Epictetus guitar basics
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Epictetus on remembering the basics

 

I had to read this one a couple of times to truly get it. In layman’s terms it’s this:

  • Knowing something isn’t enough.
  • You have to practice it.
  • Then, when you’re good at it, you have to train with it (meaning you keep practicing it).
  • Otherwise, you’ll first forget about it, then slip into bad habits – habits of which you know better.

As Derek Sivers once said, “If information were the answer, we’d all be billionaires with 6-pack abs.”

Learning something new is great. But even better is to put that knowledge into action. And best of all is to ingrain it, then continue to refine and hone it.

If we’re not moving forward in our guitar practice, we’re moving backward. We never get to the point where we don’t need the basics. The basics are the basics because we need them all the time, forever.

Is there any area of your guitar practice you could spend a little more time? Are there any basics you could brush up on, or explore for the first time?


“That’s why the philosophers warn us not to be satisfied with more learning, but to add practice and then training. For as time passes we forget what we learned and end up doing the opposite, and hold opinions the opposite of what we should.”

Epictetus


PS: Smart people who pick things up quickly are notorious for skipping or ignoring the basics. If this is you, how could you approach guitar practice with humility? What sort of systems or habits could you form to keep you training the basics? And what checks or reviews could you put in place to make sure you’re not playing with techniques, as Epictetus warned, “the opposite of what you should”?



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 have to say after over 12 months of one-on-one training with a teacher before joining The Woodshed, this is the first time that I feel I’m making technical progress.


-Nusret Aydemir

After more than a year as a member, I remain impressed with the Woodshed, song courses, Tuesday quotes, weekly lessons, and the CGS community. Without my membership, I think my enthusiasm for learning classical guitar would have faded long ago. Instead, I am enjoying the process as I make steady progress in my playing.


-Steve Dosh


Become a Member and Play More, Beautifully!


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Charles Poliquin  

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