Nietzsche’s six steps to guitar mastery
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from teachers is this:
The end result is only as good as the quality of each step in the process.
We don’t play “music”. We play one note or chord. Then we play another note or chord. And again and again until we look up and a full piece has gone by.
A well-played piece is actually a series of well-played moments. It can’t be any other way.
And in our guitar practice, we develop. We learn. We train. We ingrain.
We only play as well as we can play. And to reach new heights we must climb. There’s no skipping ahead. Any part skipped is a hole that will trip us later.
We first stand, then walk. Then to the next step, then to the next. Each in its turn, one after another. With both an eye to the peak, and focus on the current step.
Of course we want to “fly”. That’s why we show up each day. But to get there, we have to first be here, and give full attention to the task at hand.
He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.
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 beautifully. Click here for a sample formula.
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.
These warm-up and stretching exercises are helping me a lot! Because I’m a software developer I have to stay 8 hours typing on a computer keyboard, so I use my hands a lot during the day. At night, when I have some time to practice the guitar my hands and arms are usually in pain because they have been working a lot during the day, but I’ve found that doing the warm-up/stretching exercises in The Woodshed releases me from this pain and I’m then able to practice after doing them.
You are building a very interesting and working guitar course, because for what I’ve seen so far it really works!
-Ulysses Alexandre Alves
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