banksy guitar quote
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Banksy on learning how to take a break

 

Every part of life has its peaks and troughs. Work, relationships, food, activity, learning – nothing can sustain ecstatic states of euphoria forever.

At some point, the puppy-love wears off. We hit dry spells. Our enthusiasm dims and things seem harder than they used to be.

When things get to the “less fun” stage, we have options.

One of the most common responses is to start something new. Abandon the old and start fresh. This brings the excitement back. We find novelty and feel creative.

But eventually, we’ll enter the trough again. Then we’ll be faced with the same situation and have to make the same choices. Some people spend their whole lives this way. And that’s fine, but it misses out on long-term growth and discovery. Everything stays at surface-level, instead of deepening and maturing.

Instead of quitting when things turn, we can, as the artist Banksy said, “learn to rest”. We can take a step back and regroup.

When we rest, we gather our forces. We reactivate and rejuvenate. We pull back not in weakness, but to wind the spring for the next forward thrust.

We all go through natural cycles that must include moments of repose. We sometimes need rest. It’s not a failing, and it’s doesn’t speak ill of us personally. It’s all part of the game. The important thing is to just rest, and not quit.

What’s your plan for when you get tired? What will you do if you don’t feel motivated to pick up the guitar?

What are your favorite exercises that keep your fingers moving? Are there tunes you love to play, just for fun? Are there recordings that inspire you and remind you why you got into this in the first place? Collect them and go to them when you need a break.


“If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit.”

Banksy




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.


Allen Mathews was recommended to me as somebody who could help me expand my guitar vocabulary.  Allen started me on a really fun cycle of lessons and practice.  He is a very good,and very enthusiastic teacher, and I feel that I'm on the road to learning.  I couldn't be more pleased with my experience.


-Peter Buck (r.e.m.)

Thanks to you (you are my only teacher) in only a few months I've gone from very basic beginner pieces to having just completed learning Bach's Gavottes 1&2 in good form and execution. As a non-classical electric guitarist who has always used a pick and never his fingers, this has been no small feat!


-Gregg Olson


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