the beach boys

Welcome to a new Monday post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including The Beach Boys, avoiding boring practising, and more. Here we go…


#1 – Time is always ticking

Here is something I saw shared on Facebook the other day.

People don’t really have a grasp of how much more 1 billion is than 1 million.

1 million seconds is 11 days.

1 billion seconds is 31.5 years.


I thought that is a useful thing to share and think about, especially for us musicians (where some of us don’t always make the most of our time).

Time is always ticking, and sometimes it is good to have a reminder of this.

It is a little philosophical, but here is a question…


What do you want to achieve in the next month (or roughly 3 million seconds) with your playing?

Having goals, big and small, and thinking about them in relation to time, is a useful thing to do.


#2 – Pete Townshend slams Brian Wilson

Every now and then, I look through a chronicle book of music I have to see the headlines and stories from days gone by.

Today I opened it up to 1966.

On this day in a paper, Pete Townshend from The Who is criticising Brian Wilson from The Beach Boys saying:

“He makes pop music too complex. Good vibrations was probably a good record, but you have to listen to it 90 bloody times to hear what they were singing about.”

That made me laugh.


Personally, I think pop music has gotten way too simple over the years, to the point of every record on the radio now sounding bland, boring, and using the same chord progressions, with the only interesting thing going on being the production (and many of these records are way too over-produced too).


Regardless of what Pete says, complex, simple, or somewhere in the middle, there were many reasons why the old tunes were the best.

One being that musicians who sounded so different, like Pete Townshend and The Who and Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys, were not afraid to do what excited them.


#3 – Boredom feeds laziness

Early on in my teaching career, I realised a very important lesson:

To get students to practise, practice must be fun.

Bored students do not practise – at least not to a good standard.


Also, what bores one student can excite others (e.g., fretboard or theory knowledge).

To further complicate it, some students will find something boring now, but they may love it later on (e.g., again, fretboard or theory knowledge).

Everyone really is unique here.


There is a delicate balance to get between students having fun right now whilst developing new exciting and productive skills for the long term.

I always found it a fun challenge, as everyone is unique.

To summarise, a good takeaway from this is to keep in mind two things:

  • Make sure you have fun on the guitar each day
  • Keep working on the skills that will help you to develop and have even more fun in the future

There you go.

I hope you enjoyed those 3 random thoughts this week.

If you would like more help with the things mentioned above, you may want to check out the Fingerstyle 101 book below:

Fingerstyle 101 – a simple guide to having fingerpicking fun now, and in the long term too


Have a great week!

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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