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 am truly enjoying the growth and challenge that the Woodshed material provides.  I look forward to working hard and learning much in the years ahead.  Thanks for all the effort and care that you have taken in providing these lessons and resources!


-Mark Whitsett

As I said before, I think your site is outstanding. I have spent my life teaching adults difficult stuff that they really wanted to learn but didn't have the time to learn at the speed we teach university students. Thus I understand only too well how many hundreds of hours you must have spent perfecting your lessons to make my learning as quick and easy as possible.


-Mike Barron


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