On Friday, I came back from a great little family holiday down in Devon (on the south coast of England). It was a wacky time and…
For fun, I thought I’d share some useful life, music, and guitar lessons from the holiday…
#1 – Live music always gets people excited
One day we saw a live singer.
This chap had the crowd in the palm of his hand. He was singing some old Neil Diamond, Jackson 5, and Beatles hits, but people were loving it.
It just shows that music doesn’t have to be complex or fancy. Clean, tidy music that is both melodic and rhythmic goes a long way.
If people can either tap their foot or sing along to it (ideally both), then you’re in business.
This singer (with the biggest 80s classic rocker hair I’ve seen in a while) had this in spades.
It’s definitely worth remembering this if you want to play for others or even just yourself.
#2 – It’s never just about the destination, the journey counts too
Adventures are great.
One of the days we took a bus, then a “water taxi”, walked a mile across a beach, and got to a seaside town with a fair.
There were lots of good sights. Especially on the water taxi.
For me, the journey was definitely as enjoyable as the destination.
Guitar playing should be the same.
If you can have goals (i.e., being able to play 5 songs), then that’s great and you’re already in a better place than most guitarists…
…But if you can have a goal AND ensure you enjoy the journey as much as possible, you can be way ahead of most.
That way you will get the best of both worlds – clear goals and daily enjoyment.
#3 – You can always turn things around
If you ever feel like things are tough, then read this.
At the holiday park, there were tonnes of activities to do. One being a big jump off a high platform onto a crash mat.
My son Archie queued up with all the other kids, and then, in front of everyone, the chap asked his age.
He told him, “six”, and the chap said, “sorry mate, you’re too young”. This was in front of everyone. Archie was crushed, but he turned it around…
After a few minutes, he was cheering on the other kids, and we found loads of other activities for him to do. This included bungee trampolining, den building, the aerial adventure course, and more. It all turned out well.
I’ve seen this on guitar too…
It can feel crushing if things don’t quite go right, but never give up, and remember you can always turn it ‘round.
Sometimes, it just needs to be a small tweak, like playing a different song, trying it in a different way, or even just slowing it right down, breaking it up into chunks, etc.
Definitely worth keeping that in mind as you keep progressing.
#4 – The simple things in life go a long way
I love hearing students play simple music with lots of passion and precision.
Simple can go a long way and is nearly always better than complex stuff played “okay-ish”.
Speaking of simple, what was Archie’s favourite bit of the holiday?
Winning a cool prize on “hook a duck”. I don’t know if this game is played around the world, or if it’s just a British thing… but basically, you have a stick with a hook on it and you literally hook a plastic duck that is in water – you then win a prize.
It’s so simple, but Archie loved it and it highlights how powerful simple stuff can be.
On the guitar, never stop enjoying the simple things.
It’s so easy to want more, do more, or get more complex, but it’s definitely a good thing to take the simplest thing you can play and try to perfect it each day.
There are so many ways to do this…
Transitioning notes that bit better, smoothing out a certain chord change, adding vibrato where needed, phrasing it so the melody becomes even more refined, etc.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed that and found it useful.
It’s always good to get away and sometimes even have a little break from the guitar. You can then come back to it more motivated and recharged (maybe that should be lesson #5).
Speaking of which, I’m off to do some playing.
If you want more help and lots of detailed video tuition from me, you can get it at the link below.
Have a great weekend!
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.