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 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 stellar teachers –  one focused on the technical, 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 beautifullyClick here for a sample formula.


I appreciate the organized, well thought out progression of each level, as well as a measurable means to determine when to proceed to the next level.  I had burned myself out by pushing too hard and playing beyond where I was comfortable.  This course is just what I needed, and I am happy to be back on the road to playing again.


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This is the ideal starting position for me. As a relative beginner with no teacher this is helping me enormously in developing good technique and not falling into bad habits. I no longer feel (A) That it's a struggle to learn a new piece and (B) That I am alone in my endeavors. My advice is to try The Woodshed program. It is fantastic and will not only bring up your playing but his explanations of musical concepts as you go along put things into perspective.


-John Andersson


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