Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including old records, fail-safes, and more. Here we go…
#1 – Your ears are a “fail-safe”
There’s plenty of bad TAB/notation out there on the internet.
I realised this early on in my playing days.
I’d go to school, get on the internet, and get the TAB for songs I wanted to learn and print them off.
(Usually by Nirvana, Metallica, or David Bowie at the time.)
I’d eagerly get home, learn the notes, and try to play the song.
…But it rarely sounded anything like it.
Admittedly, sometimes that was because my playing was sloppy back then, but often it was because the notation was just wrong.
I realised at this point my ears were telling me something was “off”.
I didn’t have the skills to correct it then, but by trusting my ears more than the bad TAB, I was able to start moving down the right path – rather than one of confusion.
It was all about trusting my ears.
Your ears are a “fail-safe”.
Just like an elevator has a clever fail-safe where brakes will lock into place if the cable snaps…
You, as a guitarist, have the fail-safe of your ears guiding you if the TAB is wrong.
That’s one of multiple reasons to keep training your ears over time.
#2 – A record collection
I’m not sure if you know the name John Peel.
In the UK, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential radio DJs to ever go on the airways over here.
Anyway, last week I was listening to a cool show on Radio 6 with his son Tom, and Jarvis Cocker (the singer from the band Pulp).
They were trawling through John’s old records and playing a whole bunch of lost tracks from back in the day.
I found it fascinating.
There were over 120,000 records and 7-inch singles for them to choose from!
A good chunk of these tracks are not on the internet.
This makes it a really special collection.
I wish I’d made a note of the tunes as some were very cool which I’ve never heard before and will likely never hear again.
There’s a whole vast world of music out there, some of it’s super exciting and some we may have forgotten about.
So, if you or a family member have a collection of old records, it could be worth going through them and enjoying some random selections.
It might lead to some inspiring music for you or even some enjoyable nostalgia.
#3 – When less is more
How many guitar courses do you have that you haven’t finished yet?
On my hard drive and in my studio, I have loads of unfinished guitar courses and books.
I don’t mind that some are unfinished.
Some have certain songs or lessons that appeal to me more than other parts.
These resources are great for dipping in and out of.
…But when I was learning, I would have loved one simple course where I could just go through it in a few weeks or a month or so, complete it, and see progress.
The confidence this would have given me would have been immense.
I know this is becoming a bigger and bigger deal in a world of endless tuition where people want to give you more, more, more.
The thing is… Less is often more.
That’s why I filmed a couple of Mini-Masterclass courses a while back.
Both have proven very popular and at some point, I will do more of these.
This week I’ve put one of these courses on sale.
It’s the Tom Dooley Travis picking, strumming, and fingerstyle Mini Masterclass.
If finishing a short course, building your confidence, and playing a wonderfully fun song appeals to you…
You might want to check it out below.
I hope you have a great week ahead!
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.