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

About Allen Mathews

Allen Mathews learned guitar as an adult, and has been a full-time guitar teacher for almost two decades to students age 4 to 96.  He has taught classical guitar at Reed College and Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and has been a guest lecturer and clinician at schools and universities throughout the U.S.  Allen is often praised for his creative teaching abilities, and his dedication to helping adults learn classical guitar.  He has a popular Youtube Channel offering regular classical guitar tutorials, and has gained fans worldwide for his weekly emails and articles at ClassicalGuitarShed.com.


Hi, Allen! I am so excited to have gotten started on your program! I just upgraded to a yearly membership. Thank you very much! You do such great work!


-Linda Hansen

Your GCS site and The Woodshed community are really super! I am glad I finally joined in, and smacking myself for waiting so long. Thanks again!


-Carol Morin


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