Playing and learning guitar is wonderful, but it can sometimes be a little frustrating.
One reason why is that it’s not always obvious to the naked eye that you are making progress.
That’s why I tell students to aim to follow my number #1 rule for learning the instrument, which is:
“Every day try to improve one tiny thing and play something fun”
If you do that, you can’t help but make steady progress.
…And every now and then, you will see a breakthrough, which is very exciting.
But here’s a way you can notice your progress in a more obvious way.
Although I don’t teach many private students anymore, I do this every year and have done it for a long time with students.
That is… Every year we play some Christmas songs.
Around this time of year, we pick up a Christmas song that the student started learning in a previous year.
It’s really exciting to see them play a song they struggled with last year…
…But the next year watch them play it smoothly, more rhythmically, and more musically.
Sometimes their progress on the tune is as clear as day.
Sometimes they need a week or so to dust off the cobwebs.
But if they’ve been a good student this year (Santa Claus or should that be “Danta Claus” is watching. Haha), the progress will be obvious.
Not only are Christmas songs the kind that make us feel all warm and festive, but they are also a great benchmark for seeing progress.
That’s why I’m such a fan of them.
Over the years, I’ve taught all sorts of Christmas tunes at the request of students.
Some are a little “so-so” to play and are just strumming songs that are kind of fun…
…But others we’ve played have been an absolute blast.
A few months ago, I decided that this year, for the very first time, I was going to teach my favourite Christmas arrangements in a video course.
And now it is here.
It’s called Christmas Crackers, and this course features five beautiful Christmas carols which have been super popular with students.
(I generally prefer carols to typical pop Christmas songs for many reasons, which I’m sure I’ll explain more about).
Each carol is taught using my “No Chord Fingerstyle” method, which means instead of strumming awkward chords and having to sing the songs…
You let the guitar do all the work.
You play the beautiful melodies (each of the chosen carols has a distinctive and powerful melody)…
…And we add in the bass notes from the underlying chord.
This basically means we aren’t playing big chords such as C Major or F Major.
…But we are playing fragments of those chords – usually two-finger versions making them much easier to play.
Most of the time, we’re playing the bass notes as an open string, which is of course, even easier to play.
Anyway, if you want to check out this course, you can do so below.
It’s on sale this week with a big discount.
I’m super excited to release this and you can find out more below…
I hope you enjoy it!
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.