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

About Allen Mathews

Allen Mathews learned guitar as an adult, and has been a full-time guitar teacher for almost two decades to students age 4 to 96.  He has taught classical guitar at Reed College and Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and has been a guest lecturer and clinician at schools and universities throughout the U.S.  Allen is often praised for his creative teaching abilities, and his dedication to helping adults learn classical guitar.  He has a popular Youtube Channel offering regular classical guitar tutorials, and has gained fans worldwide for his weekly emails and articles at ClassicalGuitarShed.com.


I also want to thank you for including more video lessons on the Bridges Guitar Series. I have learned to play Calatayud's Waltz. The most exciting thing about having done this is that I sight read the entire piece as I was learning it. Six months ago looking at a sheet of music was like looking at Egyptian hieroglyphics. Learning to read notation is empowering and I appreciate the sensible way you are teaching us to learn to read music.


-Steve Simpler

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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