Here are two more interesting emails I have got lately.
I hope you find the emails and my thoughts useful…
“Hi, I’m Dan from Salem, Virginia, USA. I started playing guitar as a teenager and then put it aside for about 50 years and picked it up again about eight years ago. I’ve made progress and can play some songs.
I realize that at almost 70 years old, I’m not going to don a pair of leather pants and fill a stadium with adoring fans, but I want to be able to play for friends and family and have the confidence to sit in a gig with some of my guitar playing friends.” – Dan
50 years is quite a long break, but it’s great Dan is back and making great progress over the last 8 years.
It goes to show it’s never too late to play guitar and this wonderful instrument will always be there waiting for us when we are ready.
I must say about the leather pants though, “phew”.
Personally, I don’t think any guitarists look good in leather pants, but that’s just my opinion!
Those classic rock guitarists from the 70s and 80s with wind machines blowing their big poodle-permed hair always made for an interesting image. I guess it was fashionable then! (I wonder how many guitarists would don that attire while practising in their bedrooms, but I digress!)
Anyway, loved the comment from Dan and I wish him the best achieving his goal of being able to play with enough confidence to jam with friends and family. With focus, he (and you, if you want to achieve that) will do it.
In regard to a tip I sent out last week about learning what the notes are on the fretboard at the same time as you learn a scale, this is what Mike said:
“Saying the note names aloud not just thinking them also helps, particularly when coming down the scale.
Everyone can say ABCDEFG as fast as you like, but GFEDCBA is much harder, particularly starting on a random note. Learning the notes backward in string groups is a fantastic help when learning the fretboard.” – Mike
I like that a lot.
I’ve always found saying things out loud is far more useful than just saying them in your head.
That can be for when counting out beats, notes on the fretboard, or chord names.
What I also liked about Mike’s email is the emphasis he put on saying the notes as you descend a scale too.
A lot of guitarists tend to get good at playing scales going up, but going down the scale can give them issues.
An exercise I get students to do is to randomly start off a scale on the high E string and descend the scale down to the low E string.
That can be tricky, but it makes for a good brain workout.
…Especially when you add in what Mike said about saying the notes out loud.
Speaking of learning the notes on the fretboard, one way that will help is by learning barre chords.
Of course, barre chords are way more useful than just for that, but if you want to learn them, you may want to take a look at my course on the subject.
It is on sale for a few days and here’s the link to find out more about it:
Keep enjoying your playing and I hope you are having a great December!
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.