Henry David Thoreau guitar practice
-

Thoreau on Looking Back and Moving Forward

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


“Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.”

Henry David Thoreau


For most of us, practice is not imperative. No one scolds us if we miss a practice. No one checks to make sure we played our scales. No one holds us to our personal musical commitments.

So it’s no surprise we slip sometimes. We skip a day, then a week. We eagerly begin a new study of music theory. We begin a daily sight-reading practice. Then somehow, we “forget” about them.

If we give meaning to these failures, we may lose motivation. Negative self-talk can convince us of all sorts of nonsense. We can find ourselves thinking we’re somehow flawed, as opposed to just human.

In reality, all we have is today. And today we can choose what we do and how.

Indeed, the only way forward is to do good work today. Yesterday’s misfires and aborted attempts matter not a whit. And looking back with regret or shame serves no worthwhile purpose.

In the same respect, the grand dreams of tomorrow are only useful if we move toward them today.

Carl Jung, one of the fathers of psychology, warned, “You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.”

And Byron Katie said, “Want regret? Get a past. Want anxiety? Get a future.”

Somewhere in the balance of all our mental and emotional chatter, we have today. We can both acknowledge the past and plan for the future. But we yield power only here today.


“Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.”

Henry David Thoreau




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: Just wanted you to know I have thoroughly enjoyed The Woodshed program. I'm in Level 1C and love how every part works together. It has improved my "general" playing already.


-Lydia Chance

Allen: Just wanted you to know I have thoroughly enjoyed The Woodshed program. I'm in Level 1C and love how every part works together. It has improved my "general" playing already.


-Lydia Chance


Become a Member and Play More, Beautifully!


“The basics are the basics, and you can’t beat the basics.”
Charles Poliquin  

Join the program that takes you from the beginning fundamentals to advanced mastery, so you…

  • 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. >>>



Featured Courses

$39
jesu bach classical guitar

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring – Bach

One of the best loved of all classical pieces.

See more...

$39
read music guitar high positions notes

Play and Read Music in the Higher Positions

Learn to read music and identify notes on the entire neck.

See more...

$39
how to play segovia scales

Better Technique, with “Segovia’s Favorite Scales”

Detailed explorations of this popular technical tool.

See more...

« » page 1 / 2

See more…