Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including thoughts on resistance, the power of contrast, and ending mistakes for good.
Here we go…
#1 – Resistance
Do you ever feel any resistance to playing or practising your guitar?
For instance, you know you should be practising, but you find other things to do instead.
E.g., you check your phone, take the trash out, or tidy up something around the house, etc.
Most of us have those moments.
I wonder why we sometimes put off practising the guitar.
Often, for me, it’s not that I don’t want to practise, but that I want to be in the right mindset to practise.
…And have everything ‘just right’ and ready to go.
Sometimes, though, I find that when I just pick up the guitar and have a quick blast, that is when I’m most productive.
…And those little mini-sessions are the best ones I have.
I encourage all students to pick up the guitar a few times a day here and there when they can.
Multiple mini-sessions to go alongside your main practice session can be super powerful.
…But if you ever feel the ‘resistance’ to practising, it’s worth acknowledging this feeling.
Then just make yourself pick up the thing and play something fun for a minute or two.
Literally, no thinking – just playing, and pure fun.
That’s one way to flip this resistance on its head.
#2 – The power of ‘contrast’
In music, contrast is such a powerful thing.
It’s something that doesn’t get talked about enough.
We hear contrast all the time in great music.
Quiet sections followed by loud sections.
Melodies that have deep low notes followed by soaring high notes.
Different rhythmic shifts where there are slower notes, followed by sections of faster notes.
Verses with more sombre minor chords and choruses with more upbeat Major chords.
All these things are powerful.
A lot of great songs in all genres use contrast like this.
It’s well worth looking out for this sort of thing in the music you listen to and in the songs you love.
The more you study music on a deeper level, listening to the fine details, the better it can be for your understanding of music and your musicality.
#3 – Ending mistakes
There’s nothing really more frustrating on the guitar than making the same mistakes when you practise.
…But mistakes are actually okay if you can spot them.
That’s because if you can clearly see what mistakes you are making, you can immediately get to work fixing them.
When I was learning, I wasn’t very fussed about focusing on fixing mistakes.
If I’d pick the wrong strings or fret the wrong note, I’d try the whole piece again – usually from the same spot and playing it at the same tempo.
When I’d finally nail it through ‘pot luck’, I’d then move on to something else.
This method of practice was far from effective.
The funny thing is this is how a lot of guitarists tend to practise.
…But when I’ve analysed my students and guitar-playing friends of mine over the years, I noticed all the best ones did something different.
They would often slow it all down, focus deeply on the details, practise the same small sections over and over, and more.
These are things I encourage a lot.
…And over the last few months, I’ve been refining and tweaking a way of practising based on these principles, and I’ve put it together into something I call the ‘10x method’.
The great thing about this is that it is a very simple way of practising.
It removes the guesswork out of your practice, it helps you focus on fixing mistakes and frustration, and it helps you make genuine daily progress.
Anyway, this is a brand-new lesson I’ve just released in the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy…
…And just like the 10x method itself, the lesson is short, concise, and is something you can use today to make better progress.
If you want this lesson, plus the new 12-bar blues song lessons, and a lesson on how to master your rhythm skills once and for all, then check out the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy below.
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.