Christopher Reeves Superman Guitar
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Superman on Facing the Impossible Guitar Tunes

Capricho Arabe, Asturias-Leyenda, La Catedral, Bach’s Chaconne….

These massive pieces of music can seem a million miles away. Given our current level, they may even appear impossible.

But there was time when even J. S. Bach was a lousy player. He had to start at the beginning like the rest of us.

The only difference between the best players in the world and a day-one beginner is time.

The research is in, and study after study has shown that time is the greatest indicator of skill-level.

But not all time counts equal. Time spent polishing what’s already shiny doesn’t count for much. Time spent challenging limits and honing abilities brings us steadily forward.

This second sort of time – focused, deliberate practice – takes willpower.

When we sit down to play, we can choose the easy path or the hard one. We can strum along to the tune we’ve played a thousand times before, or we can slowly work toward learning a new tune.

We can noodle around distractedly or we can do exercises with our best attention.

We can choose comfort and zero risk of failure, or we can choose to live on the constant edge of failure. We can challenge ourselves, fail, learn from the feedback, then go back for more.

Practicing well is to practice with intention, purpose, and awareness. When we (as Superman said) “summon the will” to spend our guitar-time in this way, we get better.

Along the way, we may have our doubts. We may not always feel like we’re making headway.

But eventually, we find ourselves picking up the tunes that used to seem impossible. With time and attention, it’s inevitable.


“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible. Then they seem improbable. And then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”

Christopher Reeve




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.


Life is good, still enjoying [The Woodshed Program], the progress is life altering, I love it. The physical challenges of my situation have rained havoc for over half my life. In spite of those little pests this 40$ Yamaha classical who needed a new home and your course has given me the "part the clouds for the sun to shine through" outlook. You see, even when I am unable to play I know she patiently waits for my return as I do. A giant void in my journey was filled with light.


-Ken Montz

Hi, Allen! I am so excited to have gotten started on your program! I just upgraded to a yearly membership. Thank you very much! You do such great work!


-Linda Hansen


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