Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including thoughts on inspiring 74-year-olds, milestones, and progress sneaking up on you.
Here we go…
#1 – 74 and Inspiring
Last week I did a crazy event called a Wolf Run.
This is where you run for miles, climb over obstacles, crawl through tunnels of mud, and swim through ice-cold water… all for fun.
I like fitness, training, and the outdoors, so it was right up my street.
The event is all about pushing your limits and challenging yourself (much like the guitar does).
I talked a little about this in last week’s Acoustic Asylum podcast, but what I didn’t mention was an inspiring fella who did it with us.
His name is Keith, and he is 74 years old.
Keith had his hip replaced last year but completed the event and did so with a big smile on his face.
He trains hard and has done so for a long time, but he was outrunning many people half his age.
It just goes to show that age really is a number and you can achieve big things no matter what your age.
Over the years, I’ve become accustomed to teaching guitar to people of all ages and don’t see age as a big deal (that’s because I’ve taught many students who have made great progress on the guitar despite being a little older)…
…But I thought I’d mention this as I know some people do think their age may hold them back on the guitar.
It shouldn’t, and I know this is in a different walk of life, but if you ever doubt yourself, let Keith be an inspiration.
He certainly inspired me on the Wolf Run.
HERE are a few photos if you want to see the madness that was the Wolf Run.
#2 – Milestones
Do you ever think about where your guitar playing will be in a few years’ time?
And what sort of goals and things you should aim for?
I know I used to when I was starting out.
One cool thing I did was buy the RGT grade books for guitarists.
At that time, I wasn’t overly excited by the idea of doing grades, but I did like that the grade books gave me some direction.
Each book featured important scales, chords, and theory knowledge that got progressively harder.
That gave me some long-term direction on the guitar.
When I started teaching, I’d always have a specific long-term plan of the things I’d like students to achieve.
These milestones are pretty powerful.
Over the last few days, I’ve been working with a designer to create a cool image featuring these key milestones I want my students to achieve.
It looks smart (which is handy because if something looks visually nice, I find it more inspiring to use) and it’s all on one simple page.
I’m getting the designer to make some little tweaks to this, but I’ll release it soon.
In the meantime, it is well worth having a think about a few milestones you want to achieve on the guitar or that you’ve already achieved.
Having clear goals and milestones is powerful for sure.
#3 – Progress sneaking up on you
A couple of months ago, I started creating video “reels” for social media.
These “reels” are basically short 30 to 60-second video tips on playing guitar.
They’re great for anyone new to my world of teaching and are great reminders for those of you who have been learning from me for a while.
Well, at first progress was sloooooww.
Some videos were getting a whopping 300 views at best and some were getting around 50 views!
Wow, game changing I know! Haha
These were videos I was releasing on brand-new channels with zero advertisement and no promotion, so I expected progress to take time.
I know it takes years for most people to build new social media followings after all.
What I didn’t realise though, was how a few little tweaks would make a huge difference.
Now the videos on Instagram are regularly getting 1200 views.
I hadn’t kept track of this, so that was a nice surprise when I checked them the other day.
…And now I know which content is resonating with people on there, so can create more content like it.
Anyway, I’m sharing this to simply highlight that sometimes it may feel like progress isn’t happening, but in reality, it is…
It may be that you’re just not seeing the fruits of your labour as yet.
…And sometimes little tweaks can go a long way.
It’s the same with the guitar.
Put the effort in, keep striving to improve, test and try different things, and you will start to see results.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed those three random thoughts
If you do want to check out my social media reels, you can do so below and don’t forget to subscribe to the channels to keep updated.
There are a lot of valuable little quick tips in those videos.
I’ll be releasing new videos on a more regular basis from now on (very likely daily).
Have a great week!
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.