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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

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 practised your system for three days, and it solved the I-M alternation problem I had been struggling with since I undertook classical guitar three years ago.  Many thanks!


-Johnny Geudel

Hi Allen,
First public performance ever! I am up to Level 1E in The Woodshed program. It is certainly mega helpful.


-Peter Graham



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