quote Michelangelo
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Michelangelo on being nit-picky with practicing

 

As we learn guitar (classical guitar especially), we manage many differents areas. Technique, tunes, practice methods, personal discipline, and on and on.

When the list feels long, it’s easy to gloss over the fine details. Before we know it, we can fall into the trap of “ticking the boxes”, instead of savoring each item.

Beautiful music is made of tiny details: The connection of one note to another. Thoughtful decisions about a phrasing or fingering. Every little movement in a stroke of the hand. A seemingly obsessive preoccupation with trifles.

In our practice, we can give ourselves permission to nit-pick the trifles. It’s okay. Good even. It’s these little explorations that make the music so much more meaningful. And it’s these moments of curiosity and experimentation that make daily practice such a joy.


“Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle”.

Michelangelo


PS: If you like, next time you’re about to jump to the next thing in your practice, pause and consider whether you could go a little deeper before moving on. Could you focus more deeply on some small trifle? How close in can you zoom?



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.


Those videos on practicing the piece were just awesome, Allen! I've always thought that learning songs might be something completely different than practicing exercises, but the way you teach it makes it much easier than I thought. I'm positive that joining the Woodshed has been the best investment I've ever done for learning the classical guitar. Thank you so much for these lessons.


-Ulysses Alexandre Alves

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.)


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