“The guitar is like a universe; you can never come to the end of it.”

That was a line uttered by one of my musical heroes in a cool little interview I watched the other day.


The guitar hero – Paul Simon.

The interviewer – Howard Stern.

It’s a great little interview full of gems (you can find it on YouTube).


Paul tells Howard how he was almost 13 when he got his first guitar.

Howard starts asking Paul about when he started playing his distinct brand of beautiful fingerpicking.

Slightly abruptly, as if to make a point that he had to work at it, Paul says:

“I didn’t start with that.”

He goes on to demonstrate the first song his father taught him.

…The wonderful ballad “Earth Angel” (a great song I first heard in the school dance scene in the movie Back to the Future).


Paul then talks about how 90% of the songs he heard at that time used the same chords.

Do you know what those chords are?

They were the chords that make up the “50s Progression”.

…Which is used in songs such as “Stand By Me”, “Unchained Melody”, and countless more.

In the key of C, that means playing the chords of C Am F G.

…And in the key of G, those chords are G Em C D.


Paul also demonstrates a few different ways of Travis picking.

Including some “boom-chick” as used in a lot of “Sun Records”, the soulful folk style he used in many Simon and Garfunkel tunes, and more.

Anyway, back to that quote about the guitar being like a universe.

It’s very true.

There are always more things to explore, more joy to be had, and more treasure out there awaiting you.

It can be frustrating finding it though, and it took me years to do so.


These days I love pretty much all I learn, but when I started out, I’d love to have known some simple, fun, and impressive pieces to play.

It would have made my journey so much more fun and exciting, that’s for sure.

Well, that’s why I’ve made the new 8th birthday celebration lessons for the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy so much fun.

In these lessons, we’re taking eight different styles and playing them on the guitar.

There are some overlapping techniques making them easier to learn.

…But each sounds very distinct on its own.


Some of these lessons will likely be new stuff for you.

And some will be new takes on old things.

Such as how to convert a super famous strumming pattern and turn it into a beautiful fingerpicking pattern.

How to play some “boom-chick” blues…

A little flamenco guitar…

…Country strumming

…Moving chords around the fretboard.

And so much more….

Including some Paul Simon-style melodic Travis picking (but taught in the simplest way I know possible while sounding wonderful.)


This new bumper edition of the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy lessons is certainly one of the most exciting sets of lessons in the eight years I’ve been at it.

…Especially if you want to be able to play different styles, have more fun, and impress yourself and others.

You can check it out below.

The Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy


The lessons will be out on Friday and if you want them, please be aware the deadline to get them is looming.

Let’s keep the guitar fun.

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.

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.