Welcome to a new Monday post featuring 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life. Today’s post is a New Year’s day special, reflecting on the previous year, looking at moderation, and “go-time”.

Here we go…

#1 – Reflection

Ever feel like you wished you had achieved more on the guitar (or in life) in 2023?

If so, here’s a simple little exercise you can do today.

Jot down everything you achieved in 2023.

This is useful because if you’re like me, you might often find yourself looking back and feeling like you wished you had done more.

However, this exercise can be eye-opening.


By listing out every single accomplishment, big or small, I’ve come to realise that I’ve actually achieved a lot more than I initially thought.

Improving your guitar playing can feel like running a marathon.

It’s impossible to finish the marathon quickly.

It takes time, so stopping every now and then to reflect on what you’ve achieved can be a powerful motivator, and can inspire you for the new year.

Plus, writing down what you did in 2023 can be a useful reminder of all the things you learned (which can be a good refresher for the ol’ grey matter).


I would like to have done more in 2023, but when I think about it, I did quite a lot:

…including starting the Acoustic Asylum podcast, new Instagram and TikTok channels, I released over 100 video reels, emailed this list with advice and tips almost daily, launched a new No Chord Fingerstyle Mini Masterclass course, released the Christmas Crackers course, revamped my Guitar Domination website, wrote a new book (which will be out early next year), revamped and significantly improved the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy, and so much more.


That’s just in my teaching life. I will keep adding to this list later and create a list for my private life (which will include things such as going back to training in the gym, getting back to surfing, making a big effort on the dating front to meet someone special, going on holiday with Archie, and more)…

I urge you to do the same.

Of course, you can write a list like this for life and definitely do one for the guitar too.


#2 – Moderation

“Come on, dude, let’s have some shots.”

Those were the words spoken to me by a pal on Friday night as we went out for a friend’s birthday.

A whole bunch of us (12 in total) went out to celebrate my pal Phil’s birthday.

(If you read my emails regularly, you might remember that Phil was in my first band).


Some things never change with my oldest pals.

When we go out, the beers flow like the cold waters of the River Severn, and this usually means good times and not-so-good hangovers.

Urgh, I like a drink, but hangovers are never fun.

Moderation is wise.

So, I took it easy the other night, and it was a blast.

A few drinks, a good sleep, and I was up and ready to get Archie.

The best of both worlds, you might say.


It’s easy to get carried away.

One thing you might want to be wary of in the New Year is getting carried away with practice.

A lot of people start the new year off with a bang.

They want to achieve so much.

So they practise hard for all of January, but then often back off in February.


It’s a bit like the folks who join the gym, punish themselves with weeks of brutal workouts, but then quit the gym.

On the guitar, it’s far better to have a sense of moderation and keep chipping away.

Be the guitar-playing equivalent of the gym person who still keeps going on those lonely nights when everyone else has quit.

Realistic aims, consistent progress, and steady gains on the guitar are the best way.


#3 – “Go Time”

Tomorrow is the day that some people call “Go-time”.

This is an exciting time in the year because it’s when most people are very motivated…

Many people face fewer distractions from things such as public holidays…

And in my experience, most people don’t tend to go on holiday at this time of the year as much.

This is super exciting because it means we can achieve so much more!


The first five months of the year are great. When May comes around, there’s still loads you can do, but summer comes along, holidays come along, and people tend to take their foot off the gas a little.

That’s why this is such a good time to get making some real progress on the guitar.

You don’t have to put in hours per day.

Remember, the amount of time you practise is far less important than how you practise, the habits you form, the techniques you use, etc.

So, no matter how much or how little time you have, don’t forget January and the next few months…

…Can be when you make some big breakthroughs in your playing.


If you want help making these breakthroughs, then you might want to check out the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy.

It has everything you need to get you playing the guitar to a high standard in 2024.

Just follow the simple lessons and clear plan, and do so with focus, and you will get there.

Tomorrow, I release some new and exciting lessons on an alternative (but exciting way of learning the fretboard), new content for the 5-Star Award, and an exciting lesson on playing beautiful chord progressions using just two fingers.

It’s an exciting time to join and you can find out more about it below:

The Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy


Happy New Year!

Dan Thorpe

Guitar Domination




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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