how to learn anythingHere’s a little case study on how to learn anything on your guitar to a high standard…

It’s a great example of the journey we all go on when learning a new skill or technique on the guitar.


It’s from Don.

He’s a DTAA member who on the 1st of August started tackling the new lessons.


“So I’ve been practicing example #1 since Aug 1st. Haven’t had much time this month to practice but ramping up now. Talk about muscle memory.

First day or two, very awkward going from this type of C to G and back. And of course slow at first. Then spicing it up with the double stops.

Each day it gets better along with the speed. And now sounding cool. Very fun practicing this and seeing the improvement each day.

I’ll actually send you a video when I feel I’ve got down close to perfection. And once there I’ll tackle the next two examples.

Very cool lesson. Thanks Dan!”



This is like a great mini case study on how to tackle anything new.

That’s because when you do, you go on a journey which often goes like this:


Slow and awkward – Whenever you start something new, it’s often a little alien at first. You might think “Geez, I’ll never get this”. That is natural, but you have to battle through these feelings (but be careful not to “battle” with your guitar – stay relaxed, calm, and focused).


The flow – After a few days of practice, things will often start to “click” a little more. You’ll make more sense of what your fingers are supposed to be doing, but the key is to remember to break everything down into small chunks and to not try the whole thing – at least not until you’re ready to do so.


The setback and persistence – There will inevitably be a few setbacks. One day you feel like you have it nailed, and other days you may throw your hands up in the air and wonder why you’re doing this. There’s an up and down cycle. Remember, this is part of the journey.


The fun – If you keep focused and keep at it, after a while, it will start to become more natural and the fun shines through. This is where you start to see results. As Don mentioned, this takes time, but of course, it’s worth it.


New habits – Once you’ve practised it enough and with enough focus, you’ll ingrain good habits. Yes, you might not have mastered the technique yet, but the good stuff is starting to happen and you can see clear progress.


The key is not to stop here.

Don’t stop practising the technique.

Refresh it each day.

Get a notebook or even just leave a simple “post-it” note on your guitar as a reminder to practise this thing each day.

Keep going because you now have a skill you can keep developing and enjoying for the rest of your life.


The above is like a little micro lesson in learning any new technique on the guitar.

…But it’s also like a summary of learning the guitar as a whole.

Yes, there will be moments when your stomach may be in knots.

There will be excitement as your heart skips a few beats…

…And plenty of times when you smile to yourself and feel a sense of calm as it all starts to truly “click”.


Remember, keep going and never quit.

Enjoy the journey.

If you want more help from me, including all the technical pointers you need, plenty of motivation, exciting techniques to learn, and a plan to put it all together so you know exactly what to practise, then you might want to check this out…

The Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy


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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