ryan flaherty guitar practice
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Ryan Flaherty on Better Training Through Simplicity

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


“Don’t buy complexity; the simpler you make your training, the better the results become.”

Ryan Flaherty


“Bright shiny object syndrome” can distract us from doing what will help us improve at guitar.

When we skim the surface, we may become bored. When we get the basic gist (i.e. the notes) we falsely believe there’s nothing more to see. So we hop to the next piece of music or exercise. Over time we choose more and more complex pieces and exercises.

The outcome is that we find ourselves playing complex pieces in a mediocre way. We know that something is missing, but don’t know what it is. So we charge ahead with the next piece. We’re sure that things will work themselves out and one day we’ll play beautifully.

But if we recognize and drill the fundamentals, we get better results.

One simple scale is all we need to practice smoothly connecting notes. A few simple right-hand patterns can prepare us for every other pattern we’ll likely encounter in music.

The top 1% of 1% of 1% go deep with a few simple exercises. It’s the amateurs busying themselves with endless new distractions.

This is why Bruce Lee famously said “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

And this is why legendary strength coach Charles Paloquin said “The basics are the basics, and you can’t beat the basics.”

Depth beats breadth.

When we ask less “what” and more “how”, we build skills faster and enjoy practice more. We see more improvement and meet the challenges that pull us ever forward.


“Don’t buy complexity; the simpler you make your training, the better the results become.”

Ryan Flaherty




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 work with teachers, 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 sore after playing.  I was frequently frustrated, and couldn’t see the way forward.  Then I studied with two stellar teachers –  one focused on the technical, and one on the musical.  In time, I came to discover a fundamental set of formulas and movements. These unlocked my playing, and brought new life and enjoyment to my practice. Now I help other guitarists find more comfort and flow in their music, so they play more beautifully.


I have to say after over 12 months of one-on-one training with a teacher before joining The Woodshed, this is the first time that I feel I’m making technical progress.


-Nusret Aydemir

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  

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  • 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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