Welcome to a new post with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life. This week my random thoughts are all about the festive period, including thoughts on the gift Santa doesn’t bring, holiday craziness, and 2024.
#1 – Santa doesn’t bring the gift of “Talent”
The other day I put up a Facebook post where I asked…
“If you could have one thing from Santa on your guitar journey, what would it be?”
A few people answered “talent.”
Ah, not that ghastly word.
It’s almost like Krampus giving you a fake gift, where you open up a box which says there is a Gibson Les Paul inside…
Only for you to open it up and find a shovel with rusty strings on it.
The reason I say that is because (as you probably know by now) I do not like the word “talent”.
I’ve seen people who took to the guitar like a duck to water, only to give up a year later.
…And I’ve also seen and taught people who struggled for years on their own go on to become wonderful and confident musicians.
Which camp would you rather be in?
I ask because those who find it easy at first often end up hitting roadblocks later on.
They tend to think the whole journey will be easy.
But those who struggle in the beginning usually quickly become realistic about how the process of learning guitar works.
…And it’s that latter group who, as long as they keep at it, usually grow thick skin, determination, and resilience that the former group does not get.
Even if talent exists to some degree, it is very much overrated (just like the superb book Talent Is Overrated talks about in depth).
#2 – The craziness of Christmas
I often find at this time of year, the days become a bit of a blur.
On Christmas day, I woke up, had a great day and before I knew it, it was bedtime again.
Me and Archie and my family all had a great day at my sister’s house (there were nine of us in total).
We were playing charades, “pub quiz” games, and some good old “table football”.
Of course, when it comes to the quiz games, the music questions were right up my street.
I had to laugh as one question was, “In music, what is the opposite of a sharp?”
I pretty much jumped up out of my seat to answer.
There was no way I could let anyone beat me to that answer (which, of course, is a “flat”).
I would have to retire from teaching music and go live like a monk in the mountains if that happened – haha. Yeah, I am a little competitive, I think.
I loved that day, but for me, Boxing Day was just as good.
Me and Archie had the morning to ourselves to play and enjoyed playing with his new toys and games.
Then in the afternoon, I did a little work and had some relaxing time with the guitar…
…and that was ace too.
Plus, Archie got me some ace guitar teaspoons.
I’m always losing teaspoons somehow, so these were cool.
Did you get any cool guitar-related Christmas gifts?
I always find it fascinating to know what our families and friends buy us at Christmas.
The guitar-shaped spatula I had a few years ago was one of my favourites (and most random).
#3 – The excitement of what’s coming in 2024
Now that Christmas Day is behind us, it’s time to start looking ahead to the new year.
I love Christmas, so when it’s finished, I often find it a shame that it has gone so fast.
Usually, that feeling is very quickly replaced by excitement.
Excitement for the things that are coming.
Excitement for the new year.
…And excitement to release new lessons and resources in the upcoming months.
I’ve got some super exciting things coming in 2024 which I can’t wait to share.
These are going to be really motivating, fun, and exciting.
As I talked about in my recent podcast, I often feel like there are a million things I want to do… courses, books, resources, lessons…
But even with Sofija, my assistant, and a small team of others who help me with other aspects of the business, there is still only so much time in the day.
It’s just like the guitar.
There are probably millions of things that you would love to learn.
Learning it all is not possible, but learning a large variety of exciting things over time is possible and it gets easier and faster the better you get.
Still, it’s so wise to be patient, and not to try to do it all at once.
I rarely have to tell students to “speed up and do more”.
Usually, it’s the opposite.
“Slow down, be organised, work on the fundamentals.”
And, of course, enjoy what you can already play.
I’ll be sharing some tips for helping you to make 2024 the most amazing year possible for you and your guitar playing in the upcoming days.
Anyway, I hope you had a great Christmas, and if you feel ready to take the plunge and get a big dose of motivation, organisation, and inspiration…
All while having clarity, focus, and helping you fix bad habits, then you might want to check out the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy.
I’ve got some great lessons coming on the 1st of January, but if you join today, you can get cracking with the “core” lessons, which are a game-changer for those who take them.
…Especially the “In Focus” course – which you can access right away.
You can find out more about it all below…
Enjoy the festive period!
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.