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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.








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 other stellar teachers – one focused on the technical movements, 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.




Hi Allen,
Greetings from the UK. I would like to thank you for providing such an excellent resource. The effort and skill which has gone into creating this program is very evident. I started classical guitar a year or so ago with a teacher but was unable to commit to same time regular slots each week.

The Woodshed Program was exactly what I was looking for. I have found the site very intuitive and well structured and have taken your advice and started from the very beginning of the program whilst still practising some of the pieces I was already working on. It is clear that I will benefit greatly from these early technical studies. There were clearly weaknesses and gaps in my knowledge even though I am still at an early stage. Once again many thanks for the program and very best wishes.


-Rodger Paylor

Great advise here. I find I am taking more time with the pieces than I would have in the past as I am focusing on the technique you have taught me. It is slower going at first but has fewer frustrations, is easier and sounds better in the end.


-Karen Richardson



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