When Archie was a baby, I’d take him for lots of walks.

He’d be in his pushchair and would often have a nice little nap.

Sometimes, he was just too excited and looking around at the big crazy world to sleep… even though he really needed to nap (he wasn’t a great sleeper as a baby).

To help him sleep, I’d play some songs on my phone.


The songs that worked more often than not were:

  • “Easy” by Faith No More (a cover of the Commodores’ classic “Easy Like Sunday Morning”)
  • “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding
  • “More Than Words” by Extreme

Those were the main ones that would help him relax so he could have his nap.

Even up till about a year ago, Archie would love hearing these songs at bedtime.

Most nights he’d ask for “Easy” which meant me grabbing my guitar and us playing it.

…But now he’s past the stage of having a sing-song with his old man at bedtime.


It was a special time, and it’s hard not to reminisce about it occasionally… especially now Archie is 8 and growing up fast.

Well, all of this is a bit sentimental, but so much of music is.

…And with February being the month of love and Valentine’s Day and all, I thought it’s well worth touching on these things.

For many of us, our love of music is often why we learn guitar.

…And there’s a reason why so many of the biggest hits of all time have the word “love” in the title (I bet you can name dozens).


Well, when it comes to love and relationships, I’ve had my ups and downs and a few relationships have fizzled out over the years (although I have been dating someone lovely called Emma for about 9 months now, which is going nicely).

Speaking of love, last month in my membership programme, I gave the members a challenge.

I wrote down the notes that make up a famous tune (in actual written notes, not musical notes).

The idea was that they would find these notes on the guitar and as they are playing them, the song would reveal itself.

It was a lot of fun.


I also promised that I’d take that piece of simple music and turn it into a No Chord Fingerstyle arrangement.

That is something I’ve done this month.

It’s a tune that Mozart loved so much that he created his brilliant “Twelve Variations” of it.

…And the tune dates back to 18th-century France (a country, of course, associated with love and romance).

It’s one of the loveliest melodies around, yet it’s so simple.

The song is originally called “Ah vous dirai-je, Maman”, also known as “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” when the words are put to it.

This is another tune that reminds me of Archie as a baby and if you’ve got kids or grandkids, the melody might bring back special memories for you too.


In some ways, it’s quite a left-field choice of song to play and learn. (I like to do this every now and then).

…But there are so many reasons why learning simple and famous songs is a good idea.

…Including being simpler to play than most songs out there, instantly recognisable, short, and therefore less difficult to remember, lots of repeating parts (again making it easier to remember), having scope to embellish, etc.

Plus, as I always say, playing any song well will help you improve your musicality…

The way I see it, you have a choice.


You can take a hard and challenging song such as “Bohemian Rhapsody” and try to learn a fingerstyle version of it, spend months or years battling the stretches, potentially straining yourself, and even developing bad habits as you try to force things.

(Years ago, I started learning Edgar Cruz’s famous fingerstyle version of “Bohemian Rhapsody” by the way. I loved it. I got about 80% of the way through even though I’d spend about 30 minutes a day on it for months – even then it was a big challenge – but I will go back to it).

Or you can learn a simple song that sounds beautiful and will help to improve your dexterity, build good habits, and better your musical skills and timing while having fun.

…And without painstaking effort.


So, if you want to learn a song like this, and one that the great Mozart was such a fan of, then you might like to check out the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy.

Even if you’re not a fan of the tune, you can treat it like a very powerful exercise in learning music effectively and building up good habits.

The lesson is basically simple bass notes + a melody that will improve all your skills.

Also, one cool thing about this tune is that, even though this lesson is a bit of a bonus, I talk about how I create my own fingerstyle arrangements, give you some pointers on how you can create your own, and explain the only two things that matter when you create your own arrangements. I used to get this wrong until I realised most of the time, simplicity wins.


Simple played well, beats tricky played badly every time – especially for those struggling.

I don’t think that gets said anywhere near enough in the music tuition world.

Anyway, enough yapping about that, I could talk about this sort of thing for days.

But if you want to learn a fun song today, taught in video with TAB and notation and featuring a very cool ending where I spice up the piece somewhat with a little “fretboard fill” then check out the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy.


Join by tomorrow night and you will get this lesson plus the other new February lessons.

The Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy

Keep on lovin’ your music

Dan Thorpe

Guitar Domination


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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