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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

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 came on board three months ago and I’m loving it more than ever. I have maintained my practice pattern. I’m sticking wholeheartedly with the program as written. That makes it easy to see what I NEED to work on rather than just playing the shiny places I’ve gone beyond…..I’ve learned to focus 100% on what I’m doing that very minute….I’m developing strength in my left hand...I spend time with the videos in the evenings and always find something more to help me. I’m not looking for info anywhere else. Everything I need is right here in The Woodshed. You say “Jump” and I say “How high.” I’m so grateful I found you. You speak in a language I understand.


-Gloria Mader

Great Work!!!  I thank you sincerely for all the effort you have put in and the terrific work you do for the classical guitar community.


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