proverb guitar practice
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A Spanish Proverb on Taking Productive Breaks


“How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterward.”

Spanish Proverb


When we study music, we study forever. There is no great arrival. The road does not end.

There may be short-term goals and deadlines, such as a performance or recording. We may graduate from a program or course. But then we’re on to the next.

It’s what James P. Carse calls an “infinite game”. We win simply by playing.

But sometimes we need to step away and refill the proverbial well.

This Mark Black quote agrees: “Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax.”

Sure, if we take too many days off, we have to regain our momentum, and that can be hard.

But for long-term success, we do best to think long-term. And that means we allow ourselves a break now and then to “do nothing, then rest afterward.”


“How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterward.”

Spanish Proverb




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 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 beautifullyClick here for a sample formula.


Allen, your website and teaching methods are excellent. You have an easy going yet encouraging way of inspiring people to learn and practice their art. And you are always accessible to your students to personally answer questions. I appreciate ... that personal touch. The course on reading rhythm and playing higher up the neck I found particularly helpful. God bless you and many thanks.


-Joe Bazan

Allen Mathews was recommended to me as somebody who could help me expand my guitar vocabulary.  Allen started me on a really fun cycle of lessons and practice.  He is a very good,and very enthusiastic teacher, and I feel that I'm on the road to learning.  I couldn't be more pleased with my experience.


-Peter Buck (r.e.m.)


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