Here are two more interesting emails I have got lately.
Hope you find these useful…
I recently returned to the guitar, having played a lot as a teenager, and with lockdown I’ve found the time to dust off my old guitars.
I bought your guide to strumming, which I thought was excellent, and I’m trying to work my way through a few fingerstyle arrangements.
I can get through them fine on my Tele, but I’ve dug out an old Washburn and I’m really struggling to fret things properly.
Part of me thinks I just need to get used to it, but I’ve noticed that the Washburn’s neck is slightly bowed and the action at the 12th fret is 3.5mm.
I’m worried I’m flogging a dead horse?
Before I file anything down, I’m going to try some lighter gauge strings 10-47 rather than the 13-56 that I have on there at the moment.
Can I ask what you think?
I’m newish to fingerstyle but probably a rusty intermediate overall. I did get my grade 5 in practical and theory on my electric back in the day.
I get similar questions a fair bit.
Like I told Chris, most guitars can be brought back from the dead to some degree.
With this guitar, it is definitely worth trying the lighter strings first.
I also asked him if he was experienced with tweaking guitars.
If not, I would take it to a specialist luthier.
You don’t want to be filing down the nut unless you really know what you are doing.
This seems like a small job but if you get it wrong you may have to replace the nut and this ain’t no easy job.
Either way, you should always be looking to play a guitar that is comfortable, suitable, and well set up.
Getting this done properly will make everything you do with your playing easier, so it is well worth taking the time to do so.
Right, next one…
Okay, onto email #2…
I was wondering if it is a possibility to have a video loop.
For example, when practicing the “Modern Strumming” pattern, it would be easier if it just looped instead of having to hit rewind.
I have no idea how to do video loops and it may be too difficult, but I was thinking like how you see the TikTok videos, how they keep repeating, that would be cool and beneficial to practicing”.
This was in regard to a lesson I did on strumming recently.
Nancy’s email gave me a good idea.
When teaching one-to-one lessons, I do an exercise with students right after I teach them a strumming pattern.
It involves me playing the pattern over and over in a progressively harder way, while doing so continuously.
It’s a powerful exercise for these reasons:
1 – I keep the tempo slow and steady for them.
2 – The student gets to constantly hear the rhythm, so it gets in their head (very important).
3 – They are forced to strum the pattern a lot in a short space of time. The more you do it correctly, the faster you will learn it. (Most people just strum the pattern a few times and then wonder why it hasn’t stuck).
If you want to improve your strumming, try to do the above.
I.e., keep a slow and steady tempo, listen to the rhythm of the pattern a lot, and strum it a lot.
It’s simple advice, but the art is in the execution.
You can do this on your own, but if you want this exact exercise already created for you, it will be released on Saturday, May 1st for members of the DTAA.
Check out the membership below and then you can get this new lesson when it’s released on Saturday.
Here is the link to find out more:
Keep on strumming!
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.