Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including thoughts on Clapton’s stories, little improvements, and much more.

Here we go…


#1 – Clapton’s stories

Quite a few of my students have also really enjoyed reading Eric Clapton’s autobiography.

I was reading a bit more of it the other day. (It’s a great read, but I like to dip in and out of it).

In just a few paragraphs, I had a lump in my throat twice.


Eric talked about two incidents that affected him massively and led him down the path of self-destruction back in the 70s.

He talked about how he had bought a guitar for Jimi Hendrix, a white Stratocaster.

He knew he’d be seeing Jimi later that night at a Sly and the Family Stone gig.

…And Eric had planned to give Jimi his gift then, but Jimi wasn’t there.

That’s because, tragically, Jimi had died that day after an accident with booze and drugs.

Eric was distraught.


He then mentioned how his grandfather had got cancer, so he flew back from the States to see him.

Eric talked about how he was stricken with guilt.

…He felt like he’d contributed to his grandfather’s decline by hurting his pride when he bought him a house and paid for his early retirement.

In reality, all he was doing was showing his love and gratitude for all his grandfather had done for him.

It’s a very touching section of the book and shows how human Eric is.

From afar, we all know about Clapton’s tragedies and successes, but hearing these little stories written by his own hand is extra touching.

It’s a good read for anyone interested in him as a man, a musician, or even for more insight into the rock, pop, and blues scene he’s been involved with for a long time.


#2 – Little improvements

A member of the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy asked me about using a metronome to help with his chord changes.

He was asking what is a good tempo to practise his chord changes at.

Well, a tried and tested method for improving your chord changes is to incrementally increase the tempo.


You can start with two chords…

Set a metronome to a tempo that is comfortable for you (e.g. 60bpm).

Change chords back and forth.

Then increase the tempo by 1bpm until the chord changes start to get hard or your technique starts to falter.

You can then slow down the metronome’s tempo a little until you get back to a comfortable tempo once again.

…But this time though, the tempo may be a little quicker than when you started.


It’s like taking two steps forward and one step back.

Do this enough times with enough good technique and you’ll build up great muscle memory.

Try it for a few minutes per day for at least a few weeks while keeping track of the tempo.

That can go a long way to improving any dreaded chord changes.


#3 – Failure is not permanent

If you ever find you struggle with anything on the guitar, it’s worth remembering this bit of advice…

Failure is not permanent.

Some people will try something, find it hard, and then give up on it.

Let’s take barre chords for instance.

You may have tried them before and found them brutally tough.

…And you may have tried and tried but found no matter what you do, your hand aches afterwards.


Well, this is common.

Of course, you will want to get the best advice you can when it comes to learning barre chords (using minimum pressure, precise technique, lots of breaks to rest the hand, and much more).

…But the key thing is, if you’re not ready for barre chords right now, that is okay.

It took me multiple attempts to crack the barre chord code.

Each of these attempts was separated by months.

I didn’t nail them the first time and most people don’t.


So remember, failure is not permanent.

Often you just need to have a break and then, when you go back to it, approach things differently.

If you do that, you’ll find the thing you were trying before will often “click into place”.

I’m talking about this more in a new podcast episode tomorrow, but I hope that was a useful reminder if you’re finding anything tough on the guitar right now.


There you go.

Those were three of my random thoughts this Monday.

For more help from me, you may want to check out my eBook bundle (one of the eBooks is specifically written to help with chord changes).

You can check out the bundle below:

Guitar Domination Super eBook Bundle


I hope you have a great week ahead and happy practice.

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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