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


Email #1…

“Good Morning, Dan!

I am really enjoying being a part of the DTAA. Currently, I am working on the Sounds of Silence. I have a ways to go, but I think I am improving. I also have your Fingerstyle 101 book that I am working through.   

I have been looking through the songs that you have tutorials for, and I see several that I would like to learn:

Hey Joe


Heart of Gold

Here Comes the Sun

I know this could take me years. I guess my question to you would be what should I try next? I have to learn how to walk (crawl?) before I can run, so the easier ones first. 

My thought would be that I would keep working on the Sounds of Silence, and I would start working on another one. I am thinking Hey Joe. Do you think that sounds good, or should I try something easier? 

Thank you”



Glad John is realistic about the time frame it takes to learn songs.

Many are not! (Not the student’s fault but the fact most teachers shy away from the truth about this).

The fact is, it often takes a few years to learn to play a handful of songs to a good standard.


Anyway, if you are like John, and are learning a challenging song, a good way of setting up your practice can be to do this little 3-part routine where you learn a:

  1. Challenging song – Keep working on the challenging song (and aim to perfect it one bar at a time in a super methodical way)
  2. Simple song – Choose a much simpler song that is within your skillset and have fun with (the simpler the better)
  3. A daily technique builder. Spend 10-20 minutes per day doing some sort of technique building exercises or mini routine.

That’s it.

Do that and you have a challenging song with big rewards, a simpler song to have more fun with right now, and some technical work that will help all of your playing, from now till forever.


Anyway, onto Email #2

 In regard to a lesson on “Hotel California”, from my membership programme, this is what Nancy said…

“I started out thinking no way, I can’t do this, it has barre chords… forget it!

I know about barre chords, A shape, E shape, minor, major, and how the chord changes up and down the fretboard, but for the life of me I cannot get a clear sound!

I decided to just try because all of the other chords and transitions are pretty easy, and I thought I would just fake my way through the barre chords. BUT they sounded clear! For the first time!!

I AM SO EXCITED! LOL! I will have to work on the changes because it is hard going from the Bm to F# etc but I FINALLY am getting some clear sound with my barres! I love this song so am super happy. I’m from CA too so makes it more fun!

Dan, this lesson is so clear and super easy to follow

Thanks for a great lesson!”



I love this.

These breakthrough moments are very cool.

We all have them every now and then, and often they come as a surprise.


As you probably know, I am a big fan of methodical, and focused practice (95% of the time).

You do need to just “go for it” every now and then though and see what the heck happens (5% of the time).

When you do just go for it, sometimes not a lot will happen, but sometimes…

Big, powerful breakthrough moments like what Nancy discovered with her barre chords will happen.

It is a very cool feeling.


Keep going, the breakthroughs will happen!

Dan Thorpe

Guitar Domination


P.S. As I mentioned yesterday, the course, The Ultimate Guide to Barre Chords, is on sale for 24 hours from when I sent out that email.

That means, in about 6 hours from now, this sale ends.

If you want in, it is best to get your ice skates on before the grinch takes down the “for sale” sign.

You can find out more below…

Find out more about The Ultimate Guide to Barre Chords


P.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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