Welcome to a new Monday email with 3 random thoughts on all things guitar, music, and life, including thoughts on visual inspiration, the similarity between blind cave fish an guitarists, and more.
Here we go…
#1 – Blind Cave Fish
Last week me and Archie had a fun little adventure.
We went to the Sea Life Centre in Birmingham.
While there, we signed up for a tour where a smiley member of staff showed us behind the scenes.
We got to see just some of the vast amount of work they do to keep certain sea species alive.
…And we learnt some fun facts.
One was about the Blind Cave Fish.
We were told how once upon a time those fish could see but have evolved to essentially be blind… Because they live in the dark depths of the ocean where sight is not needed or even possible.
So bizarrely, if I remember correctly, they have grown gills over their eyes and can no longer see.
Well, I laughed to myself when we were told this simply because that’s how I think guitarists should be.
At first, when we start learning guitar, our eyes get constant use.
We need to look at everything – is the fretting hand playing the right notes? Is the picking hand plucking the correct strings? That sort of thing.
But after a while, we want to become like the “Blind Cave Fish” and no longer use our eyes when playing.
If you can play a piece of music while not looking…
You’ll develop the spatial and musical awareness skills I often talk about.
…So there’s a slightly bizarre guitar-playing reminder straight from the Sea Life Centre.
Try not to look (as much) when you play!
#2 – Visual inspiration
Just before Christmas, I bought myself a copy of Classic Rock magazine for the first time in a long time.
It came with some cool gifts.
There was some “rock” wrapping paper and gift tags (I’ll use those next Christmas)… and a cool 2024 calendar.
I love a calendar and use a few for different things.
…But this one is epic and features great photos of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck, Pink Floyd, and Phil Lynott from Thin Lizzy.
It’s so cool and I finally put it up today.
Having this visual inspiration is great.
Picking up my guitar, planning lessons, working on new material, and having David Gilmour watch over me while I do this is cool.
I’m always a big believer in making your practice room environment as inspiring as possible.
Some people like cleanliness and a clutter-free space.
I’m more of one of those “organised chaos” types who has stuff all over the place but….
Whichever works for you, it’s a good idea to always make sure the place where you spend all those hours of practice is as inspiring as possible.
#3 – It’s taken over my life
I mentioned last week how I’m helping Archie complete his football cards book for this season.
We’re about 90% complete now and, well, it’s taken over my life a little!
I’ve been to the post office more times in the past week than I have in years.
It’s actually good fun posting the cards and receiving the new ones and Archie loves it, as I’ve got them all addressed to him with his name on the envelope.
Before the internet, it must have been so difficult to swap stuff like this with others.
Nowadays, things like this are much easier. We simply join a Facebook group and email others and then send them off.
It’s one way the internet makes life easier.
…And it’s very much like on the guitar.
In the past, “connecting” with like-minded guitarists was never easy.
That’s why one of the less well-known benefits of my membership programme is the fact that it is full of like-minded others.
You can leave comments on each page, reply to others’ comments, ask me questions, and get support, encouragement, and motivation, as and when you need it.
Years ago, that was not really possible – at least not like it is now, where you can have all this at your fingertips.
To me, this is a big benefit of the modern world.
Anyway, if you want to check out the Academy, you can do so below.
Hope you enjoyed those three random thoughts and have a great 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.