Dusan Djukich on keeping it simple
Tuesday Quotes are short explorations of music, life, and the daily endeavor of practicing classical guitar. Find more here. Enjoy!
The five most damaging words you could be thinking right now are: “IT CAN’T BE THIS SIMPLE.”
We love to make things harder than they are. We love what a friend of mine calls “the plume of complexity”.When something is complex and elaborate and involved, we can rationalize not putting our full energy into it. It’s understandable to procrastinate or defer. We can say, “Well…, it’s complicated.”
And while music can be complex and complicated, practicing guitar doesn’t have to be.
First we do one thing, then we do the next. First we focus on this, then we focus on that.
Here’s a question: What if practicing felt easy? What if we sat down and played a tune or an exercise, and just paid attention to one thing? The rhythm, the sound of the guitar, how we move our fingers, anything.
Sure, there are a million other little things we could also pay attention to (making it complex). And if we wanted, we could play it again and focus on the next thing. Then the next. One at time so it always felt easy.
How nice would practice be then? No thoughts of “It should be better..” or “I should be…”. What if we just enjoyed focusing on one thing at a time and let that be enough?
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.
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.
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!
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