Here are two more interesting emails I have got lately. I hope you find the emails and my thoughts useful…
Thank you for the email and all the information.
I am a complete beginner. I have always wanted to learn to play the guitar, ever since I was a child, but due to a lack of funds, I never got round to it.
I finally bought myself an acoustic guitar and tried a few tutorials on YouTube and online, even bought some material that did not cater to my needs and ended up getting a refund.
Stumbled upon your Facebook for fingerpicking for those over 40 and thought this might be a good fit.
I have now placed my order, I am excited to start this journey and a bit nervous too.
I am glad that Graziella took the plunge.
Also, there was something she mentioned which I don’t think enough people talk about.
At first, learning guitar can be extremely nerve-wracking, especially if this is a dream you have had for a long time.
I mean, we all have doubts about ourselves from time to time:
“Am I good enough? Am I too old?”, “What if I’m rubbish?”
“What if I play for someone and they laugh?”
“Am I pouting too much when I play?” (okay, the last one is just me, maybe).
Anyway, I don’t think enough credit is given to anyone who starts this guitar journey, and…
You can multiply that x 10 for anyone who sticks with it, especially during the early tough days and the inevitable setbacks.
Nothing tested my mettle in life as much as the guitar in the earlier days, but apart from being a father to a wonderful boy, nothing has given me more pleasure either.
I don’t say it enough, but huge credit to you all for sticking with the journey, and thanks for letting me be a part of it.
Now, let’s all wish Graziella and all the other new starters the best of luck.
Anyway, onto Email #2
Bob here. My fingers are not getting real sore from pressing down too hard.
Now I’m concentrating on not squeezing hard with my thumb, and where my thumb is when I move up the fretboard. Thanks to you.
I still have some trouble with hitting other strings when fingerpicking chords. Especially when I first pick up the guitar and start. I suppose that just takes much practice.”
It sounds like super progress from Bob.
I always love to hear about students’ progress.
In terms of the errors Bob is making when he picks up the guitar, this is not too uncommon.
If you have a similar issue, a way to solve it is to have a 2-5-minute routine you do before you do your usual practice.
For fingerpickers, here is something you can try:
- A minute of deep breathing exercises to relax you and get you in the mood.
- Play a simple fingerpicking pattern played over and over on one chord, nice and slow.
- Gradually add in more chords or patterns as you see fit
There are lots of things you can do, and the above is just one idea.
The key is to do a little routine like this with real focus and ensure your mind switches off from the day so you get fully into guitar mode.
This doesn’t have to be long at all and is not something you want to do for longer than necessary.
The benefits are great though, as it will help you build up good habits, improve your technique, give you more confidence, and start you off on the right foot for your session ahead.
It is a simple idea, but one which may make your practice sessions even better and help you make more progress.
Speaking of making great progress, have you checked this out?
It is the new Mini-Masterclass teaching you how to Travis pick, play a solo fingerstyle arrangement, sing and strum/fingerpick, and much more – all while adding a classic song to your repertoire.
Enjoy the rest of your week!
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.