Last night, I woke with a jolt in the middle of the night.
I heard a booming anguished cry, the sound of strings twanging, and wood cracking.
I frantically ran to my living room to see a very overweight guy in a red suit holding the smashed remains of one of my guitars.
“Ho, Ho, Ho,” he said meekly in embarrassment.
After rubbing my bleary eyes, I realised it was of course…
“Dan, my dear boy, I’m so sorry,” he said.
“I was delivering presents for Archie and you, and I saw this guitar of yours and wanted to play it”.
Santa explained how he had always wanted to learn guitar.
And how he was looking forward to romancing Mrs Claus with a rendition of “Auld Lang Syne” for the new year…
…But he explained that after hours of frustrating practice, his face burned redder than ever, and he smashed the guitar up.
“Please calm down, Mr Claus,” I said softly as I picked up the remains of the guitar.
“Everyone finds learning guitar incredibly hard at first”.
Santa told me he was new to guitar, he wanted to learn it in one week (which is crazy – even for Santa), and that he had never played an instrument before in his life.
As we sat down for a mince pie and a glass of brandy, Santa asked me for advice.
Here’s what I told him…
1 – Practise every day
Instead of sleeping through January, get up and practise – even for just 5-10 minutes per day, but 20 minutes is a good amount (if you can do it, more is ideal, though).
Most people can do this – even the super busy ones.
2 – Sit with the guitar using good posture
Delivering billions of presents each year puts a strain on the back.
It is important to look after your body and get in the ideal position for playing. It’s good for your back and makes playing easier.
3 – Warm up properly before you play
It’s super cold up at the North Pole. You must physically warm up the hands, and do some gentle finger stretches before you play.
Don’t dive right into the tough stuff or you risk injury.
4 – Get the elves to make a guitar that suits you
If you don’t play a suitable guitar, everything becomes harder than it should be.
Take the time to find a guitar that is ideal for you.
5 – Believe in yourself
I told him, “You are Santa, and you have achieved great things, but even the most confident of people can lack self-belief when learning guitar at first”.
…Especially those learning later on in life.
You need to believe in yourself, and one way to do this is to think about the good things you have already done in life.
Nothing is easy at first but just like driving, cooking, golf, sewing, archery, sleigh riding with eight reindeer, or whatever else…
Playing the guitar eventually does become a natural feeling.
It takes time, so enjoy it all!
So, there I was…
I gave Santa a plan, gave him a copy of my eBook bundle, and sent him on his merry way.
The tools he needed were all inside. (Check out the bundle HERE if you want guidance and specific fixes).
He knocked back the sherry (that guy can drink), and off he went with a sparkle in his eyes as he was on his merry way to deliver presents throughout the world.
I have a feeling that no doubt by the end of 2023, Santa will be rocking his guitar.
And so that’s that.
I hope you enjoyed that fun little story and thanks for reading my humble little emails this year.
I wish you and your family…
A rockin’ and very Merry Christmas!
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.