Here are two more interesting emails I have got lately. I hope you find the emails and my thoughts useful…


Email #1

This was a reply to me asking a student how he is getting on with this course…


I am very happy with The Fingerstyle Collection course.

So far I’ve watched all the videos, and I decided to start with “Whiskey in a Jar”. Thanks to the skills I learned in Fingerstyle 101 – 2nd edition, I know I can learn this song.

Adding this song alone to my repertoire is worth a lot more than the price I paid. I think having the video and the tabs will help immensely. 

I’ve only started this course today, and I’ve only started attempting one song. I don’t know if I’m doing this right, but it works.

I take each section and learn it with a pick.

 Then when my left hand knows what to do, I need to teach my fingers how to pick it. Seems like a backwards process, but it seems to work better for me. Is this normal? 

 I started with your Fingerstyle 101 a couple months ago, and my fingerpicking is 100 times better. I’ve gone from not being able to fingerpick at all, even though I’ve tried multiple times over the years, to playing “Landslide” all the way through. (without attempting the solo yet).

To be honest, 3/4 speed is crystal clear, full speed is a little dirty in a couple spots but is almost there. I mention this because this is something I didn’t think I was physically capable of a couple months ago.

I truly appreciate what I learned in the course. 




There are few important points Rick makes.

One being the tip about using a pick as you are learning the fretting hand movements for a fingerpicked piece.

I used a similar method with a student who had never fingerpicked but who had played for decades.

It definitely helped.


The other cool thing Rick highlighted was this…

You can surprise yourself and make great progress.

Sometimes much more than you thought was possible.


Part of that is about developing the skills, having the belief, and getting the right tools to help.

If you doubt yourself, stop that.

Now is your time.

Just give it your all and believe in yourself because…

You can do it too!


Okay, onto email #2…

This is an email from Olin in regard to the Classical With a Strap (CWAS) position, I encourage guitarists to sit in.


I understand the benefits. I see why it is a superior position, but I just can’t do it. I’ve known this for decades. I have tried, and it’s just awkward. I’ve forced myself into that position for months.  

I just can’t do it. I may have to work a little harder for some chords, but I have to rest her on my right leg. I just can’t. I’m sorry.

Does that mean I fail?!



There are no “set in stone” rules.

I do prefer students use CWAS but if you have played for a while changing from the “rock” position can be hard…

Especially if you have played for decades.


When I teach brand new beginners, it is easy to get them to sit like this.

This is because they are raw and don’t have 1000s of hours of habits to try to change.

The classical position can be hard to change to for sure.


If it is difficult or awkward, stick with what you know, OR slowly try to transition.

If this is too hard to do, just remember this….

If you ignore this bit of advice but follow 75% of the other technical advice I teach, you will still make great progress and have far better technique than most out there.


Technique is not a yes or no binary thing.

It is a work in progress and something we develop all the time.

Keep that in mind.


Anyway, if you want to learn more about the classical position, and a whole host of other technique fixing tips, then check out my book at the link below.

You can get either the PDF or the paperback:

Fingerstyle 101 – a step-by-step guide to beautiful fingerpicking guitar playing


Enjoy your day!

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.

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