Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including a silly analogy, harp harmonics, and more.
#1 – The importance of how you sit with the guitar
I often talk about being consistent with your playing.
One way you should be consistent is with how you sit with the guitar.
If you change your playing position each time you pick up the guitar, you will be making life harder for yourself.
Think of this silly analogy I share with students.
Imagine a golfer.
Day 1 – heads to the course and plays in proper golf shoes.
Day 2 – turns up and plays in slippers.
Day 3 – Is playing in 6-inch stiletto heels!
Will his/her playing suffer for it?
The body, hands and head will all be in a different position in relation to the ball each day.
Everything has to adjust.
The golfer can no longer think of the big picture of the hole, the fairway, and avoiding the dreaded bunkers.
Now it is just a case of hoping for the best and hitting the ball cleanly.
This is the same with your playing.
Change your position frequently and your songs, chord changes, and everything else you do will become more challenging.
Be consistent and avoid the guitar playing equivalent of 6-inch heels!
#2 – Harp Harmonics
Lately, I have been giving myself a new challenge…
How to play harp harmonics in the style of the great Tommy Emmanuel.
Harp harmonics are an interesting technique where the right hand does something very cool. (Watch this to see the great man in action).
What we do is play picking hand harmonics and intersperse them with a conventionally picked note.
Yeah, it is complex.
This is such an unusual technique and unlike anything else on guitar.
I got pretty good at harp harmonics a few years ago, but never really mastered them.
This time though, with slow steady practice, it did start to smooth out and now that the muscle memory is there, the speed will come over the next few weeks.
I am not saying you should learn them (get the basics sorted first but of course, feel free to give them a go!)
This is more a reminder of the fact we all need to trust the process of learning…
No matter how long we have played.
Start slow, be accurate, and then build up speed.
Keep that in mind when learning anything new.
#3 – Varying rhythms
I was having a little jam the other day with something I used to do a lot.
I was seeing what rhythms I could create while using two simple chords (D and Am).
No embellishments, no picking, just strumming two chords for four bars each over and over.
What do you think happened when I did this?
I started using all sorts of cool and interesting rhythms and really started to get a great groove together.
If I had lots of chords I wanted to use, I would probably never have got this groove together.
A good way to start is by mixing and matching the different strum patterns you know and see what happens.
It is more of an intermediate idea, but there is no reason why beginners can’t do it too.
It does take practice, so keep it simple and tight at first, but do experiment.
Try it too, it’s good fun.
If you want more help and advice on getting from beginner to intermediate, check out my Supercharger series of lessons in my membership programme.
It is just a small part of the membership (there is a whole course on beginner stuff to get the basics sorted) and you can find out more below…
There you have it.
I hope you enjoyed this Monday post with my 3 random thoughts!
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.