protect your process

There’s an old and crazy bit of footage on the internet of actor Christian Bale.

It’s where he has a screaming meltdown and a nasty rant at a colleague during a movie.


This was 14 years or so ago. The movie was Terminator Salvation and the colleague was the director of photography.

Apparently, this poor gent made an error and ruined a scene.

So Christian flips out.

…And it’s bad.

He tears the poor guy to shreds, makes himself come across as a nitwit, and he probably lost a lot of fans over that.

I’ve always been a big fan of his, but that was awful.


Anyway, I don’t bring this up to hate on my fellow countryman, and this was long in the past, but it reminded me of something important for us guitarists…

“Protecting your process.”


This is something we need to do on guitar.

Serious actors like Christian Bale, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, etc., all have a process when acting.

They get deep into the role using “method” acting where they live and breathe the character – even when not filming.

I once read Christian only ate one apple and drank one cup of coffee per day when getting ready to film The Machinist (crazy dedication).

These guys get so into their roles and they make better movies for it.


For guitarists, we can do a little of the same.

By that I mean, making sure your practice time is your time.

No distractions.

Just your moment to have a little time to yourself each day with your guitar.

I’ve always made sure whoever I live with knows that when I go upstairs and shut the door for a little while, that is my time with the guitar.

These days, it’s easy to get my practice time in, as the house is all mine when Archie is at school.


Still, it might not be that easy for you to get that sort of quiet, distraction-free practice time in.

I once had a student whose life was so busy, he joked he would take his guitar with him and practise in the car before work!

Anyway, it’s super important to always make sure you get that quiet time every day.

For the super busy, that might be just 5-15 minutes, or for you, it might be an hour or so per day.


Obviously, we don’t want to do a Christian and go crazy over it, but having that distraction-free “me” time can be invaluable.

…Because being able to practise with 100% concentration is far more valuable than practising at 70-80% concentration.

If the TV is on, there’s noise that is bugging you, or something is on your mind that’s stopping you from getting in the zone…

Do your best to either remedy it (if possible) or switch off from it for a while so you can make this practice time fully yours.


Then, when you step out of your studio…

You’ll hopefully feel refreshed and happier, knowing you’ve had a productive session and made some good progress.

This, in turn, can have a nice positive effect on the rest of your day.


For more help on exactly what to practise when in your practice room, you might want to check out the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy.

Inside is the “In Focus” course, which will take you from beginner to intermediate guitarist in potentially around 6-12 months (depending on your current skill level and your discipline).

Simply follow one lesson per week in the exact order laid out and you’ll see results.

The Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy


Have a great day!

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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