Ivan Turgenev guitar practice
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Ivan Turgenev on Waiting for Everything to be Ready

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


“If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.”

Ivan Turgenev


Thinking we’re not ready: this is one of the most common stopping points in any new endeavor.

“I don’t have the time this study deserves…” “I don’t know all the details…” “I need a different instrument….”

These may all be true, but that doesn’t mean we should wait. The progress we make in the meantime is well worth living with the imperfect situation.

It feels good to spend quality time on meaningful work. It feels good to discover new things and witness personal growth. And it feels great to show up and fulfill the promise we made to ourselves.

We can recognize that everything is not quite perfect, and jump in anyway. We can choose to accept the current reality and still take the next step.

And later, if and when the situation becomes more favorable, we’ll enjoy our time even more.

But for now, we can do what we can do with what we’ve got, and let that be enough.


“If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.”

Ivan Turgenev




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 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 beautifullyClick here for a sample formula.


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

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


Become a Member and Play More, Beautifully!


“The basics are the basics, and you can’t beat the basics.”
Charles Poliquin  

Join the program that takes you from the beginning fundamentals to advanced mastery, so you…

  • Move your hands safely and fluidly

  • Enjoy fulfilling practices and meaningful work

  • Play beautifully with expression and flow

Click the button to take a step towards an organized, effective guitar practice. >>>



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