Welcome to a new post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including thoughts on gritting your teeth, Madagascar the Musical, and spiral-bound books.

Here we go…


#1 – Madagascar: The Musical

The other day we went to the theatre.

It was me, Archie, my sister, and my nephew (Lisa and Ned).

The show was Madagascar: The Musical.

Not my first choice for a theatre trip, but it was great to watch with the kids.

I dozed off for a few minutes, but Archie and Ned were transfixed throughout.


At the end, the cast came back on stage and got all the kids dancing (and the adults too).

A few of the songs were a little theatre-esque, but they were very well performed and it was a super fun experience.

Theatre-based music often has a different style to mainstream music in many ways.

Although toned down compared to some theatre songs, there was still a big dramatic edge to the songs.


I’m geeky about music and I can’t help but listen with a keen ear to any music.

What I do is start deconstructing the music a little in my mind, thinking about things such as chord progressions, theory, scales, and other stuff.

For me, that makes things fun, but for anyone improving guitar, I think listening deeply to all music, especially the songs you love, is powerful.

…And working out some of the theory and musical elements behind those songs is a good idea.

It’s the sort of thing that some serious musicians tend to do without really thinking about it.

…And it can be like a way of loosely practising your musical skills when away from the guitar.


#2 – Spiral!

Just a quick heads up in case you wanted to order it, but the spiral-bound copies of Guitarists Get Theory sold out yesterday.

I was surprised by just how fast they sold out.

I wrote a batch of emails promoting the book, which I will have to use in the future (some good ones in there too).

It shows how many of you both appreciate the value of music theory and having a spiral-bound book.

I’m really pleased that I’ve started to release spiral-bound books now and that my publisher has this option.

…Because I know how annoying it is to put a music book on the stand and have it fold shut while in the middle of playing.

Plus, having a book that is practical to use means you are more likely to use it.


It’s like how some students put their guitar in a case and don’t play it because it’s hidden away.

In the past, with students who have done that but lacked motivation to practise…

I’d tell them to try leaving it out of the case and on a stand within easy reach.

For many, that made a difference in the amount of time they’d pick it up and play.

Little things make a big difference.


I urge you to look for those motivating little things where you can.

I’ll be releasing more spiral-bound books in due course, including a brand-new book I’ve started to outline (this is quite a way off though).

Do let me know which book you’d like me to release as a spiral-bound book next.

…And as for the theory book, if you didn’t get a copy because it sold out, I’ll be getting the publisher to print up a new batch, and I’ll be promoting it again in a couple of months.


#3 – Gritting your teeth

Do you have a little voice in your head that tells you negative things?

I know I used to.

I was talking about this with a student the other day.

…And we were discussing how important it is to be kind to yourself when you practise.


When I was learning, I had terrible practice habits, and I’d often make lots of mistakes.

Most of those mistakes were caused by rushing, combined with sloppy technique.

…But instead of taking a deep breath, and telling myself I could do it, I would tell myself things like I was a “talentless hack” (I used to say that a lot!)

Then I’d grit my teeth and try to prove to myself I could do it.


This just meant I’d often rush and try to make up for the mistake.

So, I’d hammer away and try harder.

Really though, I should have tried smarter.

I should have been kinder to myself.

…And slowed things down, breathed, focused on technique, and perfected the song in small chunks – all those things count.


It sounds simple, but if you’re the type who wants progress and wants it right away, try to follow the above advice and, above all, enjoy your practice.

It’s simple, but many often forget that.

Anyway, those are my random thoughts this week.

I hope you enjoyed that.


If you want more help with improving your technique and having more fun on the guitar while fixing the “7 stumbling blocks”, then check this out…

Guitar Domination Super eBook Bundle


Have a great Monday!

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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