Master the Fundamentals...

and you can play ANYTHING!

 Build Your Guitar Skills 
Up From the Very Basics

Hey There,
If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’ve enjoyed my emails, articles or videos. So first, thanks for reading! I hope they’ve helped your playing.

I love using them to communicate isolated ideas (and to geek out over niche topics).

Yet...subscribers requested a guide that takes them through each step of learning classical guitar. That’s why I’ve built The Woodshed. If my weekly lessons are bite-sized snacks, this is the 5-course orchestrated feast.

The course format means we can start at the very basics. You’ll be shown one concept at a time, how to practice, and what the next steps are.

A structured foundation of technique, reading and patterns

What most students want is to spend evenings lost in some Bach...a relaxed hobby to enjoy with a glass of wine.

They know it takes work, and are motivated to practice. Yet, YouTube teachers are declaring we ‘must’ master these techniques, scales, rhythms, reading, chords, arpeggios and more. With a million things to learn, it’s now a chore, not a hobby.

Now, I won’t pretend it’s easy.

You can’t really “become a guitar god overnight in 3 easy steps....”. Unlike strumming Beatles tunes, classical guitar requires a good amount of sweat. (But let’s avoid the blood and tears, ok?)

With a methodical approach, you can make steady progress instead of spinning your wheels. To make it all digestible, I’ve split my course into three key areas. These are:

  • Technique - Move your fingers quickly & comfortably

  • Reading - Decipher the notes on the page onto the guitar

  • Patterns - See the big picture, not thinking note-by-note

The Woodshed starts each of these at the very basics. It doesn’t assume any prior knowledge on your part. For self-taught guitarists, this is a chance to ensure bad habits aren’t holding you back.

You go step-by-step in all the crucial skills. Each skill area builds progressively.

This might be learning to play a rhythm, or using a new technique to play a right-hand pattern. We then tie the lessons together to ensure they’re useful, not just random ideas and concepts.

To use these growing skills, I’ve written completely customized pieces. These only use what you’ve learnt so far. It allows you to play beautiful songs from Lesson #1 that don’t require any unknown techniques.

The Woodshed might not turn you into the next Andre Segovia [or insert your favorite guitarist here]. But you will certainly breeze through pieces you previously thought impossible.


Featuring over 1,000 videos organized to keep you focused on what matters most

When building The Woodshed, I wanted thorough yet structured resources.Yes, you’ll gain access to a huge amount of material. But I won’t just pour it out for you to wade through.

The program is arranged into short micro-levels. Each is a mini-series of 2-20min lessons and practice videos. These bring you forward in each of the 6 key areas of classical guitar:

Discover how to combine the most essential elements so you play music more fluidly with more flow.

  • Chords
  • The most common right-hand patterns
  • Scales and melodies
  • Strength and Dexterity Training
  • Reading musical notation
  • Playing pieces of music

Lessons will take you one small step at a time.You’ll be shown one technique, rhythm idea, or collection of notes to read. That way you can internalize each concept and skill. Clear, focused practice without the overwhelm.

Plus, you get access to all the extra skills and repertoire courses. You can explore more music, and plug any holes you perceive in your playing.

Get your fingers moving quickly, clearly and comfortably
(even if they're not already)

You might be worried that your age or health means you’ll never be able to play those speedy passage. Of course, I’m going to tell you, “It’s all in the technique”. Once you’ve learned how to use your hands efficiently, your fingers will fly across the strings.

You’ve probably seen one of my technique videos, but The Woodshed will cover every essential detail. I’ll break techniques down into three parts.

Form - The relationship of your joints and how to hold your hands to make those stretches..

Position - Where you hold those forms, e.g. over the sound hole, to produce a rich tone.

Movement - How to efficiently move your body to play a note, so you add speed without discomfort.

You’ll discover you’re surprisingly dextrous. With good technique your playing turns from mere notes into real music.

For self-taught players, this allows you to further refine your technique. By removing bad habits, you’ll suddenly be able to play those fast passages without any dead notes.

Marc Stevens ( Web Design Media )

Peter Buck, REM


“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.

Build up your sight-reading abilities one aspect at a time

I know sheet music can look like martian hieroglyphics. That’s why we’ll decipher one symbol at a time.

The dedicated sight-reading videos are split into notes and rhythms.

Each note-focused lesson will introduce just a few new notes. You’ll build up ability to instantly translate any note onto the guitar. Soon you’ll be at home anywhere on the fretboard. This means you’ll learn pieces faster, and be able to explore more new music.

The specialized rhythm lessons let you embody all the most common musical rhythms. You’ll come to recognize rhythms like you do old friends, with a sense of easy appreciation.


Understand music’s common building blocks and patterns

Composers don’t like admitting this…but most tunes are made up of a limited set of ideas. Once you recognize them, sequences give you a feeling like: “Oh, it’s just a ___!

The lessons in The Woodshed will take you step-by-step through these concepts.

You’ll learn how the “cowboy chords” in folk and rock songs apply to classical guitar. You’ll then see how passages in classical pieces are often the notes of these chords plucked individually. (It almost feels like cheating).

It’s like learning to read whole words instead of sounding out “a-p-p-l-e”. By recognizing whole phrases, you’ll play new pieces more quickly and easily.

Marc Stevens ( Web Design Media )


“I would just like to say that I'm really enjoying this course. I no longer feel (a.) That it’s a struggle to learn, and (b.) That I am alone in my endeavours. This is down to the structure of the course and your natural ability to communicate clearly. The course has not only taught me a piece, you are teaching me a whole lot about music - from notation and reading through to a deeper understanding of what music is. I cannot recommend your program highly enough."

John Andersson

Hear instant warmth in your tone,
followed by gradual improvements in fluidity

You can also expect to hear big improvements in a matter of days. It’s like adjusting the color on an old TV: suddenly everything's just better.

These basics go a long way towards beautiful music flowing out of your guitar.

After these (very satisfying) easy wins, come more subtle signs of progress. Over weeks and months, dead notes or big stretches will stop bothering you. You’ll breeze through more intricate pieces. You’ll move more gracefully and enjoy the feeling of using your hands.

It’s these audible signs of progress that make practice so satisfying. And The Woodshed will let you hear them, from the very first lesson, and in each going forward.

Marc Stevens ( Web Design Media )

Ron Cain


“These videos taught me the hand techniques I should have been using all along. And for the first time I am hearing the “luscious” sounds you described. Thanks for a great program and helping me finally find the right foundation!”

Ron Cain

Know exactly what and how to practice, with play-along practice videos

You won’t be sent off with an “Okay, go find a way to practice that!” after each lesson.

I know it can be hard to decide what to actually do when you sit down to practice. Maybe it stops you from even starting.

That’s why every lesson has guided play-along practice videos. They'll guide you through exactly what pattern, rhythm, or technique you should be using at each point and how to combine them.

You can follow the exercise, happy that your new skills are being reinforced in a methodical manner.

Detailed Practice Logs, to Keep You Organized

To track your progress, each micro-level has it’s own practice log, which also acts as a syllabus.

The practice log will tell you exactly what to practice, so that you can get directly to work and stay on track. With clear benchmarks included, you can self-assess and know precisely when you’re ready to move on to the next level.

Stay focused and organized with detailed practice logs you can print.

Marc Stevens ( Web Design Media )


"I know what a masterful musician and skilled teacher he is. Using the Woodshed I’m able to access Allen’s knowledge anytime I want. I especially like using the Video Library where I can select a technique….say, an arpeggio pattern, a scale shape or sight-reading….and then watch the lesson and play along. The explanations are concise, the images are clear and the videos are short enough so that it’s easy to maintain focus. They’re great for learning new techniques and are equally useful for refreshing lessons previously learned. And because the site is so comprehensive and easy to navigate I find myself going to it almost every day."

Judy Hatton

Gain a whole support network for your passion

The aim might be evenings lost in your playing, but it’s also fun to share your enthusiasm or have help when you’re stuck.

ANYTIME EMAIL SUPPORT - You get unlimited email support. You can send a quick question and get an answer, usually within 24 hours.

PERSONAL VIDEO REVIEW - You can share videos with me privately, and I will share my thoughts on what’s working and what your next steps may be. Be at ease, instructions are included!

FREE PRIVATE VIDEO CALLS - Sometimes we need that little nudge to get our head around an issue. So I’ve included 1-on-1 Skype calls as part of your membership.You can schedule sessions online. Then, by the miracles of technology, we can check in and see how it’s all going.We can look at the technique that isn’t feeling right, passages you’re struggling with, concepts that aren’t clicking or any other questions.

MEMBER’S PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP - Your family might not appreciate you showing them endless guitar videos. That’s why you’ll be part of a private online community of fellow guitarists.

You can share your progress, interesting articles, or favourite recordings. Or you can just browse what others share. Now you won’t be alone in your guitar-learning journey. Instead, you can be inspired and (if you like) inspiring!

Marc Stevens ( Web Design Media )

Dr. Steve Dosh


The Woodshed is comprehensive, systematically organized, easy to understand, easy to navigate, and reasonably priced. However, you are not alone in the Woodshed. It is much more than self-instruction. It's like having an instructor working with you every day. Allen’s teaching style in the videos and text is clear and concise. He responds promptly to questions emailed to him. He will review video of your playing and provide prompt and thoughtful assessment of your playing at any given stage in your progression. Most importantly, all of his instruction is focused on teaching you to bring out the full potential of each song you play – in other words he teaches you to “play beautifully”. I entered The Woodshed about 6 months ago and I haven’t been disappointed in the decision.

Dr. Steve Dosh

Is The Woodshed Right for You?

The Woodshed is not for everyone.  You can be a beginner or advanced, but it also needs to be a good fit for you.


  • Adults looking to start or improve classical guitar
  • Guitarists wanting a program to go from the very basics to advanced playing
  • Aspiring guitarists of all ages who are excited to explore the world of music
  • Guitarists who want to play beautiful music, without damaging their hands


    • Experts wanting to become professional players
    • Beginners seeking a work-free shortcut to progress
    • People without an internet connection for streaming videos
    • Students unwilling to work to adjust any existing bad habits


I want every member of The Woodshed to be completely happy with their membership.

If you feel it’s not the best place for you, simply email me within 30 days and request double your money back.  No questions asked.

But just a refund isn't enough. In addition you can also choose any premium course to keep at no extra charge.

At the worst case, you’ll get paid to learn some new skills. So, what’s stopping you?

How to join The Woodshed
Here is what you’ll receive as part of your membership:

Unlimited access to The Woodshed Program, to take you from fundamentals through to expert guitarist

Unlimited access to The Woodshed Library
, with over 1000 instructional and play-along videos, so you always know what and how to practice new skills

Full access to all 60+ premium courses, taking you through specific skills and repertoire

Custom pieces, written to only use the material and techniques you’ve learned so far while still sounding beautiful

Printable practice logs
, to track your progress and tell you exactly when you’re ready for the next level

Evaluation tools, so you can keep track of your successes and reflect on your practice habits

Access to all new videos I upload, so you can make use of all my constantly updated material

Free video calls with me, so we can talk through any stumbling blocks you’ve encountered

Access to the private Facebook group
, where you can connect with others with the same interests, and share in progress and enthusiasm

Email support,
for when you have small questions about your playing or practice

Personal video review, for when you’d like to make sure you’re doing everything right

Marc Stevens ( Web Design Media )

Ed McHenry


I’m a retired teacher who just started learning guitar last year. I watched countless Youtube videos and surfed the web trying to learn, but became overwhelmed. I bounced from one thing to another and never saw much improvement. I liked Allen’s videos and site, so I decided to try The Woodshed. I’m on a fixed income, so it was no small decision. I’m glad I took the chance. From the start I felt like I sounded better. I identified some things I was doing that hurt my hands, and fixed them. Now my hands feel great. My wife tells me all the time how much better my practices sound. I have pieces that I play every day, and love how they keep getting better. I’m completely pleased with The Woodshed and would highly recommend it to anyone learning classical guitar.

Ed McHenry

Limited Time Only! 
Try The Woodshed Program now for just $7 for the first month!

Membership is $49/month, billed automatically.  

$49/month, Billed Automatically.  No Contracts, Stay as Long as You Like.  All On-Demand and Self-Paced.


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Does membership include everything on the entire site?

What happens next?

Is The Woodshed organized so I know what to do?

I'm a beginner. Is this for me?

I've played for years.  What will this do for me?

What do you mean when you say I'll “progress”?

What will I learn in The Woodshed?

How will I know where I should start?

How does access to all the courses work?

I just play for joy and for my own personal interest....

What happens to CGS if something happens to Allen?

Is there a discount code I can use?

Didn't find the answer you're looking for?

What if I want a refund?

Why should I join The Woodshed, over another online program?

What makes you (Allen) qualified to teach me?

Can I use my phone or tablet?

Can I upgrade from the monthly to the yearly membership if I want to?

I'm a senior, will The Woodshed work for me?

Is The Woodshed just the courses I see on the website, or is there more?

I’m interested in several styles of guitar, not just classical...

Can I move at my own pace?

What’s the biggest weakness of The Woodshed?

How do I know my credit card is safe?

Does membership give me access to all future courses?

One last thing...

  • A Clear Path to:
  • -- Better Music Reading
    -- Fewer Mistakes
    -- Stronger, More Flexible Hands