Here is another Friday 10-second tip for you to enjoy. It is about:


Making your songs sound more musical


Instead of one quick tip, here are five:

…And they are especially important if you play fingerstyle arrangements where you’re not singing, but the guitar plays the melody:


Put the melody up front and centre – if you can’t hear the melody of a tune, or it gets buried, the song will sound weak, so focus on this first. 

Let the bass notes ring out – A simple way to get your fingerstyle songs to sound rich… pluck a bass note at the beginning of the bar and ensure it rings out throughout the bar.

Smooth transitions – watch out for notes being cut short, it can make things sound and feel awkward and is a big musicality killer.

Watch out for string changes or big jumps – these are what cause a lot of issues, unwanted pauses, and looking back and forth, so pay attention to situations where these occur.

Add the bells and whistles later – I love to add legato, Travis picking, and extra chord tones to my arrangements, but only after the melody is clear and the bass notes are strong.


There you go.

I wanted to share those little power tips as they are so important when playing any sort of arrangement where you’re not singing but where the guitar is doing it all.

In a new bonus lesson for Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy members, I’ve updated a really cool version of “Jingle Bells”, where the above is essential advice.

You can find out more about the Academy below but…

Either way, do ensure you keep the above advice in mind when you play fingerstyle.

The Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy


Enjoy your Friday!

Dan Thorpe

Guitar Domination


P.S. I thought I’d share this email from the new Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy member…


My name is Arnold, originally from Colorado. I picked up the guitar when I was 70. I have had 4 different teachers.

I have watched the three videos in 1a beginning of this journey. I am very impressed with the way you have structured everything. It does not feel overwhelming.  

I am really liking how this is going. You keep it simple and the patience you have teaching these things to improve on the guitar are terrific.


I have a sneaking suspicion guitarists like Arnold will get an especially large amount of fun from the November lessons.

This month’s lessons are meant for students like him who are keen to learn— as they teach a unique “twist” on how you can ramp up whatever fun, happiness, and joy the guitar brings you right now

Those who aren’t willing to try something different?

This won’t do them much good, especially if they are stuck in their ways or expecting miracles.

But guitarists who are realistic, determined, and need some clarity? Well, let’s just say of all the monthly lessons I’ve released in the Academy over the last 7 years since launching it, these November lessons are the ones I’m most excited to share and see how my best students use them and enjoy them.

They will each study them, learn the fun pieces, and then “express” them uniquely in their own playing. This is not the sort of thing that can be explained here. It has to be experienced.

The only way to do that is to subscribe and, in this case, subscribe before tonight’s deadline.

If you want in, let’s get ready here – The Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy


P.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.

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.