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Supercharge your guitar playing today with this FREE 7-day action plan from the U.K.'s "best guitar tutor"
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On this page is a simple step-by-step plan that will help transform your playing in just 7 days.
...Read on to discover a little known tip to stop sore fingers, how to stop plucking the wrong strings... Get an important tip from Ed Sheeran, play 2 pieces of REAL music today, get my best ever dexterity exercise, and more.
100% FREE (no email needed - the lessons are ALL below).
Take 2 minutes to check this out and improve your playing (tips #1, 4 & 7 are very powerful). Even get the chance to make the world a better place. Sound intriguing? If so, let's begin...
Day 1 - Fix your technique and STOP doing this!
Did you know most guitarists press the strings roughly 5x harder than they need to?
This causes sore fingers, slow chord changes and painful, clumsy playing - worst of all this is totally unnecessary.
Instead of pressing hard, make sure your fretting hand fingers are close to the frets and press the strings with the lightest touch possible...
This is what I call “Minimum pressure required”. Imagine your fingers are a butterfly gently touching the strings... and NOW, try this simple exercise...
Those who tell you "calluses are good" are full of B.S. You never want calluses, and you don't need them.
Also, be aware you do NOT want to press hard with the fretting hand's thumb.
It may be no one has told you the above before, but this can make a huge difference! Stop pressing so hard!
Don't believe the importance of this lesson yet? Read this from a student...
"This is so important. Please pay attention. I have given myself tendinitis on several occasions because I was using too much pressure. Great advice I feel the difference already." - Olin T.
Okay, that is key lesson #1 sorted, let's move on to #2...
Day 2 - Play real songs today!
Here is something interesting...
A few years ago I surveyed over 1000 guitarists and found 86% don't actually enjoy guitar playing, or they only find it occasionally enjoyable.
You should be enjoying every second of it - not only enjoying it as often as Hailey's comet comes around! I blame most guitar teachers out there for not making things simple and forgetting learning guitar should be FUN!
I mean, you should be playing music you recognise from Day 1 - not Day 100!
So here are two very quick pieces of music you can learn right now.
Quick note - If you are short on time but enjoying this and want to come back to it? You can get the PDF (see HERE).
Beethoven's Fifth - The famous intro...
What's Beethoven's favourite fruit? Ba-nan-nan-na...
Ha-ha, so let's learn it (anyone can play this...so give it a go)
Drunken Sailor - A Surprisingly Fun And Simple Song...
I chose this because it uses two chords most people know, it sounds great, and those in my membership programme loved it...
You can play it with a pick or fingers (just work on one bar at a time and have fun!)
"Very cool. Can definitely see this as a good skill builder. Just practicing over and over the first 4 bars for now. Past experience tells me tomorrow it will be more fluid. Everyone in my household is humming this tune. Thanks" - Don M.
A horror story from hell!
My student Mike was so tense when he played, he was turning the colour of an Oompa Loompa! This tension had killed his progress for years. Thankfully, in lesson #1, we fixed it and his playing instantly became more enjoyable.
Now he can play beautiful music and recently performed his wife’s favourite Ed Sheeran song for their wedding anniversary... But it all started by getting him to relax.
This was step #1 like it is for you and everyone else reading this. Keep coming back to this lesson and let's move on to Day #3, which is a simple but powerful tip...
Day 3 - Struggle with chords? Do this...
Ever get the sound of buzzing chords or dead strings when you play a C or D Major) chord?
Yep, I remember that well, and I have taught many students who struggle with these two brutal chords.
It's enough to make you want to climb the top floor of the Empire State Building, set your guitar on fire and throw it off the edge, such is the frustration this can cause!
Here though, is a two-step tip to help...
This is a powerful lesson, but don't take my word for it...
"The simplest thing makes all the difference. These old fingers don’t stretch like they used to. Things were often painful. Using a capo on the 5th fret and learning something is not only enjoyable but stress-free on my fingers. On some exercises, I've been able to move the capo down to the 4th. Working my way down the fretboard!" - Martin F.
Here are two questions I get a lot:
Q - What capo should I get? A - Any good, branded capo will do - Shubb, G7th, Thalia - just avoid those super cheapo Amazon ones - they're awful!
Q - What chords should I learn first? A - G Em C D Am - armed with a capo and these five chords, you will be able to play 1000s of songs.
WARNING - Don't expect to master playing and changing between chords like these until you have at least 12 months of consistent and productive practice under your belt! No one else will tell you this, but I don't want to sugarcoat it. Chords are tough, so keep at them and ensure you learn the fun stuff too (i.e. see day #2).
Enjoying this 7-day plan so far?
If so, click below to find out how you can get it as a free printable PDF with an option to help make the world a better place... Okay, if you're ready, we are onto the next one...
Day 4 - STOP plucking the wrong strings with this simple pattern...
Do you hate plucking the wrong strings?
We all do!
So, here is a powerful tip/picking pattern that will help you stop this dreaded, hair-raising experience once and for all. Make sure you do it the exact way I will explain and you will improve your accuracy x10.
This tip/pattern will work if you use a pick OR your fingers. I'll show you how in a moment...
First, here is the four-note pattern played over an Em and G chord...
You have two options. You can use:
- A pick - Pluck each string with a down pluck
- Your fingers - Pluck in this order - thumb, index, middle, ring
Choose one of the above methods and practise the pattern but ensure you...
Never let your picking hand move any more than 1 inch away from the strings!
If you let your hand drift further than 1 inch from the strings, you are 10x more likely to pluck the wrong string when you next pluck. Keep the picking hand close - always! You'll be more accurate for it!
Power tip - Spend one minute playing the pattern with a pick AND then one minute playing it with your fingers, and repeat! This gives you added dynamite-like improvements... Practice it slowly too!
Everything you do starts with accurate picking. This includes picking chords, riffs, and solos. Speaking of solos, here's a funny quote from Sir David of Gilmour...
"I think a guitar solo is how my emotion is most freely released because verbal articulation isn't my strongest communication strength. My wife thinks that I should do interviews by listening to the questions and playing the answer on guitar."
His wife sounds like a funny lass, but as you probably know, the spouse of any guitarist must have a sense of humour to put up with us!
Anyway, onto the next very important tip...
Day 5 - Improve your strumming technique in minutes
Ah! The dark art of strumming!
It looks easy, should be easy, most people say it's easy, but for many, this apparently simple technique can sound as bad as a bag of hammers spinning round inside a washing machine!
Let's start the process of fixing this now with these 5 tips.
Put it all together now with a simple strumming pattern of down/up repeated, played over one chord.
Try just one of the above tips now for 5 minutes or longer. It should work right away, but if not, try again. I promise you these tips do work, so stick with them...
Okay, let's leave this tip with a quote from the one and only, Sir Eric of Clapton...
"Every time you pick up your guitar to play, play as if it's the last time."
Yes, that is so very true, but now let's move on... This last one is a cracker...
Day 6 - Use ONE of these powerful tips that no one ever talks about!
1 - Stop looking back and forth at both hands!
This will destroy all the musicality in your playing. When a student does this, I joke it's like they are at Wimbledon watching a game of tennis!
Check now to see if you are doing it (film yourself on video) and if so, stop! Try your best to only look at one hand at a time when you play!
2 - Eyes Wide Shut
Remember the Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman film? I never saw it, but the tip here is... Stop relying on your eyes, close them occasionally, and instead of looking, feel where the strings and frets are.
This is how you build up good muscle memory. (And if you want to picture Nicole or Tom in your head as you do this, that's okay too!)
3 - Practise in front of a mirror
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the best guitarist of them all... You, of course. Got a mirror? If so, practise in front of it and watch your hands in the mirror...
This stops you from hunching over your guitar to see the strings like Quasimodo. Classical guitarists do this a lot, but I rarely hear it mentioned elsewhere.
4 - Fake it till you make it!
Every single student I have met lacked confidence at some point.
Much like this lady (who is clearly NOT playing guitar), you can and should use the phrase "fake it till you make it".
Be positive, optimistic, and imitate confidence. Whatever your best piece of music is, play it with all your heart and passion as you do.
Take this feeling and run with it through all your playing! You will get there and you will become the guitarist you dream of being - just never give up!
5 - Relax the whole of your body
Most beginners get incredibly tense as they play. You must relax and regularly check your body for tension. This is key to playing with freedom. So what's the best way to relax?
Well, getting a foot massage and a beer never hurt, but let's keep it practical... Breathe deeply and slowly as you play and stop every five minutes to quickly check you haven't tensed up.
6 - You Must Believe in yourself. Here's why...
"Natural talent" is overrated. Those who succeed on guitar, work hard at it. Hendrix practised for hours a day and always had a guitar with him. Clapton jammed with everyone he could. Tommy Emmanuel played for decades before being a guitar superstar. Read the book Talent Is Overrated for 100s of famous examples like this from all walks of life.
Even those who are gifted naturally only have about 2% more talent than the rest of us, yet hard work can destroy this 2% a 1000 times over. I've taught lazy students who had good skills and hard-working students who had no confidence or musical ability... It was the latter who won, every time.
7 - Ed Sheeran shares his optimism
Let's end this with a tip from Ed Sheeran, the jolly fella that he is...
"The main thing that you have to remember on this journey is, just be nice to everyone and always smile." - Sir Ed of Sheeran.
In terms of learning guitar, no one said it better. Do try to enjoy every moment, there will be tough times, but keep the smile, and keep it fun!
Day 7 - My favourite dexterity exercise, which nearly all my students tend to love
I promised you a great dexterity exercise and here it is.
What the heck are they you might ask?
Well, this is where you play any bunch of chords you already know...
...But you are NOT allowed to use the index finger at all.
That's right, you only use the middle, ring and pinkie.
It is challenging, interesting, wacky, but also fun and highly productive for your dexterity.
Do this daily for 3-5 minutes on a few chords and...
Not only will you improve your finger dexterity, but over time, your chord changes will improve too.
Note: Try to combine the lessons from each tip - e.g. Practice "Bindex" chords with a capo (from the Day #3 tip) to make them easier.
Extra note - I call them "Bindex chords" because we are effectively putting the index finger in the "bin" - I'm English btw, so I have weird humour).
"This is great. Very awkward at first, but so helpful! I feel my three fingers becoming stronger and like you said, when you go back to using the correct fingering, it feels so smooth and easy. This is my favourite lesson to practice." - Nancy S.
Bonus day - Play the most beautiful 8 bars of music ever (and they are pretty simple)
Below, you will see 8 bars of beautiful music.
It is "Romanza" - a wonderful piece of music in the classical world but one that is rarely known outside of this world.
After teaching over 120 students in person (and 1000s around the world), I can quite confidently say, this is the BEST and most POPULAR song I have taught.
For the most part, it is simple, yet it sounds stunning.
Take a listen below and then get learning the first 8 bars...
Listen to the full version below...
Note: This is just a starter lesson, so you get the first 8 bars... but if you want the full TAB and the complete video lesson as heard in the audio for free, GO HERE
The best "fing" you can do now for your playing!
...Saying "fing" was an intentional typo.
I should write properly. Yes, I'm from England, but I don't talk like Adele, so let's try it again... The best thing you can do for your guitar playing is...
Apply what you have learnt above RIGHT NOW...
Take the most important tip and use it right away.
Work through each tip methodically... Either in order or as you need to. Combine them, ingrain them in your playing, use the mini-course often and remind yourself of these lessons. Do that, and you will make big improvements.
These tips have worked for 1000s of others and they will work for you, I promise, just stick with them... I have faith in you to be the best guitarist you can be.
Right, that's me "over and out". Hold on... before I go, a quick question... Do you...
Want to help create the perfect guitar course?
There is nothing for sale on this page...
So you might be wondering, why did I go to this effort to create this free training (which took 3 1/2 hours?)
Well, I am in the process of trying to make what has NEVER been done before...
The perfect guitar course...
An actual real guitar course that gives you the easiest and most enjoyable path to achieving your guitar dreams in the fastest way possible. This course probably seems like a wild dream for many of you, especially if you have tried a few before... But it is going to happen...
So, here's how you can help...
Leave a comment below and tell me, if there was a perfect course, what would it look like?
Your comments are very welcome, and for ALL the first 10 comments, I will send you a thank you gift.
Finally, before I do go, would you like to...
Get a PDF version of this 7-day guide and help change the world?
You can get a PDF version of this 7-day plan.
This means you can use these lessons forever. Best of all, this PDF is ink-friendly, so you can print it off.
To make things fun, you can name your price or enter ZERO. Every dollar of proceeds from donations will go to the Cancer Research charity.
The PDF will be instantly delivered to your inbox, and you will be able to download it right away... Plus, here are two great reasons to get the PDF...
A word of warning - please don't wait around and definitely don't think...
..."I will come back to this page" (If you think that, the chances are you won't. If you came here from Facebook, it will be unlikely you will see this page again).
So take action today and get the above guide and brilliant workout for free today at the above link...
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Do be warned...
You will get an offer to join my membership program and potentially change your guitar far faster than ever. This may make a few people hail me as an "evil capitalist" (In reality, I am a single dad who gives more than I take but I still enjoy life and like to eat and sleep indoors!). If the idea of an "upsell" offends you though, just hit the big "no, thanks" button or just don't get the PDF.
About Dan Thorpe
Dan Thorpe is from Birmingham in the UK (not Alabama).
He admits to struggling on guitar in his early days, but he's not shy about talking about these struggles.
Since then though, he has played 100s of gigs, jammed with dozens of musicians, and is an RGT qualified member (Registry of Guitar Tutors).
Dan has sold over 23,400 books at the time of writing and had millions of blog and YouTube views (without really even getting started promoting them).
His aim is to help 1mil.+ more guitarists by 2023 to achieve their guitar goals, have them play five songs they love from start to finish, and make them feel confident and ready to tackle any challenge on the guitar!
I hope you are with me. If so, get your PDF and bonuses HERE (remember, you can get it for free or pay a small donation to a charity).
"I just want to be able to play and make people feel good with what I do. When you're thinking that way, anything can happen. And, usually, what happens is good." - Sir Mark of Knopfler
Students' opinions on Dan Thorpe... They ask, is he English or Australian?
"Thank you so much. I'm a returning student from childhood. You are covering things that other instructors are not and it's making things more fun. I look forward to picking up my guitar every day and growing at a pace that is comfortable for me. Love the videos, too!!"
Mary Ann W. - Student
Over the years, I have seen and attempted to follow several fingerpicking guides, but this is succinct and very accessible. It is 'personable' - Dan really does want his students to achieve.
Michael Bostock - Reverend
This is brilliant, the best guitar tutorial I have come across. You looked at what every other guitar tutor puts across, then you cover it all, but you fill in the gaping holes of information that most others just gloss over. Great system, thanks.
Ted Grimes - Retired doctor
Is he English, or is he Australian? I thought he was South African at one point. Anyway, great lesson. It has got me inspired and rebooted my motivation. Thank you
Jim Marshall - Lawyer
“My guitar-playing always included bass lines, melody lines, and rhythm-guitar grooves.” – Donovan. Improve your guitar playing today with a free 7-day guide...
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