I watched a clip of something that was quite endearing the other day.

It was Ed Sheeran on a TV chat show.


I’m not the biggest fan of his music.

…But he comes across as a nice fella and it’s hard not to like the guy himself.

He was on the Jonathan Ross show sipping wine and then he talked about how “bad” he used to be musically.

Ed pulls out his phone and starts playing a very old recording of one of his first songs.

And, he claims, it’s the first time the world has ever heard this recording.


How bad was it?

Well, he starts off with some decent strumming (which isn’t bad)…

Then he starts singing, and it all goes to pot.

The lyrics were cheesy and his voice cracks and breaks.

The audience is shocked, and everyone has a good laugh about it.

People couldn’t quite believe it was the same person.

It was embarrassing, but it’s good he did it – it certainly made many folks realise there is more than just “natural talent” on display.


It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever heard, but it shows how far Ed Sheeran has come since those days.

Personally, I don’t tend to listen to his music too much.

He’s good at what he does, but I find it all a little too easy listening.

I much prefer music to be more challenging and interesting and really, it’s the older stuff that does it for me. The likes of The Beatles, James Taylor, Chet Atkins… Travis picking, classical, rock, blues, and all that.

Although in more modern times, Tommy Emmanual and Joe Bonamassa are great and I’m enjoying the new Pearl Jam material too.

…But of course, Ed’s music is very well written, nicely polished, and his live performances are usually really good.

…And he is, of course, a worldwide megastar who has sold crazy amounts of records… so my opinion doesn’t really matter, haha.


But I tip my hat to him.

He has worked hard to develop his skills, honing his songwriting, and becoming a well-loved performer.

Plus, he’s a good example of someone who appears to have so-called natural talent.

…But when you look deeper, you will find he had to work hard to get where he got.


It’s the same for everyone.

Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton.

You name them – they worked hard.

No one just picked up an instrument and became a megastar overnight.

Sure, some found it a little easier than others.

…But you only have to read about Eric Clapton’s struggles in the early days (which he talks about in his autobiography) to see how many legends struggled.


That’s one reason I encourage students to read the autobiographies of their musical heroes.

You get to find out so much more about their struggles and you can be inspired by their successes.

These sorts of eye-opening experiences are rarely shared in TV interviews.

The good thing is that 99% of people reading this don’t want to be megastars, and that can make your quest far more enjoyable and something you can do at your own pace.


Anyway, I hope that was helpful.

Stick with it.

If you ever doubt yourself, remember that you too can be the musician you want to be.

For more help on your playing, and if you’re like me, and you enjoy Travis picking, then you may like to check this out…

Tom Dooley – Travis Picking Mini Masterclass


Enjoy your practice time…

Dan Thorpe

Guitar Domination


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.

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