Fredric Chopin on the Beauty of the Classical Guitar
Tuesday Quotes are short explorations of music, life, and the daily endeavor of practicing classical guitar. Find more here. Enjoy!
“Nothing is more beautiful than a guitar, save perhaps two.”
While the origin of this quote is dubious at best, it’s still a good one. Whether the great pianist/composer actually said it or not, it still rings true.
We create entire universes around guitar:
- all the thoughts about our practice
- what we “should” be doing, or able to do
- all the fine details in our pieces
- what we want vs. what we have
- and on and on and on.
There’s so much surrounding our guitar practices, that it’s easy to forget to actually listen.
The guitar IS beautiful. It’s personal. It’s tactile. It’s intimate. It’s sensual.
Now and then, when we re-discover guitar, as if for the first time, me may be surprised or taken aback.
Like people who work in beautiful places who forget to look around, we may sometimes forget to hear.
When we do take a moment of appreciation, we can remind ourselves why we do all this work. We can reconnect with the payoff of striking a string, with the satisfaction of making a sound.
And accurate listening is one of the habits that set the best musicians apart from the amateurs. But we don’t have play for decades to master this. We just have to remember to listen. And listen without prejudice or expectation. To listen honestly. Over and over again.
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.
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.
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!
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