Getting Started on Classical Guitar Shed
Hi, I‘m Allen Mathews. As a classical guitarist and teacher, I am constantly digging deeper into the process of learning classical guitar and ways to make that process smoother, quicker, and more personally satisfying. This website is my way of sharing what I find. I hope you find what you are looking for, and come back again and again.
–This site is organized by categories, which you can also find in the menu bar under “Archives“.
Also, you can create a free account in the Member’s Area, which allows you to get all the bonus content and downloads easily in one place. Then you can login in the menu bar and have run of the place.
Here are a few recommendations to get you started:
Regardless of philosophies, theoretical understandings, or brilliant inspiration, if your fingers don’t move, the music won’t flow. Guitar technique is part of the daily endeavor that is the classical guitar. The main goal is to play beautifully, but to do that we need solid fundamentals and effective technique.
To get you started…..
- How To Sit and Hold the Guitar
- The Fundamentals of Movement on the Guitar
- Complete Course on Arpeggio Technique
- QuickStart Guide to Practicing Scales on the Classical Guitar
- An Off-Guitar Exercise to Build Strength and Dexterity in Both Hands
- See the Entire Technique Archive Here.
If you’re truly interested in having beautiful sound and great technique, you may like to explore The Woodshed.
Remember Bob Ross, the painter on TV with the afro who showed step by step the process of creating a painting? This was my inspiration for these lessons. Here I take small pieces and go deep into the processes of learning, practicing, and making them beautiful. From whatever level you currently play, you will gain insight from learning these pieces with me. (complete PDF music packets are included).
- Kuffner: Andantino (great for beginners, includes short course)
- Sor’s Study in C (great for beginners)
- J.S. Bach: Bourrée
- A Spanish Dance
- Carulli: Andante
- Visit the Entire Archive of Free Pieces Here
- Or check out the Premium Courses Here
For even deeper, note-by-note explorations of beautiful pieces, tour the Courses Page. These are my very best teaching, and more in-depth than just about anything else you’ll find for the classical guitar.
One of my greatest strokes of luck came when I met a retired concert pianist and started taking weekly coaching sessions with him. After several years, I still see him every week. He has opened me to long-standing traditions of musical phrasing and ways to practice and organize the music so that listeners can connect with it more easily. These lessons are sprinkled throughout all the articles and lessons on CGS, but here are a targeted few:
- How to Play Expressively
- Classical guitar lesson in phrasing and expressive playing
- The Long Line: lessons from a pianist
- Backing Up to Go Forward
- How to Play Pairs of Notes
- Discover Even More in the Archives
To see these in practice (instead of just in theory), I suggest taking any of the repertoire courses. You’ll also find many lessons in the category above, Full Lessons.
Of course most of our time studying guitar is spent actually practicing. Over time, the quality of our daily interactions with the guitar are what shape us as players. While we are “learning to play guitar” what we are actually doing is learning how to practice.
A few to get you rolling:
- How To Learn Guitar Guitar Pieces (step by step process)
- How to Warm Up for your Classical Guitar Practice
- Practice Smarter, with the Pomodoro Technique
- The Power of Exaggeration in Your Practice
- Are You Practicing, or Are You Exercising?
- See More on the Art of Practicing Here in the Full Archives.
In The Woodshed, you’ll find over a hundred guided, play-along practice videos. You’ll stay more focused and learn even more quickly. Find out more about The Woodshed here.
There are so many topics surrounding “How to play guitar” that many just defy broad categories.
- Do You Really Need Long Fingernails?
- 50 Ways To Test Your Musical Memory
- 42 Questions to Blow (open) Your Musical Mind
- Learning Classical Guitar (as an existing guitarist)
- Keeping a Positive Agenda
- Find Even More Articles Here in the Archives.
To keep abreast of new articles and also enjoy a weekly note from me, join the email list.
In addition to all the free resources on CGS, you also have access to one-of-a-kind premium courses, and a complete educational program to guide every step of your guitar journey, called The Woodshed.
Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you have a good time poking around. If you ever have a question, or if you need anything, please drop me a line. I’m here to help.
All the best,