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

About Allen Mathews

Allen Mathews learned guitar as an adult, and has been a full-time guitar teacher for almost two decades to students age 4 to 96.  He has taught classical guitar at Reed College and Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and has been a guest lecturer and clinician at schools and universities throughout the U.S.  Allen is often praised for his creative teaching abilities, and his dedication to helping adults learn classical guitar.  He has a popular Youtube Channel offering regular classical guitar tutorials, and has gained fans worldwide for his weekly emails and articles at ClassicalGuitarShed.com.


These warm-up and stretching exercises are helping me a lot! Because I’m a software developer I have to stay 8 hours typing on a computer keyboard, so I use my hands a lot during the day. At night, when I have some time to practice the guitar my hands and arms are usually in pain because they have been working a lot during the day, but I’ve found that doing the warm-up/stretching exercises in The Woodshed releases me from this pain and I’m then able to practice after doing them.  

You are building a very interesting and working guitar course, because for what I’ve seen so far it really works!


-Ulysses Alexandre Alves

Hi Allen, I am a Dutch guy who plays classical guitar (solo and together with a flute player). Unfortunately I have been suffering from focal dystonia since begin 2016. Of course I tried physical therapy which didn't help… But I tried some of your [technique] lessons (I had teachers before but I was never taught your techniques) and to my big surprise the nasty feeling in the back of my right hand which pulls my index finger upward was gone! So now I practice your lessons. Anyway, I am very happy to have found you on the internet. Thanks very much!


-Arnoud Reinders


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