Welcome to a new Monday email with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including ski jumping, a key skill, and more.
I’ve been enjoying watching the Winter Olympics recently so here’s a Monday special all about it and all related to guitar…
#1 – Focused repetition wins medals
I was watching the biathlon which I think of like a James Bond sport – you have skiing and shooting.
The winner who crossed the line in the relay event (I think) Elvira Oeberg was composed as anything.
Others were missing the targets with the shooting, but under big pressure, she stayed composed knowing a miss or two more would let the opponents snapping at her heels take over.
The commentators talked it up to her years and years of repetitive training on the skis and in the shooting range that got her there.
This is very much like what Pam was saying in the Fingerstyle 101 group last week.
She said this:
“Still go back to Fingerstyle 101 at least once or twice a week now and find that these patterns are becoming ingrained to the point that I am able to just sit back, relax, and go the “no brainer” route for a half hour or so while watching my grandkids at the playground. Added bonus is that these pieces are actually pretty to listen to, and I don’t even realize I’m practicing. Learning guitar has been such a struggle this late in life, but OMYGOODNESS the rewards are soooooo worth it.”
That goes to show how focused repetition and practice are insanely powerful.
Day in and day out, working on what you love and doing it with passion.
It’s how gold medals are won and how people become guitarists and how guitarists become rounded musicians.
Right next one…
#2 – Ski jumping and guitar playing
Some of the things these skiers do are insane.
Like ski jumping 100 m through the air.
I guess that is the closest to flying people do without using actual wings.
I’ve been skiing on two holidays and loved it both times.
The one time I jumped over this little mound of snow and felt like I was king of the world flying through the sky…
Then I looked back and saw others jumping over it, and I realised this was a tiny jump and we were all getting about 3 inches off the ground.
Ha-ha. Better than nothing though.
Skiing was very much like guitar playing in that I had no idea what I was doing at first, and everything felt ridiculously unnatural (like the art of changing chords).
When it clicks, it feels great though, and you get the wonderful moment of feeling the wind rush past you as you glide down a long slope heading for a well-earned beer or coffee.
This is very much like the thrill we get on guitar.
Yeah, the guitar is a little more introspective, but I’d argue there’s no better thrill than making music on guitar.
For me, this definitely brings on that same rush of emotion that sports like skiing have (yet without the danger of course!)
#3 – The leaderboard!
One thing I like about the Olympics is the leaderboards showing all the medals that each country has won.
A while back, this inspired me to create my very own leaderboard for the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy.
Here’s how it works…
All members earn points for logging in, interacting, using the lessons, and generally being proactive and engaged in the membership.
The winner each month gets a prize posted to their door for winning.
Well, up till now…
I’ve decided to change things up for March.
There are now three prizes: gold, silver, and bronze.
I.e., positions 1, 2, 3 on the leaderboard – all three will get a prize sent to them with gold, of course, being the best prize.
This is fun and motivating for members, especially those who like to see leaderboards in things like the Olympics and those who like to see their names up in the stars.
Anyway, it’s all fun, and if you want to be part of it, you can find out more about the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy as the cart is now back open (until the end of the month).
Have a great 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.