Henry Ford guitar practice
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Henry Ford on Effective Practice on Big Pieces


Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.”

Henry Ford


Guitar practice is the study of simplification.

We start with complex pieces of music, and go about trying to wrap our heads around them.

To do this, we need to simplify. We need to break the piece of music into large sections, then smaller sections, then bits.

And not just that. We can break the bits into melody, bass and accompaniment. We can break pieces apart by rhythm patterns, right-hand patterns, or left-hand patterns.

We can isolate tricky spots and technical hornets’ nests. We can split the learning into key elements: notes, choreography, phrasing, memorization, speed and others.

We can drill even deeper and explore the connection of each little note to the next. We can chop, slice, and dice our music into a million pieces. And the more the divide, the stronger it will go back together.

And while it can be daunting to think of all these at once, none is particularly hard by itself.

It’s not particularly hard to play the melody. It’s not particularly hard to play rhythm. It’s not particularly hard to play the tricky spots, if simplified and played slowly enough.

Effective practice is taking small bites. First this, then that. A mighty tree felled with a small axe, one swing at a time.


Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.”

Henry Ford




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 work with teachers, 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 sore after playing.  I was frequently frustrated, and couldn’t see the way forward.  Then I studied with two stellar teachers –  one focused on the technical, and one on the musical.  In time, I came to discover a fundamental set of formulas and movements. These unlocked my playing, and brought new life and enjoyment to my practice. Now I help other guitarists find more comfort and flow in their music, so they play more beautifully.


For the first time ever, I have achieved great tone on my acoustic guitars. I've been studying fingerstyle guitar and music theory for about one year now. Tonight is the first time, I feel quite satisfied with my ability to produce a nice clear tone when striking the strings with my right hand fingers. By following your training videos in the program, I'm gradually developing my fingerstyle playing ability. KUDOS to you, Allen Mathews.


-Joaquin Kenyon

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


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