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Henry David Thoreau on Hard Work


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


“Every man looks at his woodpile with a kind of affection.”

Henry David Thoreau


Playing classical guitar is so much work.

It’s an ongoing, never-ending quest to master the athletic finger acrobatics. It’s breathing life into stale notes on a page. It’s practicing and training and honing and polishing. Then doing it all over again.

Yet, it’s so good!

How wonderful to have such an endeavor to look forward to each day. How lucky we are to have a vehicle in which to explore and expand the limits of our abilities.

Sure, it’s a lot of work to play classical guitar. But therein lies the beauty.

Look with affection on your ax! Relish your woodpile!








Allen Mathews

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 beautifully. Click here for a sample formula.




I think the program levels are a great way to teach the guitar. I have had several teachers over the past few years and none came close to the structured organization that you have put together.


-Peter Marior

Those videos on practicing the piece were just awesome, Allen! I've always thought that learning songs might be something completely different than practicing exercises, but the way you teach it makes it much easier than I thought. I'm positive that joining the Woodshed has been the best investment I've ever done for learning the classical guitar. Thank you so much for these lessons.


-Ulysses Alexandre Alves



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