Here we go…
#1 – IT class!
I was reminiscing about a funny story the other day.
It was back in 2001 and my last year of high school.
I hadn’t been playing guitar long, and I had discovered there were websites that had lots of TAB teaching songs.
This was like the holy grail for guitarists back then.
So there I was, thinking of all the songs I could learn.
At the time I was listening to Metallica, so I found a song, hit print, and eagerly awaited the prints.
About 5 minutes later, I heard the IT teacher panicking as he shouted, “Who the hell is printing off all these random codes?”
Little did I know the TAB was being printed in the extra-large style you see on websites (not the sleek sort of TAB you see in books).
To make matters worse, the song was a long one, and there were multiple guitar parts notated.
All in all, it used up about 80 sheets of paper.
The IT teacher was not happy but he let me keep all the TAB.
Only later, when I got back home, did I realise it was pretty useless, as a lot of it was wrong.
Anyway, just a funny little story for you that shows what things were like learning during the early stages of the net.
#2 – Motivation and what it can do
There’s a lot of research on the power of rewarding yourself when you achieve a goal.
A lot of people forget this, yet when you make a breakthrough or reach a goal, it’s not only pleasant to reward yourself, but it’s productive too.
Achieving goals and getting rewards makes you want to kick on and achieve more.
As a dad, I see this a lot.
Archie, my 6-year-old son, is lovely, yet he can be super stubborn.
In his weekly football class, some weeks he’s not that fussed about trying all that much, but the other day he won “star player” of the day.
All because he was super motivated.
The motivation came from him wanting a prize. I said “Yeah”, as long as he either scored 3 goals and/or tried his best (the research shows rewarding effort is most powerful, but I find having clear goals essential too).
Anyway, he was like a whirlwind and scored his goals and gave it his all and had fun.
It was great to see, especially as normally he’s doing a funny little dance routine or doing Power Ranger moves while everyone else is very focused.
Anyway, that just highlights the power of goals and rewards.
#3 – New inspiration!
Since I’ve moved, I’ve been jamming a little more.
This has been fun but slightly annoying as I have lots to do!
I guess it’s being in a different environment.
Sometimes if I try to write music or be creative, it doesn’t happen.
Especially the harder I try.
Forcing it rarely works for me.
Instead, if I feel inspired, music just flows like water or words on paper.
For instance, I’m writing this from my kitchen as my studio room is not quite finished yet.
…And as I look out my kitchen window, I can see a nature reserve with birds, and lots of trees, and stuff.
The last few days I’ve had some good jams and this environment definitely helps (yes, I have a guitar in the kitchen – weird I know).
Little things like this make me feel more inspired even on a rainy day like today.
Sometimes inspiration comes from hearing new music on the radio, and thinking, let’s try playing that, or just going over an old song.
Sometimes, just being in another room with the guitar works.
Perseverance and focus are of course key, but inspiration is definitely a powerful and sometimes undervalued part of learning and making progress on guitar.
It’s always good to keep looking for that extra inspiration.
I hope you enjoyed that email and have a great Monday!
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.