Here are two more interesting emails I have got lately.
I hope you find the emails and my thoughts useful…
“This will sound stupid and I am. I am almost 2 months into DTAA and I still have to pay attention to the 3 ps. I don’t know if they will ever become automatic but I do know I am improving. I know MPR is much better…
Not only do I have no callouses or pain but no lines. Good Technique to all.”
I thought I’d share this comment from Dennis, as it is so important.
There is nothing stupid about what he said.
Needing constant reminders of the fundamentals is natural – especially in the early days.
These fundamentals are what I call the ‘3Ps’ (which means Posture, Pressure, and Positioning).
…And ‘MPR’ – in case you don’t know – means “Minimum Pressure Required”.
MPR is all about playing with the lightest touch possible with your fretting hand when fretting a note.
It is the one thing that most guitarists get wrong.
Over the years, every time I have taught a new student in my studio, I’d show them how to use MPR.
…And more often than not, each of them would look surprised at what a simple revelation it was for them.
The fact is, you do not need much pressure to fret a note cleanly.
As long as you are close to the frets and your guitar is one that is nicely set up, you only need a small amount of pressure.
I don’t think any guitarists out there, especially beginners or those who have bad habits, can be reminded of this enough.
‘MPR’ – practise it, embrace it, use it.
Do it enough and it will become an automatic daily habit and your fingers will thank you for it!
“Hello! I’m Debbie Jo. I’ve got three guitars, all are acoustic, two are gorgeous handmade parlor guitars made by a good friend of mine. I don’t play any of them, really.
Oh, I know how to tune them, and can play several chords, and am familiar with TAB, but that’s about it. I’m 68, retired, with lots of time on my hands, but very little confidence when it comes to playing my guitar.
When I do pick it up, it’s generally only to dust it off. I love fingerpicking songs on the guitar and would love to be able to generate those songs myself.”
It sounds like Debbie Jo has some good knowledge basics sorted.
By “knowledge” I mean things like being able to read TAB, tune the guitar, know what the basic chords are, etc.
That is great she has those…
But continuing on from what Dennis said…
We need to talk “technique”.
That’s because there are a gazillion lessons on “knowledge” but not a huge amount on “technique”.
I’ve said it before, but technique is paramount.
Many classical teachers are great at teaching technique and there are, of course, some really good non-classical teachers out there who also teach this sort of stuff.
The problem is looking for simple lessons that focus on good Core Fundamental Technique can be like searching for a needle in a haystack.
…Such is the nature of the internet and the vast number of lessons out there.
That is why a while back I wrote a little book on technique.
It contains the key elements to good guitar-playing technique that will help you take your knowledge of chords, scales, etc., and play them properly so you can turn them into music.
If you haven’t yet checked it out, you can check out the eBook below as part of my bundle (all the books tie in nicely with each other too).
Keep working on your core technique, keep having fun, and enjoy the journey!
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.