Napoleon Hill and the Blueprint of Musical Achievement

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

Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.”

Napoleon Hill

When we hear a tune, and want to play it, there’s a sort of magic at work. When we envision making beautiful music for loved ones, we open a window into a potential future.

Everything that has ever been created started as a thought – an idea. And most everything, at this stage, could be called ridiculous, unlikely, or impossible.

Often, for those of us drawn to music, we can’t say exactly what we’re drawn to. There’s a pull, and we feel it. But what exactly is pulling, we may not be able to say. Or not entirely.

And here is where the reasoning mind can become our most dangerous adversary. We can quickly reason away our pull to music. We can run logical analyses and do cost/benefit comparisons. We can argue and prioritize the pragmatic: time, age, talent, money.

But as Einstein said, “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.

We, as intelligent, thinking people, can and must hold the paradox. We can remain grounded in reality and logic. And at the same time, we can honor and cherish our lofty and “illogical” aspirations.

To sit down each day and practice our music – this takes nothing short of faith. Progress is usually slow. The mental and physical challenges are many. And we must traverse an expanse of questionable results before we make the sounds we want to hear.

If we only rely on logic, we’ll never make it across that chasm. It’s our dreams that help us through the hard times. Our long-term vision provides the justification we sometimes need to keep going.

So, when we finally buy into this pursuit, and decide to abandon the argument? This is when we can bring our attention to the moment at hand. We can fully invest ourselves in the what and how of each note.

And this one-pointed attention becomes a reward in itself. In these moments of pure attention, we feel much of what pulled us to begin with. Here, the micro mirrors (and creates) the macro.

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.

I just started level 1C...I was able to look at a Carulli piece, albeit a simple one, and understand it. And that understanding allowed me to play it much more easily on the first run through, and I expect it will allow me to make it fully musical at tempo quite soon. That's a huge personal victory for me. Until very recently my mindset was: "Notes on a page. Jimi didn't need them and I don't either." But I ain't Jimi, and now I want those notes on a page.
My work in CGS, even at these early levels, got me to that personal breakthrough. And that's given me more confidence that continued work will get me to greater places in due time. So to answer your question: yes, I absolutely feel like I'm making headway and moving forward in my playing. Thank you for that.
~ Matthew Ecker


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

-Steve Simpler

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