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Brian Christian and the Art of Regret Prevention


Tuesday Quotes are short explorations of music, life, and the daily endeavor of practicing classical guitar. Find more here. Enjoy!


“In the long run, optimism is the best prevention for regret.”

Brian Christian

In many ways, guitar practice is like life in miniature. We make choices, face trials and overcome obstacles.

We win, we lose, we succeed, we fail. And sometimes we’re not sure whether we came out on top or not.

Guitar is challenging. And so is managing our energy, attention and time. There’s no guarantee that we’ll enjoy any single practice. Or make progress and see results from the time we spend.

So how do we keep showing up and putting in the effort? What’s the fuel that keeps our momentum and restarts us after a break?

Optimism.

Sure, we could list a thousand reasons why we may never play like the “big guys”. But we can still remain upbeat and optimistic.

But how do we do keep the positive attitude?

One way is to think of guitar as an infinite game. An “infinite game” is one we play for the fun of playing. There is no winner or loser – the only point is to play.

There may be points won or lost along the way. But these matter less than the game itself.

Like wolf-cubs wrestling or the Sunday crossword, it’s just something fun to do. Sure we try our best, and it feels great to come out on top. But it doesn’t really matter.

Guitar is a long-term relationship. And many (most?) people who quit regret it later on. So one of the main goals is to just keep going. To not quit. And to start back up after breaks.

Optimism is choosing that our goals ARE possible, if we but stay in the game. Or at worst, that taking the daily swing is reward enough.








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 other stellar teachers – one focused on the technical movements, 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.




Hi Allen,
Greetings from the UK. I would like to thank you for providing such an excellent resource. The effort and skill which has gone into creating this program is very evident. I started classical guitar a year or so ago with a teacher but was unable to commit to same time regular slots each week.

The Woodshed Program was exactly what I was looking for. I have found the site very intuitive and well structured and have taken your advice and started from the very beginning of the program whilst still practising some of the pieces I was already working on. It is clear that I will benefit greatly from these early technical studies. There were clearly weaknesses and gaps in my knowledge even though I am still at an early stage. Once again many thanks for the program and very best wishes.


-Rodger Paylor

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



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