Here are two interesting emails from this past week. I hope you find them useful…
“You don’t seem to teach professional classical guitar, which is kind of dumb.
After all, playing classical music is probably the fastest way to progress. It will help with ALL the other styles, making them easier to play, faster, and better.
Now, I haven’t seen your program, but I get the sense from the way you talk that you perhaps, don’t teach a lot of classical guitar.
So why don’t you? The best guitarists, after all, are classical guitarists. Every single genre of music comes from it.
Not teaching it is like trying to teach a swimmer to swim fast without proper technique!
(Happens a lot actually)
Classical guitar has a lot more to offer than normal guitar.
So why don’t you teach it?
Second question: Are you related to the swimmer, Ian Thorpe?”
Some interesting stuff there.
Right off the bat, it is clear this chap has never read more than a few emails from me, let alone got any of my books or courses or anything.
Classical guitar has inspired quite a few areas of my playing and teaching.
Years ago, I made it my aim to teach people how to play with the precision, technique, and musicality of classical players, but while showing them…
How to have fun, apply it to folk, fingerpicking, etc. and do so without having to practise scales for 10,000 hours.
In fact, I even created the phrase Classical with a strap, (CWAS for short) as my recommended way of sitting with the guitar.
There you have it, and no Ian Thorpe is no relation (as far as I know), but in primary school, I used to tell everyone the England cricketer Graham Thorpe was my uncle!
Anyway, onto Email #2…
I met a guy who had a Mac, a midi interface, and a Strat.
After 2 years of playing, he could compose impressive short instrumentals with backing tracks & percussion.
His hero was Satriani.
However, when we got a drummer & bass player together to jam, we learned that he could not contribute much.
This was true playing, simple stuff like Johnny B Goode and House of the Rising Sun – tunes that are the roots of most ‘normal’ guitarists.
He really had no gift for playing chords or improvising.
The rest of us were driven by an urge to play the ‘blues’—he liked to play complicated phrases (that a computer might compose).
If I had to offer an analogy, it would be a basketball player who can sink an amazing number of shots from centre but can’t dribble or make a layup.
I tried using computers to compose many years ago.
It helped me feel clever but did nothing for my actual music.
I wasted hours doing this, but when I got into the studio with my band, it all went out the window and the natural stuff which sounded much better started to come out.
Playing real songs along with other musicians is important.
I don’t necessarily mean join a band.
I mean play the songs you know with recordings of the original band playing it.
Find a live recording and jam it with them.
If you can jam with others, even your spouse if they play the violin, or your grandkid with the ukulele, go for it.
It all helps.
I can’t promise to get you jamming along with your guitar heroes overnight, but if you want some structure, guidance, and in-depth lessons on getting there…
Check out my eBook bundle below…
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed those emails and responses!
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.