quote yo yo ma
-

Yo-Yo Ma on practicing clarity

 

There’s an old saying that if you don’t care where you go, any road will get you there.

But as soon as we ask powerful questions, our movements become more intentional.

  • What do I want?
  • What do I want to feel, physically and emotionally?
  • What’s going here, specifically?
  • What’s stopping this from happening?
  • What would it be like if this were easy?

Questions like these rarely have a simple answer, but they help us build clarity.

Clarity isn’t something we “get”, like a loaf of bread on the way home. Clarity comes from exploration and experimentation. It comes from listening critically, and examining our assumptions.

Clarity is a process, not an event.

When we practice a piece of music, what do we want? We want to play the notes at the right time with the right fingers. We want the notes to connect smoothly. We want good tone and volume.

Then, as we deepen even further, we want this passage to sound dark and brooding. We want the next to be bright and cheerful. We want these notes to get louder and those to get quieter. These to stand out and these others to fade into the background.

As we progress on guitar, we gain more and more clarity. We discover new possibilities we weren’t aware of before. We encounter new problems and overcome them.

Even from day one in our guitar journey, we can seek clarity. At first, we’ll focus on the broad strokes. That’s as it should be. We need the basics.

With time, we travel deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole of musical expression. And that, too, is as it should be.

But it only happens if we ask questions. We only grow as musicians when seek greater clarity. Otherwise, as Yo Yo Ma said, it’s just sound.


“If you don’t have clarity of ideas, you’re just communicating sheer sound.”

Yo Yo Ma




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.


Hi allen, it amazes me how good and precise your teachings are. The best thing I ever did was to download a piece of music from you and to listen to your videos. The enjoyment I now have from playing is ten fold. Thanks!

Regards,


-Tony Christopher

I came on board three months ago and I’m loving it more than ever. I have maintained my practice pattern. I’m sticking wholeheartedly with the program as written. That makes it easy to see what I NEED to work on rather than just playing the shiny places I’ve gone beyond…..I’ve learned to focus 100% on what I’m doing that very minute….I’m developing strength in my left hand...I spend time with the videos in the evenings and always find something more to help me. I’m not looking for info anywhere else. Everything I need is right here in The Woodshed. You say “Jump” and I say “How high.” I’m so grateful I found you. You speak in a language I understand.


-Gloria Mader


Become a Member and Play More, Beautifully!


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

Join the program that takes you from the beginning fundamentals to advanced mastery, so you…

  • 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. >>>



Featured Courses

$39
jesu bach classical guitar

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring – Bach

One of the best loved of all classical pieces.

See more...

$39
read music guitar high positions notes

Play and Read Music in the Higher Positions

Learn to read music and identify notes on the entire neck.

See more...

$39
how to play segovia scales

Better Technique, with “Segovia’s Favorite Scales”

Detailed explorations of this popular technical tool.

See more...

« » page 1 / 2

See more…