Welcome to a new post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including thoughts on the fictional character Frankie Presto, some tales of David Gilmour, and more.
Here we go…
#1 – Frankie Presto
I’ve been reading a really enjoyable book lately.
It’s called The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto.
It’s a fictional novel about a guitarist.
This book has been recommended to me quite a few times over the years by various students around the world.
The story centres around Frankie, who learns guitar from his blind tutor around the time of WWII.
Frankie is in Spain, and the country is being torn apart by civil war.
The dictator in charge only wants certain music to be played and there are severe punishments for those who disobey.
Frankie’s tutor, ‘El Maestro’ secretly teaches him how to play the music of Django Reinhardt, and many more.
I’m about 1/3 of the way through the book but am loving it so far.
There’s a great quote from the book when Frankie asks El Maestro about guitar amps.
El Maestro says: “The secret is not to make your music louder but to make the world quieter”.
It’s a lovely quote that sums up the power of the acoustic guitar.
To me, this says, if we play beautifully, with passion, and with heart, then we don’t need 100-watt amps to be heard.
The world will stop to listen.
#2 – David Gilmour’s “limitations”
I was reading a really interesting interview with David Gilmour the other day.
In the interview, he talked about how he went to school with Roger Waters and Syd Barrett.
…But how he wasn’t invited to join Pink Floyd until Syd Barrett’s mental health struggles in the late 60s.
Nobody quite realised David’s ability at first, but when they did, everything changed.
The band evolved into their epic sound and although he doesn’t say it in this interview, to me it seems obvious that David was the driving force behind this.
He talks about his influences, which ranged from Eric Clapton, Leadbelly, B.B. King, Jeff Beck, Roy Buchanan, and Mark Knopfler.
He even said how Eddie Van Halen was an influence.
And what was interesting was how he said:
“I can’t play like Eddie Van Halen, I wish I could.”
I mean, after reading 1000s of comments and replies over the years from you, I’m pretty sure 99% of you would rather hear David than Eddie play.
I love Eddie’s playing for sure and have big respect for what he did, but for me, David is on another level of emotion, passion, and soul.
That’s not just me comparing him to Eddie, but to most guitarists too.
Even the greats find some things tricky and I don’t see it as a limitation.
If David was some crazy two-hand tapping “shredder”, he probably wouldn’t have developed his unique sound that pretty much changed music.
#3 – All quiet lately
The other day I sent out an email about A.I. and the “robots” of guitar.
This was a really popular email with lots of replies.
Although I didn’t get a chance to reply to everyone, I enjoyed reading your comments.
The past week has been super busy here.
Hence, I’ve not been sending as many emails this week.
You might think the ‘Gatekeeper’ has sent the robots to silence me, but no, I’m still here. ha-ha.
As well as having lots of quality time with Archie, I’ve been working on a new course.
I’ll be revealing more about it in the next few days, but let’s just say this is going to be a “cracker” (you’ll see what I mean).
Sometimes I forget just how much time it takes to create a video course, prepare it, record it, edit it, and get it all organised.
I’m lucky I have my small team around me to assist, but still, it takes time.
I know though, this will be worth it, because if you love playing songs in simple but elegant ways, this course will be a really fun one for you.
I’ll write more about it in the next few days, but for now, if you haven’t already checked out my ‘socials’ pages, you can do so below.
There are plenty of little super short videos, tips, and advice from me on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and even TikTok.
You can access my pages on the link below:
I hope you have a great week ahead!
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.