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A Spanish Proverb on Taking Productive Breaks


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


“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.”








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

Hi Allen, just wanted to provide some feedback. Since I've started doing the exercises [in The Woodshed program] my guitar is sounding a lot better, with fuller sound, less effort. Its as if I bought a new guitar or got a new pair of hands (or both). Amazing my friend. Thank you!


-Nusret Aydemir



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