Eden Phillpotts guitar practice
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Eden Phillpotts’ Magical Universe of Music


“The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.”

Eden Phillpotts


We’re not aware of most of the things we’re not aware of.

We need a little knowledge about any subject before it becomes “interesting”. And usually, the more we learn, the more interesting it becomes.

Until we read that book about moss, we don’t even notice that we’re surrounded by it. Until we grow our own geraniums, they’re just another flower.

Music, too, unfolds in layers.

At first, we’re happy just getting the notes.

Then we marvel at the virtuoso’s speed, and decide that maybe here is our next great quest.

If we’re lucky, we may learn some phrasing concepts and start to make real music.

As we progress, we learn to listen in new ways. Our tastes change and we become more discerning.

In time, as we hone our craft and our “wits grow sharper”, as Mr. Phillpotts put it, we learn to conjure the magic that once seemed impossible.

We evolve as musicians. It’s as if we stand on a hillside while a deep fog lifts, revealing first shapes, then outlines, then finer and finer details.

And for our part, we need only stay there and strain our eyes, looking for patterns, staying alert and curious as new worlds come into focus.


“The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.”

Eden Phillpotts




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.


Those videos on practicing the piece were just awesome, Allen! I've always thought that learning songs might be something completely different than practicing exercises, but the way you teach it makes it much easier than I thought. I'm positive that joining the Woodshed has been the best investment I've ever done for learning the classical guitar. Thank you so much for these lessons.


-Ulysses Alexandre Alves

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


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