Yesterday, I got back from a great little trip by the sea.

Here are 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life inspired by that…


#1 – Experiences are everything

There’s a lot to be said for experiences.

I am happy with my life, but it’s so easy to get in a “rut” and just do the same old things.

The past few months, I’ve had a few ups and downs with a relationship ending and stuff.

…But this past weekend was one of the best I’ve had in a long time.


Being with Archie and my family was great.

Things like eating ice cream on the beach, watching Archie’s smile as he went on the “helter-skelter”…

…And eating fish and chips as we watched some live music in Weymouth was ace.

There were loads of special moments.


Experiencing new things is powerful.

There’s a lot of research showing that it’s experiences and not buying stuff that makes people truly happy.

For instance, in the book, 59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman, he shows that those who buy things such as a car get a temporary shot of happiness.

…But those that spend a little money on experiences and enjoying life get more sustained happiness.


Well, it’s the same with the guitar I find.

Sometimes we want to buy more gear and equipment, and for sure that is often necessary, but for more inspiration and happiness, getting out there and living life can be more powerful.

For instance, going to watch an artist you love play live or even just watching a street performer can be super inspiring.

…And that can go a long way on your guitar journey.

This year I vow to do more of that.


#2 – Recharging your batteries

I talked recently about how having a break from the guitar can be important.

Some people think that you must practise every single day.

Well, over the weekend I didn’t play guitar at all.

…But as soon as I got through the door after taking Archie to his mom’s house, what did I do?

…I picked up the guitar and had a jam.


Having a little break here and there is great for recharging the batteries.

In fact, I remember when I went travelling ‘round western Europe 20 years ago.

I didn’t play guitar for months.

When I got home, I was worried I’d be awful.

…But a strange thing happened.


I picked up the guitar and didn’t feel any worse than before I left for my travels.

Sure, I was rusty, but all the things that I could do in my sleep before I left were all still there.

My chords, chord changes, scales, riffs, and songs flowed from my fingers pretty quickly.

It was only the stuff that I hadn’t really solidified before I left that I forgot.


That was a powerful lesson to me back then that I still talk about with students.

…Because there’s a tipping point with learning anything.

Once you get to a point where you are super comfortable with something, the brain gets wired to do it on autopilot.

Now, of course, I’m not saying don’t practise.

…But if you just get 3-5 things you can play absolutely rock solidly to the point you can play them in your sleep, then it’s hard to not have them in your repertoire for life.

Knowing that can be very powerful on your journey, especially when combined with good regular practice!


#3 – Learning to swim

One of the highlights of the weekend was a very special one.

Me and Archie went to the swimming pool.

He has never quite learnt how to swim and has never been that confident in the water.

…But all of a sudden, he started swimming.


At first, he made it a few metres before stopping.

Then, I encouraged him some more.

“Go for it, you’ve got this,” I said.

“Nah, Dad, that’s enough swimming for me,” he said after he accidentally swallowed a little water.

“You can do it,” I said.


I promised him a reward from the gift shop if he could do a couple of widths.

His eyes lit up, and he swam a whole width of the pool, pushed off the side and did it again.

I am extremely proud of him.

…And truth be told, he surprised himself with this.


It’s just like I’ve seen with many students over the years.

Some students have been hesitant to try things often because of past experiences.

…But when gently nudged, they try something new and they realise they can actually do it.

It’s such a cool thing to see and can really give them more self-belief.

I say to everyone, it’s a good thing to look back on those times when you surprised yourself on the guitar.

…Because those breakthrough moments are very special, they should be cherished, and they can give you future belief for the next thing.


I hope you enjoyed that.

This week, I’m finally releasing the spiral-bound book version of Guitarists Get Theory.

There are a limited number of copies that have been printed, and a while back I decided I wanted to make this release very special, so I spent a fair bit of time creating some very special online resources to go along with the book.

I’ll be revealing all this week, but for now…

I hope you have a great week ahead!

Dan Thorpe


P.S. If you’re not as fussed about theory and you want to get started with the basics of playing and making some immediate progress, then you may like to check this out:

Find out more about the 7-Day Transformation course


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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