Baltasar Gracian guitar quote
-

Baltasar Gracian on short practice

 

“How lovely it would be to practice all day, every day…”

It’s easy to romanticize long hours of dedicated study.

But most of us don’t have that sort of time. Or we don’t have the energy or mental bandwidth for marathon practices.

If we believe we “should” be practicing more, then our current practice seems inadequate or lacking.

But that’s not necessarily true. Shorter practices are in some ways even better than long ones.

Like exercise and food, there’s a “minimum effective dose” to practice. This is the point after which the benefits are slower in coming. The same amount of work yields fewer results.

As long as we touch on something repeatedly (daily is an ideal), each practice session can itself be short.

Deep learning happens while we sleep. So as long as we “input” information with a few moments of practice, we can reap the benefits of our natural learning systems.

This is why five minutes on scales every day is far better than an hour of scales once a week.

And for most, this is also more enjoyable. Instead of bludgeoning away at our music until our eyes glaze over, we can instead take a few considered passes at it then move on.

This way, we can touch on several things in one short practice. Reflecting back, we feel good because we know we’re moving ahead in many areas. But the overall time was short.

Another benefit of the short practice: better focus. When we allow only a limited time for our practice, we tend to value each moment more. We engage deeper, and this makes learning come more easily.

Like fancy finger food, we can sample a bit of this and a bit of that. We get our fill and stay interested. The whole affair seems light-hearted and fun. And we leave feeling energized and inspired to do it again tomorrow.


“Good things, when short, are twice as good.”

Baltasar Gracian




allen mathews classical guitar

Hi, I’m Allen Mathews. 

I started as a folk guitarist, then fell in love with classical guitar in my 20’s.  Despite a lot of practice and work with teachers, I still couldn’t get my music to flow well.  I struggled with excess tension.  My music sounded forced.  And my hands and body were sore after playing.  I was frequently frustrated, and couldn’t see the way forward.  Then I studied with two stellar teachers –  one focused on the technical, and one on the musical.  In time, I came to discover a fundamental set of formulas and movements. These unlocked my playing, and brought new life and enjoyment to my practice. Now I help other guitarists find more comfort and flow in their music, so they play more beautifully.


I think the program levels are a great way to teach the guitar. I have had several teachers over the past few years and none came close to the structured organization that you have put together.


-Peter Marior

Hello Allen,
I feel my guitar proficiency is improving considerably. Every day I’m exceedingly comfortable with my right hand technique and overall fluency. And my sight-reading has improved as well. Thank you for creating the Woodshed. It’s thoughtful construction and scope and sequence of knowledge and skills has advanced my guitar skills significantly. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.


-Michael Immel


Become a Member and Play More, Beautifully!


“The basics are the basics, and you can’t beat the basics.”
Charles Poliquin  

Join the program that takes you from the beginning fundamentals to advanced mastery, so you…

  • Move your hands safely and fluidly

  • Enjoy fulfilling practices and meaningful work

  • Play beautifully with expression and flow

Click the button to take a step towards an organized, effective guitar practice. >>>



Featured Courses

$39
jesu bach classical guitar

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring – Bach

One of the best loved of all classical pieces.

See more...

$39
read music guitar high positions notes

Play and Read Music in the Higher Positions

Learn to read music and identify notes on the entire neck.

See more...

$39
how to play segovia scales

Better Technique, with “Segovia’s Favorite Scales”

Detailed explorations of this popular technical tool.

See more...

« » page 1 / 2

See more…