About CGS

Are you a member of the program? If so, you can go to The Woodshed Homepage here.


Welcome, Guitarist

If you’re a fan of guitar music, and you’re exploring the world of classical guitar, this site is made especially for you. And this page will help you get the feel and lay of the site, so you can get started.

Whether you’re 9 or 90, you’ll find articles, video tutorials, courses, and programs that take you from the very beginning stages of learning guitar, all the way up to honing your craft as a mature musician and playing beautifully.

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As you may suspect, music is more than just learning where to put your fingers, and even if you’re early in your guitar journey, you can practice and play in a way that makes even simple tunes much more beautiful. This site will help you to play more beautifully and find more meaning in your music, from where you are right now.

Learning classical guitar is about curiosity, discovery, and small, daily experiences that deepen and expand over time. It’s my goal to help you make guitar practice one of the best parts of your day.

What to Expect from Classical Guitar Shed

There are 4 main components to Classical Guitar Shed.

Every week or two you’ll find new in-depth tutorials or articles on:

Classical Guitar Technique – How to move your hands efficiently and create the habits that will let you play beautifully, without pain, excess tension, or wear and tear.

How to Phrase and Play Beautifully –  Beauty isn’t all subjective: there are little-known but extremely effective methods that, when used consistently, make music more beautiful.

Articles – Explore many of the ins and outs of studying music and playing guitar. Practice methods, extra skills, and guitar-specific knowledge.

Tuesday Quotes – Find bite-size reflections on music, mastery, and the daily endeavor of practicing guitar.

Free Sheet Music Library  – Discover a wealth of guitar music, with notation and TABs.  

You can access the entire site index here.

And keep an eye out: many of the lessons have valuable free bonus materials to extend your learning.

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Find very deep dives into specific skills and repertoire pieces. The courses are designed not only to teach you a piece of music, but to advance your phrasing and musicality, as well as how you approach learning pieces.

These are my best work, and unlike anything else you’ll find on the internet.  New courses are being added all the time.  See available courses here.

A complete system to learn classical guitar at home, including:

  • A progressive, organized, step-by-step path to master the fundamental skills and techniques that will serve your playing for a lifetime.
  • Frequent member member online events, Q&A calls, and Open Mics
  • Access to all(more than 80) CGS premium courses
  • Unlimited video reviews and 1-on-1 Zoom check-ins
  • Access to The Woodshed© Community

The Woodshed is one of the most detail-oriented, user-friendly, complete classical guitar programs you’ll find anywhere.   Click Here to learn more.

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4. Weekly Email Newsletter

At least once weekly, on Saturday mornings (PST), you’ll get some food for thought to carry you through your week.  Enter your name and email below to join over 60,000 others who get weekly emails.

Enter your name and email here:


Here's How to Get Started:

There’s so much material on this site, it can easily get overwhelming. But you can relax and just dip a toe.

  1. First, sign up for emails so you can stay abreast of news and appropriate resources.
  2. Next, bookmark this page in your browser, so you can find it easily in the future.
  3. Then, explore some of the links in the drop-down menus below.  They’ll point you to a few popular destinations based on your interests or needs.

About Me, Allen Mathews

Hello!  I'm Allen Mathews.  I spend my days studying classical guitar and sharing what I learn on this site. Though I didn’t find classical guitar until I was 25 (I started folk guitar at 18),  I earned a B.A. in classical guitar performance, and have been in private lessons with various teachers and coaches consistently since 1999, primarily in the US, Canada, and in Brazil, where I lived and studied.

In addition to teaching privately, I’ve spent many years on the classical guitar faculty at Lewis and Clark College, and Reed College in Portland, Oregon.  I’m proud to be able to say that former students have gone on to win college scholarships, regional grants, and competitions (including one national)!

From 2010 to 2019 I worked with an internationally renowned concert pianist as my musical coach, honing performance practices and learning techniques passed down from some of the greatest musicians in the piano tradition. (Just to clarify, I’m on guitar, he’s on piano.) I’m grateful for my weekly musical coaching, as it gives me different perspectives, and sets me apart as a teacher and musician.  It also adds immeasurable joy (and challenge) to my daily guitar practice and life.

It’s an honor and a dream come true for me to be able to spend my life studying music and to be of some small help on your personal journey in classical guitar.

You can hear me play on the CGS Youtube Channel, here.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I hope you enjoy the site.  If you ever have a question or need anything, please drop us a line.  We're here to help.

All the best,
Allen Mathews

Meet the CGS Support Team

Zak Pleet has been part of the CGS Support Team since 2017.

Zak completed two Master's Degrees in Guitar Performance (the University of Ottawa and the University of Alicante, Spain). His undergraduate degree in Music is from Carleton University in Ottawa.

In addition to teaching private lessons, he has worked for the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, Conservatory “Leandro Martínez Romero”, and others.

Away from the guitar, Zak runs a vegetable garden during the summer months and can regularly be found using his homegrown tomatoes and peppers in recipes for paella and other tasty Spanish dishes.


Cristian Garcia has been a part of the team since 2020.

Studies include the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, El Camino College in Los Angeles, and the Conservatory “Oscar Espla” in Alicante, Spain. Principal teachers include John Dearman, David Leisner, James Hunley, and Ignacio Rodes.

His performance career has spanned the USA, Europe, and Latin America. Both as a solo artist and chamber musician.

Cris’ teaching experience includes institutions such as the Bronx Conservatory of Music (NYC) and the Silverlake Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles.

Outside of music, he enjoys chopping wood, chess, and a nice cup of coffee.