Here are two more interesting emails I have got this past week from members of the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy. I hope you find the emails and my thoughts useful…
“Dan, love your teaching methods.
Have been pretty busy putting a new floor down in 2 rooms and a hall.
Hard to get practice time right now. I am 75, so I have all the challenges of age as well as time.
- Unchained Melody
- You Got A Hold On Me
- Amazing Grace
- Can’t Help Falling In Love
- Peace In The Valley
My biggest problem right now is creating muscle memory.
I practice and by the end of 1/2 hour I am pretty good, but then the next day I seem to have to start all over. I want to be able to pick up the guitar and just play a song for my own enjoyment or to sing to my wife.
As I struggle along, I thank you for the courses and I will do better timewise when I finish with this floor (a couple of weeks). I enjoy your material and am so glad I found you”.
There are two things to note here.
The first is about muscle memory, which as some scientists state is more of a form of brain memory.
One thing that can be done to help this is when you learn something new, don’t wait a whole 24 hours before going over it again.
That is a long time.
Instead, you can have a 5-minute or so mini session where you pick up the guitar later on the same day and play through the new notes again without worrying about them sounding great.
Use this mini session purely to recap and remember the ideas from earlier on in the day.
Just a few minutes of this on days when you are learning new things can really help break the dreaded “it’s been 24 hours since I last played it and I can’t remember a thing” feeling.
The second thing is Allan has a plan (as well as a great set list of songs he’s working on).
I love it when a student knows where they are going.
Armed with a plan, good technique, and good learning/practice methods (like the idea above, which is one of multiple you can use to remember more), you can reach some pretty exciting heights with your playing.
Now, let’s just hope Allan doesn’t stick a nail in his hand or anything when doing the floor!
Okay, onto email #2…
“My plan for this month is to focus on nailing common open chord progressions in C and G (picked out of your music theory book, actually).
Starting slow, going for tone and rhythm. It’s also for ear training.
But now and again that pesky Bm shows up which is the 5-barre Am shape. Your dexterity exercises are useful as part of the current regimen. I expect to devour the rest of that barre course in April.
After that is when the Fingerstyle Collection will start factoring in.
It feels really good and motivating to have a longer-term plan of action, knowing I have to get good enough at one thing before I can tackle the next.”
Like I said to Scott, great work in getting a plan together.
As well as being a DTAA member, Scott has some of my other courses.
Instead of tackling them randomly, he has put some thought into which he will use and when, and in a way that suits him and his time constraints.
Planning a little in advance so you know what to practise and when is half the battle.
It is also far better than going “doolally” in the YouTube casino, hoping you will find a plan there.
Anyway, there you go.
Two guitarists who have solid plans to drive them forward.
If you want more help, more of a plan, and more guidance, then you can get it in the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy. There is a whole section on planning and even a 30-day specific plan.
As well as all this, a new bonus will be released tomorrow on how to spice up the most commonly used strumming pattern of all time.
Here is the link to join:
If you want to join, the deadline for the April bonus is tonight at midnight.
The metronome is ticking.
Have a fun day!
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.