Welcome to a new weekly post with three random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including thoughts on why breaks are good, the importance of being present in the moment,
Here we go…
#1 – Breaks are good
Yesterday, I got back from a nice little trip with Archie and my family.
We went to Dorset on the south coast of England.
It was one of the funniest and most enjoyable holidays I’ve had.
That’s why I haven’t written any emails for a few days.
And it’s why I haven’t released a podcast this week yet (but one is coming).
I did consider writing some emails in advance and recording a podcast in advance.
…But I decided against it.
The main reason was that I want everything I release to be fresh.
If I’d pre-recorded a podcast, it just wouldn’t have had the same vibe.
In fact, when we were away, we were all having so much fun that I decided there and then that I would record a podcast on a specific topic when I get back.
This was inspired by some fun games we were playing during the holiday.
It just goes to show you can be inspired and have fun wherever you are.
…And sometimes breaks are good and they can be inspiring.
I find that is true with the guitar too.
It can be good to miss the guitar a little bit for a day or two (I did).
Then, when you come back to it, you can be fully recharged and ready to give your practice session your full attention.
This brings me on to the next point…
#2 – Being present and in the moment
I often tell students it is absolutely essential to practise with complete focus.
Don’t let your mind wander too much when you’re playing guitar.
Try to connect with the sounds coming from your fingertips, the way the strings feel under your fingers, and the vibrations of the guitar resonating through your body.
It’s hard to do this if you’re thinking about what’s for dinner later or what’s going to happen next in a new Netflix series.
I used to be quite bad at being distracted and not being in the moment.
And let me tell you, life is nowhere near as much fun when things distract you.
During this holiday, apart from the inspiration for the podcast, I barely thought about work at all.
Sofija handled everything, so there was no need for me to.
Instead, I fully enjoyed every single moment.
Years ago, I wasn’t very good at this sort of thing.
I’d be away from work, but I’d be thinking about work.
I’d be playing guitar and thinking about something else.
I like to remind everyone, when you practise guitar, be as fully present and in the moment as you can.
The guitar is one way to escape life’s problems, so enjoy it and embrace it as fully as possible.
#3 – The rabbit hole of forgotten music
One of the cool things about the holiday was a random show that we watched one of the nights.
It was a show playing songs from the 60s.
Many mainstream stations play tunes from the 60s that we’ve all heard a million times before (e.g., songs from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, etc).
…But this station played some rarer tunes.
I’d love to say I remember them all now, but there were songs by bands such as Marmalade, The Shadows, an obscure Nancy Sinatra duet, a jazzy version of “You Are My Sunshine”, and more.
It opened up a rabbit hole of music for me.
While listening to these artists, I’d be googling away trying to find out more about the bands (especially the more obscure bands).
There’s something quite exciting about discovering bands from 60 years ago I hadn’t heard before.
It’s like looking for and finding buried treasure.
This is so much more exciting than listening to the same old tunes on the same old radio station every day.
Anyway, those are my random holiday thoughts.
I hope you enjoyed that and stay tuned for an email tomorrow about this week’s podcast – it will be a fun one.
For now, if you want more help with your playing, you may want to check this out
Have a great week!
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.