power chords

Today the new Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy lessons are out…

…And tonight is the last chance to join to get these lessons

So, with that in mind, some of today’s random thoughts are about these new lessons, including thoughts on power chords, King Crimson, and more.

Here we go…


#1 – In the Court of the Crimson King

I went to the cinema the other day.

It was to see the new movie about the band King Crimson.

It’s called In the Court of the Crimson King – King Crimson at 50.

Wow, I loved it.

I’m a big fan of the band anyway.

For me, they are one of the unsung and most underrated bands of the 60s and 70s.

Most people know them from the song “21st Century Schizoid Man” – a great tune.


Anyway, this documentary was a riveting look at a band who have been through huge line-up changes, had a massive amount of friction, and yet still sound stunning to this day with a super dedicated fanbase.

The Guardian described it as, “Like an episode of The Office but with huge drum kits”.

Ha-ha, I love that.

I’m sure I’ll mention more on this in the future, but the dedication that main man Robert Fripp (who also played with Bowie, Blondie, and others) has for the guitar is still astounding.

Four hours of practice a day at age 77.

I love that dedication.

Of course, we don’t need to practise that much but it just goes to show his love for the instrument and being a musician is still there – and in this documentary, it looks like he’s as passionate as ever.

The movie is definitely worth a watch for sure.


#2 – Power Chords Are Fun

I love power chords.

Back when I started on the guitar, I had no idea what they were though.

It was funny really because the first band I loved and wanted to learn the songs of was Nirvana.

At the time, I’d learnt how to play the most common open chords.

These were typical chords such as C, G, D, Em, Am, etc.

Yet, I wasn’t hearing these chords in Nirvana’s music.


So, I sat there thinking:

“So I know these chords, but no matter what I do with them, why do they not sound like any Nirvana song I know?”

Well, little did I know, Nirvana used a lot of power chords.

It was only when a friend showed me what a power chord was that a new world of rock guitar opened up for me.

Then, I started learning songs by other rock bands such as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Rainbow, and others.

I was in awe.


I later realised that power chords were actually like mini-barre chords.

By that I mean most barre chords use the basic power chord shape…

…but with other fingers added.

This was another cool moment.

So, power chords are well worth having a look at if you haven’t already.


#3 – Two opposites end of a powerful spectrum

I was talking with a student recently about technique and theory.

In some ways, they couldn’t be any further apart from each on the guitar-playing spectrum.

Technique is all about the body and covers absolutely everything you do on the guitar.

This includes the way you sit or stand with the guitar, the precise way you touch the strings, how you pluck and strum each note, and everything you play.

Theory, on the other hand, is really all about the brain.

It includes the way you think about your playing and every thought process you have about the way songs, melodies, scales, riffs, and the fretboard all work.


The body and brain – they are like two opposites, really.

…But to get the most out of your playing, especially in the long term, it’s so important to develop both.

Now, technique is obviously the priority in the early days, because without good technique, all the theory in the world won’t do you much good…

…But as you go forward and you develop solid technique, theory will help you do so many things on the guitar and can save you a lot of time when it comes to working out songs, improvising, and creating your own arrangements.

So, yes, they’re opposite ends of the spectrum in some ways, but keep developing both.


I hope you enjoyed those three random thoughts and you have a great Monday!

Dan Thorpe

Guitar Domination


P.S. Today is the last chance to get the new DTAA lessons for the month of May.

Don’t forget, if you join before midnight tonight (Pacific time) you will get both my technique book and my theory book (worth $47 each) posted out to you for free as a welcome gift.

Here is the link to check out the academy.

The Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy


P.P.S. Speaking of power chords – in one of the new DTAA lessons, I show you how to take one of the most famous pieces of music around and turn it into a fun little power chord riff. This is a nice introduction to power chords if you haven’t tried them before.


P.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.

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