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Mahatma Gandhi Tells How to Shape A Beautiful Future


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


“The future depends on what we do in the present.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Looking back, time often seems short. A decade may feel like it passed in mere months. Memories appear as if from other lives.

And looking ahead, we may feel we have infinite time. Or we may feel like time is short.

But in fact, whether we look forward or back, we only have this moment. We create memories as images in our minds. And we have no guarantee of tomorrow.

Abrupt changes and ends are commonplace, though surprising – like solid ground when we fall.

When time feels short (in the day or the lifespan), we may be tempted to compromise on quality. We think that since we don’t have much time, it’s better to ignore training or “work” and just focus on what seems fun.

And this is valid, so long as a moment of diversion is the only goal. In the same way, junk food is fine if immediate gratification is the only concern.

But if we aspire to greater things, if we hold a higher vision for ourselves – what then?

Mahatma Gandhi also said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

For a musician, this means deliberate practice.

If we care about tomorrow, today’s practice matters. Even if it’s short. The focus and attention we bring to each moment will craft our abilities going forward.

Music is something we cultivate over time. We carve it from the stone of time like water etching canyons.

And as the sculptor of this future, we also get to enjoy the process. We can feel the daily satisfaction of intentional work. We can relish the knowledge that we’re releasing a masterpiece, as yet unearthed.








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.




Hello Allen,
I feel my guitar proficiency is improving considerably. Every day I’m exceedingly comfortable with my right hand technique and overall fluency. And my sight-reading has improved as well. Thank you for creating the Woodshed. It’s thoughtful construction and scope and sequence of knowledge and skills has advanced my guitar skills significantly. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.


-Michael Immel

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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