Welcome to a new weekly post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including thoughts on the fundamentals, new beginnings, and something exciting! Here we go…
#1 – New beginnings
So, it’s been a tough week or so here at Thorpe headquarters.
Me and my partner of four years, Sally, have broken up.
Of course, these things in life happen, and it’s for the best, but I’ll be honest, this is hard.
Not only was she wonderful with my boy Archie (who is 6), but she is a really lovely person, and we had some incredible times…
So, at the end, we both hugged, said how much we loved the good times (and they were amazing) and parted ways.
It’s the end of an era for sure, but now it is time for a new start.
…And it’s been great having the guitar by my side.
I mean, music can be a great outlet for any emotion.
So I’ve been writing a little more music lately.
Writing and creating are very powerful.
I’ll be honest when I’m feeling great about life, I don’t tend to write much music.
I just play and enjoy each moment.
…But during hard times, which are thankfully pretty rare for me, that’s when writing music really comes to the fore.
I mean, how lucky we all are to be able to pick up the guitar and strum or fingerpick some music and share a little bit of our soul.
…Even if no one else ever hears it.
Music can really help in those times.
So, if you ever feel a bit rubbish in life, grab your guitar, take a few simple chords, and write some lyrics.
Even just a few lines you sing while playing, or a few bars of instrumental stuff, can really help exercise these emotions.
It’s not a cure-all, of course, but it helps.
#2 – The fundamentals
I’ve been watching a little bit of the Commonwealth games lately.
I’m not sure if any of you who don’t live in a commonwealth country watch it, but it’s like a smaller version of the Olympics and this year, it’s here in my hometown of Birmingham in the UK.
I’ve been enjoying some volleyball (a sport I used to play a lot), swimming, and athletics.
One thing a lot of the winners have mentioned in their interviews afterwards is something relevant to us guitarists.
…And that’s having a mastery of the fundamentals.
So many winners in sports talk about this.
Most of their day-to-day training is all about doing the nitty gritty stuff over and over again in the best way possible.
For a swimmer, this could be perfecting their dive.
For a volleyball player, it could be drilling their spike.
For a sprinter, it could be repetitively practising getting off the starting blocks.
These things can seem a little boring to those outside the sport, but they are key.
And on the guitar, this sort of thing is key too.
For instance, this might be where you practise one bar of a piece of music over and over and over.
…Where you zone in on each detail, each finger movement, and perfect every transition.
It’s the sort of stuff that makes a big difference, especially when you add it all up.
The good news is that over time, these things all get easier and easier too.
#3 – Something exciting
So, this email started a little downcast but let’s finish with something exciting.
I’ve always wanted to create a short, sharp, and snappy course for students.
A course that will help you fix and improve all the fundamentals in your playing quickly.
…And something that will give you instant “wins” on the guitar.
Well, lately, I’ve been creating this course.
Not only is it fun, with each lesson being short and right to the point, but it is also very powerful.
I’ll be talking more about this in the next few weeks, but this is something I’m super excited to release.
For those new to my methods, you’ll get quick victories with fast results.
For any long-term readers or those who have any of my books and courses…
At the very least, you’ll find this course to be a really good refresher on the key fundamentals that many guitarists miss or forget.
I’ll share more on this soon, but for now, it’s a good idea to have a think about the key fundamentals you’ve discovered over the years.
…The ones that have helped you make the most progress.
And then get refreshing them as often as you can.
Remember, it’s not just athletes who revisit the fundamentals a lot…
…But the musicians who do it tend to make the most progress too.
If you want help with some very important fundamentals that can help fix some of the big errors guitarists make, then you may want to check this out:
Wishing you a happy day of practice!
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.