Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

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Rick Beauregard
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours?

Post by Rick Beauregard » Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:34 pm

Eberhard Mueller wrote: As you say, life's meter is ticking incessantly. Even 'though days are numbered, pilling on lots of practice, 10,000 hours, may only be a faint hope and there are downsides. Hence, I offer caution - be careful folks, since those old and aching bodily parts may be easy to strain, otherwise aggravate, and injure permanently!
I agree of course. And everything depends on our health doesn't it? Mental and physical. I would never urge anyone of my age to take up running marathons. But if you've been running pretty much all you life, maybe a 10K once in a while if it gives you joy.

There is considerable evidence that studying music may have benefits to brain health. Maybe try a less physically demanding instrument.
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
2015 Steve Ganz "Solidarity"
1980 Dauphin D30
1962 Fender pre-CBS P-Bass
National Triolian Uke ca.1930
Almost as many fly rods as guitars
_/) _/)
_/)

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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours?

Post by CathyCate » Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:11 pm

Rick Beauregard wrote:I heard a good quote yesterday that sums it up for me CathyCate: Happiness is not a finish line.

It is hard sometimes to see progress day to day, and often it feels like regression. But I can track positive progress towards this long term goal every day. Like a runner tracking miles, it is a great positive poke every day.
That's the spirit, Rick! It's the journey. :bravo:

CathyCate

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Eberhard Mueller
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours?

Post by Eberhard Mueller » Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:17 pm

Rick Beauregard wrote:
Eberhard Mueller wrote: As you say, life's meter is ticking incessantly. Even 'though days are numbered, pilling on lots of practice, 10,000 hours, may only be a faint hope and there are downsides. Hence, I offer caution - be careful folks, since those old and aching bodily parts may be easy to strain, otherwise aggravate, and injure permanently!
I agree of course. And everything depends on our health doesn't it? Mental and physical. I would never urge anyone of my age to take up running marathons. But if you've been running pretty much all you life, maybe a 10K once in a while if it gives you joy.

There is considerable evidence that studying music may have benefits to brain health. Maybe try a less physically demanding instrument.
:lol: Yes, I do change guitars once in a while! Some are easier than the others. :D
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spanishguitarmusic
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours?

Post by spanishguitarmusic » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:13 pm

Very nice post, because I was always wondering about the 10,000 hours idea to get to professional level. I haven't tracked any of my practice hours, but maybe I should start keeping track of them! Thank you for the post.

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twang
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours?

Post by twang » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:30 pm

You watch someone who has mastered anything and they make it look so simple that's its misleading. A novice observes the master and figures he can get there without too much effort. To me, the value of the 10,000 hour story is it help set expectations. When you've been at it for 3000 hours and it it seems like you'll never get the hang of it then it's reassuring to know you're not unusual.
"An amateur is he who takes up the study of an instrument as a relaxation from his serious occupations." -- Sor

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Rick Beauregard
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours?

Post by Rick Beauregard » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:51 pm

twang wrote:You watch someone who has mastered anything and they make it look so simple that's its misleading. A novice observes the master and figures he can get there without too much effort. To me, the value of the 10,000 hour story is it help set expectations. When you've been at it for 3000 hours and it it seems like you'll never get the hang of it then it's reassuring to know you're not unusual.
Exactly twang. I wish I had known this when I was 12, by which time I had convinced myself that I had no talent and should quit piano. By this point I had only been playing maybe 500 hours, and not so "deliberate practice" at that.

And when you talk to a virtuoso and tell them how talented and lucky they are, they roll their eyes and think, "Lucky! You have no idea the work I have put in to get here."
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
2015 Steve Ganz "Solidarity"
1980 Dauphin D30
1962 Fender pre-CBS P-Bass
National Triolian Uke ca.1930
Almost as many fly rods as guitars
_/) _/)
_/)

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eno
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours?

Post by eno » Mon May 01, 2017 2:09 am

You still need thousands of hours but what makes huge difference is not not how many hours you play but how productively you practice. The productivity of practice can vary from 0 or even negative to 100%. So the number of hours are always all yours but if you improve the productivity you can progress much faster.
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Rick Beauregard
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours?

Post by Rick Beauregard » Mon May 01, 2017 4:47 am

eno wrote:You still need thousands of hours but what makes huge difference is not not how many hours you play but how productively you practice. The productivity of practice can vary from 0 or even negative to 100%. So the number of hours are always all yours but if you improve the productivity you can progress much faster.
I agree eno. 10,000 hours of noodling probably won't get you far. The original authors of the 10,000 hour study talked about this in their paper. They call it "deliberate practice" and define the following requirements:

* Motivation
* Effort
* Pre existing knowledge
* Informative feedback
* Awareness of results
* Repetition
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
2015 Steve Ganz "Solidarity"
1980 Dauphin D30
1962 Fender pre-CBS P-Bass
National Triolian Uke ca.1930
Almost as many fly rods as guitars
_/) _/)
_/)

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Rick Beauregard
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours?

Post by Rick Beauregard » Mon May 01, 2017 4:49 am

Simon Powis has a good article in the subject:

https://www.classicalguitarcorner.com/l ... older-age/
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
2015 Steve Ganz "Solidarity"
1980 Dauphin D30
1962 Fender pre-CBS P-Bass
National Triolian Uke ca.1930
Almost as many fly rods as guitars
_/) _/)
_/)

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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours?

Post by DerekH » Mon May 01, 2017 9:43 am

As someone in his sixties teaching full time, I have 17 "seniors" on my books, including a chap in his eighties. He isn't really progressing technically any more, but he is certainly progressing musically, and can interpret and articulate his playing so that he gets music not notes!

I love teaching people who start the guitar as part of their post-retirement bucket-list - they are invariably motivated, patient and apply themselves :-)

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eno
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours?

Post by eno » Mon May 01, 2017 4:01 pm

Rick Beauregard wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 4:47 am
I agree eno. 10,000 hours of noodling probably won't get you far. The original authors of the 10,000 hour study talked about this in their paper. They call it "deliberate practice" and define the following requirements:

* Motivation
* Effort
* Pre existing knowledge
* Informative feedback
* Awareness of results
* Repetition
Yes, there are many components of efficient practice. For me what works best (among others) is 100% focus and mindfulness so not a single movement, nuance or unwanted sound is mindlessly missed. If I play right every time then that's what the fingers will memorize. Every wrong playing will be memorized by fingers muscular memory too because fingers are stupid so every wrong playing is counterproductive. It's ok to make mistakes as long as I understand why the mistake has happenedand, what exactly went wrong and how to fix it next time.
Paulino Bernabe 'India' 2001
Rokutaru Nakade 1967
Takamine C136S and C128S
Yamaha SLG200S silent

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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours?

Post by DerekH » Mon May 01, 2017 5:40 pm

I think one thing that the conversation has shown so far is that some of us are concentrating on hours, and some on practice technique, when, to be honest, "Old Guys" should be looking for reward, achievement, satisfaction, understanding and a sense of feeling at one with the instrument. None of us here are going to be the next John Williams, so instead of setting hurdles to leap over, we should set goals to relish in...

When time starts to run out, and one's mortality starts to look at you from the bathroom mirror, hours of practice don't matter, exercises don't matter, enjoying music (however humble) matters.

Guitar is a fantastic resource for keeping the grey cells of the brain ticking over.

Checklists aren't...

If people approached lovemaking as they approach guitar, there would be no next generation, what with everyone studying books, worrying about speed, querying technique, worrying about spending enough time...

Music is to be enjoyed, and someone with a humble technique who understands music and finds the music that's hidden in the notes, well, they will have more fun than someone clocking up hours, in the same way that someone who walks slowly in the countryside will have more life-enhancing feedback than someone down the gym on a treadmill.

I won't run a 4 minute mile, so I don't try.
I won't high jump 2 metres, so I don't try.
I won't outplay John Williams or Segovia, so I don't try. But I think I smile more than they ever did :-)

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Rick Beauregard
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours?

Post by Rick Beauregard » Mon May 01, 2017 5:54 pm

DerekH wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 5:40 pm
I think one thing that the conversation has shown so far is that some of us are concentrating on hours, and some on practice technique, when, to be honest, "Old Guys" should be looking for reward, achievement, satisfaction, understanding and a sense of feeling at one with the instrument. None of us here are going to be the next John Williams, so instead of setting hurdles to leap over, we should set goals to relish in...

When time starts to run out, and one's mortality starts to look at you from the bathroom mirror, hours of practice don't matter, exercises don't matter, enjoying music (however humble) matters.

Guitar is a fantastic resource for keeping the grey cells of the brain ticking over.

Checklists aren't...

If people approached lovemaking as they approach guitar, there would be no next generation, what with everyone studying books, worrying about speed, querying technique, worrying about spending enough time...

Music is to be enjoyed, and someone with a humble technique who understands music and finds the music that's hidden in the notes, well, they will have more fun than someone clocking up hours, in the same way that someone who walks slowly in the countryside will have more life-enhancing feedback than someone down the gym on a treadmill.

I won't run a 4 minute mile, so I don't try.
I won't high jump 2 metres, so I don't try.
I won't outplay John Williams or Segovia, so I don't try. But I think I smile more than they ever did :-)
Well put DerekH. I don't think, from my own experience, these sentiments are mutually exclusive, however. It may not be for everyone. Not everyone is goal oriented or responds well to setting benchmarks, and especially in retirement. The hours goal is just a long term objective mark that allows me to let go of all the other results and focus on the process and the enjoyment. If I had this sort of benchmark instead of my golf score to focus on, I might have been a better golfer and enjoyed it more too.
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
2015 Steve Ganz "Solidarity"
1980 Dauphin D30
1962 Fender pre-CBS P-Bass
National Triolian Uke ca.1930
Almost as many fly rods as guitars
_/) _/)
_/)

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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours?

Post by DerekH » Mon May 01, 2017 6:09 pm

Rick - thanks for replying to my post.

You just make sure you enjoy the music you make.

Too many guitarists concentrate on "cooking the meal", not "tasting it" :-)

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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours?

Post by eno » Mon May 01, 2017 6:59 pm

DerekH wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 5:40 pm
enjoying music (however humble) matters.
Abolutely agree, at our age nothing else matters. But interestingly I found that the more I'm focused and mindful when playing the more I enjoy the music. And the more I enjoy it the more I'm focused and immersed in music.

Some time ago I practiced buddhist meditation and mindfulness practice. Now I find that playing music is also a perfect meditation and it gives me much more enjoyment so I better spend my free time playing guitar than sitting on meditation cushion. But bringing the relaxed state of mindfulness that I learnt from buddhist practice to my music practice really helps me now.
Paulino Bernabe 'India' 2001
Rokutaru Nakade 1967
Takamine C136S and C128S
Yamaha SLG200S silent

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