freddie laker guitar practice

[Quote] Sir Freddie Laker on Changing Your Musical Mind

Tuesday Quotes are short explorations of music, life, and the daily endeavor of practicing classical guitar. Enjoy!


“Remember that only a fool never changes his mind.”

Sir Freddie Laker


Playing music beautifully is all about making decisions.

We have to choose when to swell in volume and when to fade back down. We decide which notes pop out and which stay in the background. We decide fingerings, speeds, tone quality, and a hundred other small details.

And once we’ve made these decisions, we have to choose them again every time we play the piece. We have to demonstrate our decisions with conviction and confidence.

But what if we’re not sure we’re making the right decisions? What if we don’t know how to choose? What if we’re guessing?

Answer: We decide anyway.

With musical maturity we’ll naturally make different and better decisions. As time goes on we’ll discover rules and tricks and devices to make decisions easier.

Even then, we will want to make changes. And that’s fine.

We can change our minds as many times as we need to. And we will, as we live with our pieces. We’ll come to understand the music in new ways. And with each new insight, we will want to adjust our decisions.

As our technique develops, we’ll discover new possibilities for expression. We grow, and so does our music.

The important part is that we make decisions. Right from the start, from our very first pieces, we can choose to play some notes loud and other notes quiet. It doesn’t have to be “right”, but it does need to happen. Otherwise our playing is bland.

Pianist Mark Westcott liked to say when faced with a contradiction of an earlier statement, “Well, those of us with minds are apt to change them.” and, “Of course: I’ve evolved.”


“Remember that only a fool never changes his mind.”

Sir Freddie Laker




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.


After more than a year as a member, I remain impressed with the Woodshed, song courses, Tuesday quotes, weekly lessons, and the CGS community. Without my membership, I think my enthusiasm for learning classical guitar would have faded long ago. Instead, I am enjoying the process as I make steady progress in my playing.


-Steve Dosh

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


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