I love technology… until it no longer works.

The other day I was made aware that my emails were glitching.


Instead of the email starting off saying Hi (insert your first name), it was saying ‘Hi First Name’.

That is annoying.

In fact, I got this email about it:


“Hi Dan,

I can’t say l am overly impressed by this new address format ‘Hi your first name’.  Suddenly you don’t know me anymore.  




Well, most people knew it was a technological glitch, but just to reassure anyone not sure, no I haven’t gone ‘cold’ or tried to rename you, it was a ghost in the machine.

Anyway, there are a few lessons from this little glitch that tie in nicely with what I often teach on the guitar.

The big lesson is that…

The little things make a big difference


Starting off an email saying, ‘Hi first name’ is not a great way to begin.

It’s a small thing that makes a big difference (at least to some people).

It’s just like with the guitar, small things make a huge difference too. For example:


If you have a string that is slightly out of tune, it can make the chords you play sound horrible (kind of like the difference between an angel singing or a Hell’s angel singing!)

If you take a long deep breath and relax when you make a frustrating mistake, that can help erase tension, and help you ‘reset’ and start again.

If you focus on improving your fingerpicking or strumming tone, it can instantly make everything you play sound better (the difference can be kind of like going from crackly AM radio to Dolby surround sound).

If you play in the classical position, having the headstock of the guitar at least shoulder level high can make a big difference (the biggest problem that people have in this position is that they let the headstock drop too low).

If you spend a few minutes working on your biggest technical issue each day (ideally the one big thing holding back your playing), it can be some of the most effective time you spend practising.


There you go.

Technology is great… until it ain’t.

…And one more lesson from that email is that sometimes you have to turn a negative into a positive.


Yep, it annoyed a few people with that email glitch…

But there’s nothing I could do about that (apart from ringing up Doc Emmett Brown and asking him to let me borrow his DeLorean so I can go back in time to fix it).

…So sometimes you have to turn a small negative into a positive.


We can all do that on the guitar too.

Have a bad day of practice on the guitar?

Take a moment to think about what made it bad.

Make a note of these things (there are often a few things that caused it to be a bad day).

…And then, next time you practise, do the opposite.


Anyway, I hope that was helpful to you.

If you want more help, advice, and lots of practical tips, then you may want to check out my little eBook bundle.

Guitar Domination Super eBook Bundle


Wishing you happy practice, from…

First Name Thorpe

(I mean, Dan Thorpe, haha)


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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