Nietzsche’s six steps to guitar mastery
Tuesday Quotes are short explorations of music, life, and the daily endeavor of practicing classical guitar. Find more here. Enjoy!
“He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.”
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from teachers is this:
The end result is only as good as the quality of each step in the process.
We don’t play “music”. We play one note or chord. Then we play another note or chord. And again and again until we look up and a full piece has gone by.
A well-played piece is actually a series of well-played moments. It can’t be any other way.
And in our guitar practice, we develop. We learn. We train. We ingrain.
We only play as well as we can play. And to reach new heights we must climb. There’s no skipping ahead. Any part skipped is a hole that will trip us later.
We first stand, then walk. Then to the next step, then to the next. Each in its turn, one after another. With both an eye to the peak, and focus on the current step.
Of course we want to “fly”. That’s why we show up each day. But to get there, we have to first be here, and give full attention to the task at hand.
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.
Allen, your website and teaching methods are excellent. You have an easy going yet encouraging way of inspiring people to learn and practice their art. And you are always accessible to your students to personally answer questions. I appreciate ... that personal touch. The course on reading rhythm and playing higher up the neck I found particularly helpful. God bless you and many thanks.
~ Joe Bazan
Thanks to you (you are my only teacher) in only a few months I've gone from very basic beginner pieces to having just completed learning Bach's Gavottes 1&2 in good form and execution. As a non-classical electric guitarist who has always used a pick and never his fingers, this has been no small feat!
~ Gregg Olson
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