Lately, I’ve been talking about fingerstyle, but in the next couple of emails…

I’ll be talking about other subjects such as strumming, the blues, and picking-hand “anchoring” (with some advice on these subjects).


Today, let’s talk strumming… 

Strumming is always a hot topic, as some people struggle with strumming and can only strum in a really “flat” way.

I think of it as watching a hospital drama such as E.R.

We’ve all seen the drama unfold 1000 times….


Someone is lying in a hospital E.R. room after a brutal accident.

They’ve lost pints of blood. The dramatic music is deafening. The doctors are frantically trying to save the patient.

…And with a crescendo, everything stops.

There is silence.

The doctors look at each other with heavy eyes.

And beeeeeppp…

The monitor “flatlines”.


Yes, that dramatic little situation is like some people’s strumming.

It can be as “flat as a pancake” as we say here in England (does that phrase get used anywhere else?)

Well, in the show, the doctors have a choice…

Do they try to get their patient’s heart beating again and add a pulse, or do they accept defeat?


Well, I want to show you how to add a heartbeat to your strumming.

The truth is, if you’ve struggled with strumming in the past, there are a few things you can do.

The conventional way to improve your strumming is to learn specific strumming patterns, work on your strumming technique, and practise songs that use those strumming patterns.

That all works.


…But after a while, you want to think about strumming differently.

That is…

Where you think about strumming certain strings to bring out different flavours within a chord.

…You experiment with strumming the “bass” and the “treble” strings at different points to create more groove and energy.

…And you play about with key elements such as dynamics, strumming pairs of strings, and highlighting the variety of tones on offer within the chords you strum.

All of these things make a big overall difference to how smooth and professional your strumming can sound.


It is very eye-opening and can be lots of fun.

You can practise this on one chord too, which makes it all easier to do.

Now, this is not the easiest thing to practise on your own and that is why I will show you how to do this in a new Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy lesson coming on Friday.

This lesson is a rather unusual lesson on strumming that is, in many ways, the opposite of how most people are taught to strum.

Yet it will get you thinking about strumming differently for sure.


It’s a beginner-friendly “play-along” lesson you can do with me in the video, which will make learning and practising these ideas far simpler.

You’ll discover the sort of things that most pros do as well as those seasoned strummers who impress at open mics.

It took me about 10 years or so from when I started playing to get a lovely natural strumming touch like this.

…But this video can save you a lot of time getting there.

Yeah, it takes practice and I urge you to watch the video multiple times (it’s only just over 10 minutes, so that is easy).


Anyway, if you want this lesson, I’m releasing it as part of the new bundle of lessons inside the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy.

The new lessons will be out on Friday, September 1st, and you can find out more about the academy below.

Find out more about the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy


Keep on strumming…

Dan Thorpe

Guitar Domination



P.S. If you join the Academy by midnight on the 1st of September, you’ll also get my brand-new No Chord Fingerstyle Mini Masterclass for free.

Here’s a little about the course…

In this course, you will learn 3 stunning arrangements of the classic tunes of “Amazing Grace”, “Streets of Laredo”, and “America the Beautiful”.

All three songs are timeless classics that have been recorded by the likes of Chet Atkins, Johnny Cash, Carlos Santana, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, LeAnn Rimes, Beyonce, Jimi Hendrix, Tommy Emmanuel, and 100s more famous artists and legendary guitarists.

If you ever wanted to play simple songs that sound rich, vibrant, beautiful, and melodic, all without painstaking practice, this is the course for you.

…So, head below if you want to get started with this exciting new course today.

The Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy


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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