Here are two more interesting emails I have got lately.
I hope you find the emails and my thoughts useful…
“I enjoy your emails and have purchased a couple of books from you, including the one on fingerstyle for beginners.
I restarted playing the guitar, after a 45-year hiatus, during the pandemic.
I have just been diagnosed with two types of cancer, not serious, but chronic types, and I have read that music therapy helps with these conditions.
Guitar is now much more important to me.
Thanks for being there, and always encouraging us old-timers.”
Always sad to hear news of cancer, but I am glad Bill says it is not serious.
Glad to hear the guitar is important to him too – it can be an amazing friend.
I remember a student of mine called Phil from a few years back.
He stopped lessons for a while as he found out he had stage 3 lung cancer.
Then he came back about 12 months later, and he was so pleased to be back playing.
Honestly, this was one of my favourite lessons.
Although he was rusty, his playing was great.
It was full of passion, emotion, joy, and more.
I guess his experience and what he went through with various treatments helped him to enjoy the guitar more and really let go.
You hear lots of stories like this – how great songwriters take terrible experiences and turn them into a song – sometimes it’s to vent, sometimes to channel their emotions, sometimes to share the moment and tell others you are not alone.
Anyway, good luck to Bill – I wish him a speedy recovery and love that the guitar is there for him.
Onto Email #2
“I’m 85 years old, have a lot to learn, time is wasting.
The last time I had lessons was 1944, and all I did then was strum and sing cowboy songs of the 40s.
My guitar lessons involved picking the lower strings with my thumb and the higher strings with my index, middle, and ring fingers. Also, some strumming and singing the good old cowboy, western songs.
I worked as a machine designer, manager in a large company, private investigator, dog trainer, and retired when I reached 80 years old.
About 10 years ago, bought a D1 Martin, the action is tough on my fingers, but I’m working it out. I made up my mind to try some fingerpicking before “I Turn the Last Page” in life.
Now live in NC on 82 acres. Still manage to get out and work and practice your lessons on the guitar.
Your course I find easy to follow and I enjoy an hour or so a day plunking away!
Keep up the good work!”
Wow, I find this very cool and pretty crazy.
Allen’s last guitar lesson was when World War II was happening.
So much has changed since then in the world of music and guitar tuition.
These days, there are vast amounts of good quality affordable guitars, endless lessons you can learn on the net, and often, a less metronome-heavy and more laid-back attitude to learning music.
The changes are mostly good, but there is something to be said about having too many lessons and too many songs.
Too much choice can be overwhelming and can lead to inaction and stagnation.
I always say…
It is far, far better to learn one thing well than ten things badly.
…Or as my granddad would say, “don’t try and be a jack of all trades, or you’ll end up a master of none”.
Good advice I took to heart.
That sort of mentality is why I created a course where I teach just one song.
Yep, one song, but taught really in-depth and in a variety of ways.
If you need focus, a cracking song in your repertoire, and you like to Travis pick or you want to learn, then check out this step-by-step course…
The song is Tom Dooley, and the course is a “mini masterclass” where we go really in depth on the song and techniques.
It is on sale for about another 6 hours from when I hit send on this email.
As Tom Dooley is an old cowboy-style traditional song, I reckon Allen may enjoy this one too.
Hope you enjoy it too if you check it out.
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.