playing a scale

Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including the Hirajoshi scale, getting organised, and more.


#1 – Getting organised is important

There are so many resources out there in the land of guitar playing.

If you are like me, you may have lots of downloads and courses that you have purchased over the years.

If so, it is well worth getting them organised.

The other day I was going through the folders on my hard drive where over the last few years things had become a mess.


I created a few folders.

  • One for stuff I want to go back and revisit.
  • Another folder for stuff I am yet to look at.
  • Finally, another for those random downloads I didn’t get much from or don’t even know how I got!


If you have a collection of guitar downloads on your hard drive, it is well worth spending a little time getting them organised in a way that works for you.

It is actually quite fun revisiting a load of things I barely glanced at before!

Even though some of it was not that relevant to my current playing, messing about with different ideas for a little while was fun.

This brings me onto this…



#2 – The Hirajoshi scale

One of the things I rediscovered was the Hirajoshi scale.

As someone who plays acoustic 90% of the time these days, I don’t tend to use a million different scales.

To be honest, I never did when I played electric a lot either.

I preferred to make the most out of the scales I knew and play them really well.

(This is something most pros tend to do too – quality beats quantity after all.).


Saying that though, I had fun playing about with the Hirajoshi scale – which sounds harder than it is.

It is a cool scale but with that exotic name you might think, “Geez, that sounds tricky”.

Well, if you can play the minor pentatonic scale, you can play the Hirajoshi scale.

It is a bit like the minor pentatonic scale as it is a five-note scale too.


The point of this is not to tell you to learn this scale though, but to let you know…

A lot of the time, things in music that have an unfamiliar name, aren’t always all that hard.

Have fun, experiment, and never let the fancy names of things put you off.



#3 – How to add love and emotion to your music

I got a great question from Tom (a member of the DTAA) the other day.

He asked about adding love and passion to music for when he plays to his four kids.

It is a great question.


It’s all about the technical versus emotional balance.


Of course, you need to get the music sounding clean, tidy, and professional first, but…

Imagine a robot with no personality playing a piece of music. (You might say “is that Ed Sheeran?” Ha-ha).

When that happens, everything is clean, smooth, and sterile but dull.

Why? Simply because there is no human touch.


The slight delays, the increases in volume and speed during the exciting parts…

The dramatic pauses, the imperfections of certain fingers hitting the strings…

These are all the things that make music human.

Go loud, go soft, whisper the music, and let it roar and soar where you want it to.


Just make sure your playing is clean and tidy at the same time.

It is a good idea to practise a piece like a robot and then play it like the person you are and let the emotion come through.

We all have our personality.

Let it shine through in the music.


If you want help becoming proficient in the basics, so you can add more emotion and passion to your music, this may well be what you need…

Fingerstyle 101 – a clear and concise method for improving your fingerpicking


I hope you enjoyed that and have a great Monday!


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.


The ultimate guide on how to practice scales (in just 4 minutes)
February 1, 2021 Reply

[…] you are unsure what scale to begin with, and enjoy a bit of blues and rock then the minor pentatonic (box 1) is a great place to […]

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.