Here is a 10-second tip for you to enjoy.

It is all about “syncopation”.


Now, for some, this is a fancy-sounding word.

…But the basic meaning behind the word syncopation is that we accent the offbeat in music.

When done well, it sounds fantastic and can add so much more groove to a piece.

Yesterday, I mentioned my new YouTube video on Travis picking.

That had some very nice feedback (so thanks for that).

…But it was very much an introduction to Travis picking.


That video is about keeping things simple and playing only on beats 1 2 3 4.

…But what about the “and” in between those beats?

You can count out music as:

1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and

There are lots of ways to use syncopation by focusing more on playing on the “and” in between the beats.


It’s never the easiest thing in the world to describe rhythm in text, but the main point of this tip is to get you thinking about the importance of syncopation.

It’s used a lot in music in a variety of ways.

Genres such as reggae and funk put a lot of emphasis on syncopation, but pretty much all music uses it to some degree – especially when there is some sort of groove.


Speaking of Travis picking, one of the coolest things you can do is play a basic old-school Travis picking pattern like I taught in yesterday’s YouTube video…

And add in one single pluck in between the beats.

I usually do it on the “and” of beat 2.

It’s lots of fun.

…But if you want a detailed breakdown of how to Travis pick with syncopation, aka, lots of groove…

In my Fingerstyle 101 Video course, I created a special bonus lesson that gives you a ten-step breakdown on this all taught in a very steady way.


The book version of Fingerstyle 101 is great, but many people tell me they get extra benefits seeing the examples in action – this 10-step Travis picking lesson is one such example where I think seeing it in video is essential.

Here’s the link to find out more about the video course.

Find out more about the Fingerstyle 101 Video Course


Most of all, keep on enjoying your playing and keep on groovin’

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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