve guitar playing conundrums, and protect your self-confidence.
  • The science behind the motivating benefit of leaving your guitar out on a stand, and a simple way to make this even more effective.
  • The 1-minute “Gratitude attitude” which can give you a quick blast of motivation.
  • How to top up your “Inspiration jar” so you can get back that excited, burning desire to play guitar again.
  • 2 specific things you can do to quickly reduce the stress and frustration of a bad practice session.
  • A proven reason why everyone should learn at least one classical piece of music.
  • Plus, discover the “Zeigarnik effect”, how thinking of the smell of fresh bread can influence your playing, why laughter is key, and more…


Have a great Thursday!


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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