quote Henry David Thoreau
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Henry David Thoreau on Hard Work

Playing classical guitar is so much work.

It’s an ongoing, never-ending quest to master the athletic finger acrobatics. It’s breathing life into stale notes on a page. It’s practicing and training and honing and polishing. Then doing it all over again.

Yet, it’s so good!

How wonderful to have such an endeavor to look forward to each day. How lucky we are to have a vehicle in which to explore and expand the limits of our abilities.

Sure, it’s a lot of work to play classical guitar. But therein lies the beauty.

Look with affection on your ax! Relish your woodpile!


Every man looks at his woodpile with a kind of affection.

Henry David Thoreau




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 schooling, 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 often sore.  I got frustrated, and couldn’t see the way forward.  Then, over the next decade, I studied with two stellar teachers –  one focused on the technical, and one on the musical (he was a concert pianist).  In time, I came to discover a new set of formulas and movements. These brought new life and vitality to my practice. Now I help guitarists find more comfort and flow in their music, so they play more beautifullyClick here for a sample formula.


I am truly enjoying the growth and challenge that the Woodshed material provides.  I look forward to working hard and learning much in the years ahead.  Thanks for all the effort and care that you have taken in providing these lessons and resources!


-Mark Whitsett

This is the ideal starting position for me. As a relative beginner with no teacher this is helping me enormously in developing good technique and not falling into bad habits. I no longer feel (A) That it's a struggle to learn a new piece and (B) That I am alone in my endeavors. My advice is to try The Woodshed program. It is fantastic and will not only bring up your playing but his explanations of musical concepts as you go along put things into perspective.


-John Andersson


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

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  • 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. >>>



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