Splinters are bad for guitarists!


The other day, it was a brutally windy day.

There were not one, but two fence panels in the garden lying on the ground like defeated knights after a battle.

“Do you want me to help you put them back in, Dad?” said Archie.

“Thanks, son,” I said with a smile, “but it’s too awkward and I don’t want you to get hurt.”

After all, the wooden panels were taller than Archie.

I was thinking I’d have to wait for someone to come and help, so we carried on playing football.


I’m getting some work done on the garden in a few months, but seeing the fence panels lying there on the ground bugged me.

And then there was a slightly foolish moment…

“Let me see if I can do it on my own,” I muttered to myself.

Archie was happily practising some football drills.

So I picked up the first fence panel, raised it up above my head, slotted one side in and then…

A huge gust of wind.

I’m there with a 5 ft-by-5 ft fence panel above my head, feeling like I’m ready to take off!

…But undeterred, I got one side in, lifted the other.

…And boom, the fence panel went in.


Well, I didn’t quite expect that.

So I grabbed the next one and did the same. It was more awkward, but voila, after lots of huffing and puffing, it went in.

Phew, the garden looked so much better.

But alas, I had a few splinters in awkward places on my hands.

Never good for a guitarist.

If only I’d waited for help, it would have been so much easier.


Getting help when needed is always useful.

On the guitar, many of us try to learn on our own.

…And learning in pure isolation is rarely a good thing.

That’s why I say… try to be part of a community.

Learn alongside others.

Comment, interact, share advice, wisdom, and encouragement.

It’s useful not only for others, but I truly find those who do this… get great benefits from the community.


There are two communities I have set up over the years.

The first being the Fingerstyle 101 Facebook group, which is open to anyone who has any of my paid products (this keeps the community strong, spam-free and relevant), but you can join by just getting any of my products – even the super inexpensive ones.

The second community is the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy (which will open up for enrollment for new members again in a few months). Inside, I’ve set it up so all members can leave comments and interact. It’s a powerful little feature and we all love to read the comments – even members who are the quieter type tell me they love these.

Anyway, that’s the first point I wanted to make – don’t learn alone when you don’t have to.

Have questions?

Ask others for some guidance. It really does help.


The second point is…

Getting good at anything and your guitar playing, is ultimately something you are in charge of.

No one is magically going to make it happen.

Just like those pesky fence panels wouldn’t put themselves back in place or no one was magically going to turn up and give me help.

…But it’s a good thing in many ways because you are in total control of your destiny.


Setbacks happen, but they are like pesky splinters.

The splinters will go, your hands will heal.

…And with focus, motivation, and determination, you can be the musician you want to be.

Never forget that.

You can do it.


Let’s hope there are no more gale force winds – gotta protect my hands after all!

Dan Thorpe

Guitar Domination


P.S. For more help with your playing, especially the art of fingerpicking, you might like to check this out.

Fingerstyle 101 – a step-by-step guide to beautiful fingerpicking guitar playing


P.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.

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.