Here are two more interesting emails I have got lately. I hope you find the emails and my thoughts useful…
I’ve been going through your Fingerpicking 101 book.
I’ve enjoyed not only the tunes but your instruction that goes with each exercise. The tips about how to hold the guitar, putting the least amount of pressure on the strings to get a clear sound…etc. have kept me busy.
Today, I revisited a song I’ve always loved… “Suzanne” by Leonard Cohen
I’ve tried to fingerpick it before & my fingers would get tangled up. When I played it today, my fingers behaved better. I took the time to figure out what my fingers were doing, and it’s the ultra-flexible pattern described in your book. Success!
I’m always reading…just 10 minutes a day to improve…
My progress has slowed down toward the end of part 2, but I’ll keep on working toward perfecting the patterns”.
Like I said to Lucia, great work.
These emails are the kind I love to get…
The ones about students taking the skills they learn from what I teach and running with them.
There is a vast world of music out there, and no one single person can teach it all.
Therefore, it is important students connect the dots, so to speak, and put what they learn to good use.
Lucia did a great job doing this, and Leonard Cohen, what an artist. He is someone whose music I love but I probably don’t mention enough in these
Anyway, well done to Lucia and if any of you need a nudge, I hope that inspires you.
Anyway, onto Email #2
“I usually play for about an hour each day after work.
I have a little routine of warm up, work on, play, cool down. I took a week off to refocus, and now I’m just kinda lost.
I even considered selling my guitar. And for the record, my bucket list contains really being able to play the guitar.
My goal is to go way beyond campfire specialist. I will admit that my ear has gotten better, as I can key out songs more easily.
That’s another bucket list thing.
Thanks for listening to me ramble.”
I have seen this situation before.
A student gets to a point where they are competent on the guitar but as there are so many options as to where to go next…
They get lost.
Some have no clue what they want to do next, some try to learn it all, but get overwhelmed and get even more lost along the way.
When students feel like this, I usually say two things:
1 – Go back to having fun on the guitar each day. Spend a week just enjoying it – play what you love and what excites you. Just have some guilt-free fun playing time.
2 – Really think about the songs, styles, and arrangements you want to be able to do and play. Think about if you want to play for yourself, others, in a band, play for the social side, record music, write music, etc. Be specific and think about what things you would really love to be able to play.
For “lost” players, having fun and doing some deep thinking here is key, because no one can decide for you exactly where to go next.
If in doubt, ask yourself what I asked Olin, what are one or two precise things you would love more than anything to be able to do on guitar?
What gives you a buzz when you think about it or see others play?
Be really specific if you can.
Answering that question deeply and honestly is a good way to know where you should go next.
If you have ever encountered this “lost” feeling before, I would love to know how you overcame it.
If you are ready for more help with your playing, where you get my In Focus course (taking beginners to confident intermediates), support from me, and much more, you can check out the membership below…
Have a fab day!
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.