Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including a Rubik’s cube mistake, an unusual tip, and more.
Here we go…
#1 – I made a Rubik’s cube mistake
A few months ago, I mentioned that Archie and I got a Rubik’s cube.
At first, I was struggling with it, as the random YouTube videos didn’t help.
No two people’s advice fitted together, so this sent me ‘round in circles (a familiar story for guitarists learning via YouTube).
Anyway, I got a book on solving a Rubik’s cube and it really helped.
It was clear and methodical, and after a few days, I completed the cube!
Next, I memorised the moves, and a few weeks later, I completed it in 3 minutes and 14 seconds.
Not very impressive to some of these folk who complete it regularly in less than 60 seconds and not a patch on the world record, which is about 5 seconds!
Anyway, I was pleased I did it and this was just a fun hobby to do for 10 minutes here or there.
The problem is, I made a mistake and stopped practising solving the Rubik’s cube and a week later, totally forgot one of the algorithms (the fancy name for moves that take about 10 steps).
It just goes to show, you have to keep practising.
If not, all that time can be wasted.
On the guitar, I always tell students, small doses of practice done frequently are key.
“Little and often,” as they say.
Useful advice for learning anything – such as a Rubik’s cube – and especially useful advice for learning the guitar.
#2 – An unusual little tip
I talk about video recording yourself playing guitar quite a bit.
Watching your videos back is a great way to analyse your technique and your performance.
Here is a tip to help you take this further though.
…Occasionally, watch the video back…
With the sound off.
…Because the pure video with no sound will give you clear visual clues as to how your technique is.
For example, your fingers might be moving too far from the fretboard or they might be too far from the frets as you play.
If the sound is on and your playing sounds good, you might just think, that’s fine then.
…But there are often a few small things we can work on improving no matter how good the piece sounds.
Watching yourself back without audio occasionally can help identify these points.
#3 – “What should I learn to get good at guitar?”
This is a question beginners often ask.
I have talked about this before but if I had to sum it up in one sentence though, I would say this:
Learn five songs you love from start to finish.
This is simple advice but can be a good first step to getting a student to focus on their priorities.
If you ever feel a bit lost about where to go with your playing, try spending some time thinking of the five songs you would absolutely love to learn to play on the guitar more than anything else.
This advice, although very powerful, is sometimes not what those who want a super-specific practice routine are looking for.
No two students are likely to pick the same songs after all, and all songs vary in skill and complexity.
…But, if you do want a super-specific practice routine that will complement your journey of learning and practising your songs, I have created one.
…And it is something I recommend all students do…
If you missed yesterday’s email, I talked about it there.
It is a new step-by-step workout routine that is like a gym-style workout.
You simply press play on the video and follow the instructions for 12 minutes, playing along with me, and you make progress.
Follow it daily, weekly or whenever you like. The more you use it though, the more your playing will progress.
A good practice routine is to spend most of your time learning five songs you love and then do this 12-minute routine once a day.
This combined is like having the best of both worlds:
- A routine consisting of the songs you love (so you know you will be motivated to practise them)
- Plus, a super-focused routine where you just follow the instructions and make specific daily progress on your technique (thus, helping you play those songs better).
Anyway, this video lesson is for all current Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy members or those who join before the midnight deadline tomorrow night.
Hope you found that useful and enjoy your Monday!
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.