Eden Phillpotts’ Magical Universe of Music
Tuesday Quotes are short explorations of music, life, and the daily endeavor of practicing classical guitar. Find more here. Enjoy!
“The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.”
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.
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.
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Great advise here. I find I am taking more time with the pieces than I would have in the past as I am focusing on the technique you have taught me. It is slower going at first but has fewer frustrations, is easier and sounds better in the end.
Thanks to you (you are my only teacher) in only a few months I've gone from very basic beginner pieces to having just completed learning Bach's Gavottes 1&2 in good form and execution. As a non-classical electric guitarist who has always used a pick and never his fingers, this has been no small feat!
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