Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including reading music like maps, a big goal setting mistake, and more. Here we go…
#1 – Even legends have to work hard
The other day I was reading an interview with Robbie Krieger from The Doors (a band I love).
He talked about his love for Elvis, Bob Dylan, and Ravi Shankar.
One thing he mentioned was that he felt he wasn’t a natural guitarist.
“I had just had to work for it, really practise”.
He said jazz guitar legend Wes Montgomery is the most naturally talented guitarist he ever heard.
“I can just tell he’s naturally gifted. I wish I had that”.
That highlights a point, even our heroes (you’ll hear many others say this too) have to practise a lot.
That’s how they reach those dizzy heights.
Even more than that though…
I have zero doubt in my mind that Wes Montgomery would also have worked his rear end off getting to where he got.
Even our heroes have heroes, and they often forget they also work darn hard.
We all do – even the best of the best!
Good to keep that in mind.
#2 – Study the music like you would maps
One thing I encourage you to do when learning a piece of music is to plan your route.
By that I mean, look at the music, study it, and plan your finger movements as you go through it as if you were studying maps.
Most people grab the music and quickly start playing, but it’s good to…
Take a moment to look through all the movements and think about which fingers should go where…
…Or if playing a certain chord (such as a G Major chord where there is more than one way of playing it) choosing the best way to play it for this song…
…Or think about if you can leave a specific finger on the fretboard for a couple of bars…
All this stuff helps.
It’s like getting old maps out and studying them before you set out on holiday.
You know, where you have to plan in advance the best way to avoid the traffic, country lanes, or even bears (depending on where you live!) as you drive halfway across the country.
A few minutes of this can save you a lot of time on the guitar.
#3 – Keep your goals simple
A student from the DTAA emailed me the other day, looking for a little clarity.
One of the perks of the membership is that members get email support from me.
One thing I told him to do right away was “keep things simple”.
From what he said, he knew it was clear he needed to focus on a specific chord change and work on the first two bars of a song he was learning.
“…But what about all the other resources I want to get stuck into?” he asked.
As tempting as it is to try to use them all, the other resources should wait a little.
They do not need to be used now.
I mean, there are endless materials out there to learn.
You can come back to them a little later.
Don’t worry about not giving them all the time.
Focus and simplicity are key.
It helps with clarity and prevents you from feeling overwhelmed.
I’ve been thinking a little about this lately.
That’s why in the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy I have actually refined things a little, so it’s a simpler, smoother experience.
New users have what they need at the click of a button.
Longer-term members can still find the deeper stuff.
It’s a win/win situation, and it’s something I will keep perfecting.
So, if you want a clear plan and direct path to follow, then check it out below.
Thanks for reading and have a great Monday…
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.