Frank Burgess: Your Body is Your Autobiography
Tuesday Quotes are short explorations of music, life, and the daily endeavor of practicing classical guitar. Enjoy!
“Our bodies are apt to be our autobiographies.”
Frank Gelett Burgess
Learning and playing guitar, we need to keep track of myriad details. To play any tune we must remember which finger goes where. We have the rhythm and the fingerings, the swells and the fades.
With so much to think about, it’s no wonder we fail to notice when we slump or lean. We forget about our bodies until they hurt, demanding attention.
Over time, the small compromises carve themselves into permanence, like water etching stone.
We lean on the desk and become crooked. We stoop and become hunched. We ignore our guitar technique and suffer repetitive stress injuries.
It happens so often we fail to notice. We assume it’s all part of living.
But the outcome, both now and down the road, is up to us.
When we care enough to sit up straight we breathe better now and find more comfort and flexibility later. When we treat our bodies well they treat us well in return.
The years will pass either way (or so we hope). We can take the time and care to protect our bodies and build sustainable habits of movement. Or not.
And the good news: we can always find greater comfort and utility now. We all, regardless of age or habit, can make small improvements today, tomorrow and beyond.
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.
Click here for a sample formula.
I just want to thank you for your lessons. You are helping us to understand how a piece is composed, the parts to analyze and how to do it. You are teaching a lot about how to read and play, and the most important part: PLAY with the music and ENJOY it.
Hi Allen, just wanted to provide some feedback. Since I've started doing the exercises [in The Woodshed program] my guitar is sounding a lot better, with fuller sound, less effort. Its as if I bought a new guitar or got a new pair of hands (or both). Amazing my friend. Thank you!
Click the button to take a step towards an
organized, effective guitar practice. >>>