Here are two more interesting emails and comments I have got lately.

I hope you find the emails and my thoughts useful…

Email #1

“Dan, I am at a crossroad and badly need your advice. I just watched step one in how to learn fingerpicking faster and I understand that the concept of learning one pattern REALLY WELL.

My problem is that afterwards how do I keep it? 

The guitar is VAST in things to master and I am not sure how to. I learn something and master it but seem to go backwards.

How do I have faith that I can learn a repertoire and recall it for a lengthy period of time or forever?”



It is a familiar crossroads we all have to go through.

The guitar is indeed vast.

That is why in my membership programme I have the “5-Star Award” to keep students on track.

…But anything that can be done to help remove the randomness of guitar playing is important.


Some folks are okay with learning a variety of things and seeing what sticks.

Others need clear focus and goals.

The simplest goal, I find, is to learn five songs.

…But I also think you can (and should) make a list of all the things you enjoy playing on the guitar.


Ideally, write these things on one piece of paper (a notebook is great to have).

On this list, you should have everything you have learnt, but you never want to forget.

For instance, is there a picking pattern you love, a song you cherish playing, a riff you really enjoy, an exercise that has really helped you?

Whatever it is, add it to the list.

You can update this list over time.

Look at the list regularly and that will help you decide what it is you want to practise before you learn more stuff.

The guitar world is very random, but the above is just one way that can help you stay on the straight and narrow.


Email #2

Hi Dan,

I really enjoy the sound of fingerpicking as opposed to strumming with a pick.

Could you maybe let me know when the right time is to practice Fingerpicking. 

Do you learn the fundamentals of Guitar first learning chords, strumming patterns etc? Or does learning fingerpicking teach the same fundamentals. 

Thanks for your Support and advice Dan

Kind Regards 



If you enjoy fingerpicking, I would begin right away.

There is no real benefit in waiting – the only time I would say to wait is if you are trying to sort out specific fretting hand issues and have bad habits to fix.

I say that because working on one thing at a time is often a good idea.

…But remember, fingerpicking pretty much covers many of the same things as strumming.

Things such as good rhythm, clear chords, smooth chord changes, etc…

They are all needed to be a good fingerpicker and good all-round guitarist.

To Brian, I say go for it.


There you go.

Those are the two reader thoughts for this week.

I hope they help!

The other day I talked about putting on an event somewhere in the UK for guitarists.

It got lots of positive feedback. I know this is something that will take some epic organising so it won’t happen for a while, but I’m hoping to make it a reality, and I know it would be amazing. Thanks for all the replies on that!

…And speaking of fingerpicking, if you enjoy this style, and Travis picking in particular, then you might like to give this a try.

It’s one of the most fun mini courses I have ever created.

Travis Picking: The Tom Dooley Mini Masterclass


Have a great Wednesday

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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