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

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

Post by Sebastian » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:10 am

I know that book from years, I have the habit of using a chronometer daily since 9-10 years now, had many professors, did a lot of research and study, became progressively but also suddenly obssesed with technical growth (strenght, accuracy, stamina, speed), I make every second-minute-hours of study count with lots of focus and pushing my barriers but also accuracy/dynamic relaxation, has a very solid and demanding routine, now I'm about to finish my major degree in classical guitar in some months with an average grade of A in all exams.

I'm well over 10.000 hours (estimated 14.000+), and that would be NOT INCLUDING my previous time as a metal/shred guitarist.

And guess what, I'm NOWHERE NEAR of John Williams' level, nor David Russell's, nor Sharon Isbin, not even I would win a Guitar Master contest and would not even win 3rd prize (or qualify for entering the contest itself), I would also not be able to qualify as soloist in a provintial orchestra (I'm not from the US, that's why I stated province, not state) and I'm certainly not even at a high-very high level of playing. Hell, there are people who study less than me (in quality/quantity) and for less years and still can play better than me some or many things.

So basically no, 10.000 hours even with the highest quality and planification/variation/experimentation doesn't guarantee anyone to excel at something.
It's just like thinking that if somebody trained himself at athletism (like 100 meters running), he would eventually become an elite runner. No, there are people like Usain Bolt who can run at 43.5 km/h but that's NOT ONLY because of training: he also was born with the natural traits to achieve that elite level (a proper phyisical system and mental system). He not only learns faster, he also has a very high maximum in born capacity (and I said "capacity", not "level"). Talent means: speed of learning and maximum capacity.

Of course, one should still always give a 100%, no matter of what your born with.
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Rick Beauregard » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:46 am

I’m sure you are quite accomplished Sebastian with that much time put in. I wouldn’t use comparisons to John Williams or competitions to measure your skill.

The hypothesis of the original research behind the book is: how predictive of success is “talent” versus deliberate practice. It is not about becoming a master in 10,000 hours. Usain Bolt would not be a champion without training for a long time. Talent alone is not sufficient to guarantee mastery and may not even be necessary as a rule. There are always exceptions. But I dwell in the rule not exceptions. But when you meet Sharon Isbin after a recital and tell her how talented she is, I’ll bet she’s thinking: “ha, he has no idea how hard I worked to be this talented.”

The question of my original post is really: do I have the time and the commitment to be as good as I can be given my inherent qualities? When I started I never dreamed I could play the pieces I’m starting to play now. In fact every month I start a new piece thinking, I’ll never learn this. Then I do. I may not play like Sharon Isbin either, ever, but the capacity for improvement with deliberate practice amazes me every day.
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Sebastian » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:42 pm

Rick Beauregard wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:46 am
I’m sure you are quite accomplished Sebastian with that much time put in. I wouldn’t use comparisons to John Williams or competitions to measure your skill.

The hypothesis of the original research behind the book is: how predictive of success is “talent” versus deliberate practice. It is not about becoming a master in 10,000 hours. Usain Bolt would not be a champion without training for a long time. Talent alone is not sufficient to guarantee mastery and may not even be necessary as a rule. There are always exceptions. But I dwell in the rule not exceptions. But when you meet Sharon Isbin after a recital and tell her how talented she is, I’ll bet she’s thinking: “ha, he has no idea how hard I worked to be this talented.”

The question of my original post is really: do I have the time and the commitment to be as good as I can be given my inherent qualities? When I started I never dreamed I could play the pieces I’m starting to play now. In fact every month I start a new piece thinking, I’ll never learn this. Then I do. I may not play like Sharon Isbin either, ever, but the capacity for improvement with deliberate practice amazes me every day.
This is a quite interesting topic to me, and I apologize if it seems to be a relatively long response, but again it's very interesting to me and think it deserves giving thought on it. I apologize for any grammar error as English is not my native.

1) "I wouldn’t use comparisons to John Williams or competitions to measure your skill.", you wrote. I just used elite guitarists to draw an example just as to illustrate my point. Thing is, that in real life there are tons of people and society gets very competitive with time. I'm not saying that most of us cannot reach Williams' level, I'm also stating that our barriers may be even lower than we expected: Certainly not everyone achieves an elite guitarist level, but ALSO not everyone can win a prize in Guitar Master (1st, 2nd, 3rd or even classify), also not everyone can be a soloist in London's orchestra, not everyone can be a soloist in a national or state orchestra, not everyone can even win a city competition and not everyone can even play some pieces (at an "okay" level, i'm not even speaking of a "virtuoso" level), even with all the effort in the world. Some can only achieve becoming professors, and some cannot even do that. The limitation scale is a big one and varies a lot inhert of our training but ALSO due to talent.
For achieving some stuff, like being able to play in an orchestra as soloist, a certain level of deveopment is required, and sometimes one just "doesn't have it".

2) If I recall correctly, Malcolm Gladwell's book was a research on how different people and groups achieved mastery or a very high level at something with those 10.000 hours, such as The Beatles, or I think he cited W.A. Mozart with composition too. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

3) "Of course Bolt would not be a world champion without training". I never stated the opposite, in fact encouraged to give anyone a 100% no matter of what you're born with (that was my last sentence in my previous response).

4) You wrote: "Talent alone is not sufficient to guarantee mastery and may not even be necessary as a rule.". Actually, It IS very necessary:

To achieve mastery, talent is very important, let me explain this to you:

Our final result is a sum of discipline+talent, both elements. Talent not only determines how FAST we learn a skill/skills, but ALSO our MAXIMUM CAPACITY (and I said "capacity", not "level"). At least in mechanical/conscious paramethers (strength+speed+stamina+accuracy) everyone has their own maximum capacities or limits.
Talent comes from our innate physical system (which varies A LOT from person to person and includes all body factors: height, proportion of forearm to the arm, rotation of elbow, pronation of wrist, rotation of it, flexors/extensors, knuckles, phalanx, elasticity/hardness, etc..etc...etc.. and many of them can NOT be changed like our height or body proportions) and also comes from our innate mental system (motricity, capacity of synchronization, perception of depth, etc..., etc... which also varies a LOT from person to person).
The maximum capacity is the maximum state in which our phyisical and mental systems can aborb external transformations, such as with training. And at least in the strength+speed+stamina+accuracy term, everyone has, again, a different maximum reach.

Just to put an example, let's return with the Usain Bolt thing. If you wanted to be an athlete (a runner) you could train yourself to increase the mechanical/conscious paramethers (strenght+speed+stamina+accuracy) but you wouldn't increase them in an infinite way: it's not like if one year you're running at 20km/h then the next one at 30, the other at 40, then 50, then 100, then 1000... No, that's due to your human limitation but also your individual limitation. Say you train yourself for 70 years, 16 hours per day, with the best trainers and methods of training. You'd soon or later hit a treshold and that's the fastest you'll run in your live, ever. Say, it was 35 km/h (still it's quite much).
Now, why are there people like Bolt who run at 43.5 km/h.? Not only due to their training, but also becase they are born with "it". Easy as explaining that not everyone can reach Lionel Messi's football level or Kazuhito Yamashita's guitar level. And some even don't even reach an even lower level with all the effort in the world. Some people can play Las Abejas of Agustín Barrios at 300+BPM, others at 190, others at 140, others at 120, and then other who simply will only reach 90bpm: it's not that talent only determines if one will be a virtuoso or not, it's also possible that one won't even reach a "decent" level (it would be stupid for instance, to play "Flight of the bumblebee" at 70BPM, that's just "The snore of the bumblebee" it doesn't express the piece)

With musicians, and even more with instrument performers, there are two elements involved: expression and technical hability (which solely relies on strenght+speed+stamina+accuracy). And concerning this latest factor (technical hability), music perfomers are very much like athletes. And to excel as athlete you don't only need training, you also need innate talent, as described before.


5) You wrote "Talent alone is not sufficient to guarantee mastery and may not even be necessary as a rule. There are always exceptions". Please, tell me who do you know who hasn't the talent required and still achieved a level of mastery with only training. I guarantee that if somebody reached a level of mastery, then it wasn't only with training, but ALSO because he/she HAD the talent (capacity/learning speed) required to achieve that level.

6) You wrote when you meet Sharon Isbin after a recital and tell her how talented she is, I’ll bet she’s thinking: “ha, he has no idea how hard I worked to be this talented.” I bet most people recognize Sharon Isbin's hard work, I do praise all masters' hard work too. But also she would be thinking something like "ha, he has no idea how talented I am to achieve this stage". Obviosuly not infering that she feels superior to others, just that she very probably recognizes also how good her talent is.

7) And finally: "The question of my original post is really: do I have the time and the commitment to be as good as I can be given my inherent qualities?".
Yes, I think that should be the correct mind-set to achieve. Become the best version of ourself... and learning to be happy with that! That's no easy task neither.





As a final remark I'll retell a conversation I had with one of my masters when speaking to him about these maximum capacities concern, I was worried because I wanted surpass my own limitations on technical issues and seemed to hit my treshold. I told him the talent and discipline thing I wrote before:
He completely agreed with me. Everyone has their limitations due to our innate talent.
I also asked him which was the main objective of guitar studying (and I said "main", not "only), if art or technique (as I've been always more prone to this last one), he replied "Art, definetely. Studying guitar with the sole purpose of achieving technique is a goal more proper of engineering, rather of an artist. Technique is good as long as it serves as a bridge between you and what your soul desires to express, other than that it's useless(...)".

I also told him, that I was starting to believe that part of learning guitar, was learning to love ourselves. That is, to accept ourselves with our virtues and defects. He fully agreed and added: "part of your music career (I infer he referred to "playing in real life" that is, outside of conservatoire programs) is to be selective with repertoire. If you need to adjust speed at a lower level then do it, if don't have the skill to play certain piece then don't select that to perform, and if you have one or two mistakes while playing it's okay NOBODY cares as long as it doesn't interfer with the piece fluidity and expression (...)"
Basically, if you were a pianist with short hands (for instance if your maximum reach with one hand would be of an octave), then for God's sake then don't attempt to perform live Liszt/Rachmaninov pieces! At least the ones that use lots of distenssions like 10th intervals with one hand, because your hand is simply too short to reach. Instead play Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, I don't know, there are like 40.000+ pieces written which don't use 10th intervals with one hand, learn to select what will be your repertoire.


There also seems to be two kind of main mind-sets or goals:
1) The one that (unconsciously) thinks stuff like "I have the desire to play like (insert guitarist name)" or "I have the main desire to surpass (insert guitarist name here)'s level to feel accomplished".
2) The other one that aims for reaching a state of true-artist. This came recently to me as a sort of "epiphany". In this case, the main desire is to become the best version possible of ourself. And the only case in which comparisson is acceptable, is when it's elaborated as a research on which resources does the other guitarist/s use than can be involved in our own performance. And this state of true-artist should not care about competition, because he/she aims to become the best version possible of himself/herself looking for his own personality and individual character, rather than being a copy of other artists.
Abel Carlevaro's fourth and final book ("Conclusion of the left hand technique") also states a very similar thing, actually if I recall correctly, it was the last sentence of it.

This last mind-set is however, difficult to achieve. Easier to some, harder to the others. Because it doesn not only involves musical growth, but also emotional maturity.
You stated in your first sentence " I’m sure you are quite accomplished Sebastian with that much time put in", sincerly I don't feel accomplished. And that may be because my mind-set is not, or hasn't been in a long time, centered correctly. Maybe I should (and everyone should) try to achieve the true-artist goal rather than the first mind-set I described (competition). But then again, this whole though of true-artist mindset came to me very recently and it's fairly new, I might need more time to dig into it.

I'm sure you were referring to this goal/mind-set in your thread at most times.

Have a nice day.
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by chien buggle » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:27 pm

Totally agree with Rick here. Im not sure if 10,000 hours is specifically the best goal but what Rick is showing is that hard work and dedication pay off. Ideas concerning innate talent cannot be proven. On the other hand studying and practicing has been proven to get results. Comparisons to elite athletes are not applicable. Playing standard repertoire very rarely requires elite level genetics.

Additionally, suggesting that people's limited capacity (rather than limited knowledge or limited effort) is frequently the source of their frustration or difficulties in playing, is irresponsible and ALMOST always wrong. Imagine if people actually followed that advice. The fact is that even if that idea is correct (which it isn't) it would have no utility as it can only function as a barrier to success.

None of this is too say that everyone should want to be the fastest or most competitive musician out there. The type one mindset (as you put it) is often not a positive thing. But don't try to convince people who do want to push their capabilities that their difficulties can't be overcome.

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

Post by Rick Beauregard » Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:34 am

Thank you chien. I think you hit the point I try to make. And it based on my own experience. We don’t need to convince people not to pursue their passions because they have no “talent.” We need to seek out talent that is hidden and make develop it fully.

And, and example of one who had no apparent talent or natural ability who reached the absolute top of their game: look no forther than 6 time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady. He was not recognized by any “expert” to have the skills to be an NFL player, let alone the greatest ever. But he had something else. He had the passion to prove everyone wrong and the ability to work hard and learn. The issue is not that there no such examples, the issue is that there are not enough because we kill the desire before the “talent” can emerge.
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Sebastian » Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:49 am

chien buggle wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:27 pm
Totally agree with Rick here. Im not sure if 10,000 hours is specifically the best goal but what Rick is showing is that hard work and dedication pay off. Ideas concerning innate talent cannot be proven. On the other hand studying and practicing has been proven to get results. Comparisons to elite athletes are not applicable. Playing standard repertoire very rarely requires elite level genetics.

Additionally, suggesting that people's limited capacity (rather than limited knowledge or limited effort) is frequently the source of their frustration or difficulties in playing, is irresponsible and ALMOST always wrong. Imagine if people actually followed that advice. The fact is that even if that idea is correct (which it isn't) it would have no utility as it can only function as a barrier to success.

None of this is too say that everyone should want to be the fastest or most competitive musician out there. The type one mindset (as you put it) is often not a positive thing. But don't try to convince people who do want to push their capabilities that their difficulties can't be overcome.


The thread was about 10.000 hours theory. In my previous response I wrote about Outliers book. Here I wrote that, If I recalled correctly (and again correct me if I'm wrong), Malcolm Gladwell's intention was to show how some high level artists and people in general achieved mastery or very high levels at their field with this apparent 10.000 hours rule.
Such as why were The Beatles so good and (also) succesful at their rock/pop field , outstanding to LOTS of other groups or artists in the same field; or why was Bach so good as a composer outstanding many of his contemporanies?
Interesting part is, that many people believed that Gladwell's intention was to show that anyone "normal" who puts 10.000 well dedicated hours into something would achieve a state of mastery. That is, a very high level of performance. I can recall very well about a guy (who was presumably journalist) who started a career in golf, dedicating 6 hours of his life daily to this skill, as to confirm if the theory was true. And that was just one example. As it was 9-10 years ago I can't recall very well other specific examples, but I do know that in forums and blogs many people commented and even published about this "you have to implement 10000 hours of hard and well focused work to achieve mastery" rule.
I intended to explain with more detail how this was wrong.




So, let's start:

-I do agree hard work pays off, never stated otherwise. How well does it pay off? Well, depends on your discipline but also to a matter of talent.
Achieving a state of real mastery demands very high level of discipline, effort and inhert talent. i.e. If you wanted to play chess professionally but hypothetically had an IQ of 90-100... well there IS a high chance that even with the hardest training you won't be able to excel at chess among the rest of players.

-Although nobody can be a 100% sure about something, it indeed wouldn't be smart at all to neglect the fact that our inhert systems, body and mind, do play a very decisive role in our final result. We all have different capacities. It is as important as discipline/training. For some is an advantage for others it is not.

- "Comparisons to elite athletes are not applicable." Please do explain. As interpreters, we train our body and mind to play; athletes train their bodies and mind. I used the athletes thing as an example to make a point: well functional body and mind is at least required for achieving some levels; and both must be even better for achieving higher. There exists people with disfunctional bodies (which are not at all aparent in their daily life but can be found through study and examination) which limits them in their playing level.

-"Playing standard repertoire very rarely requires elite level genetics", first of all it is not about WHAT one can play, it is about HOW you play it. I do not know what you specifically mean by "standard repertoire". Is "Romance anonimo" a standard piece? Or Barrios' Danza Paraguaya? Fernando Sor's Grand Solo?
I believe that most people CAN achieve a middle-level of playing (playing pieces with the technique level demanded for pieces like Romance Anonimo, the first Carcassi etudes, Sons of carrilhoes, etc... you should get the idea). But upwards you meet another level of difficulty, the requirements for playing well a tremolo piece like La Alhambra or Campanas al Alba demands a higher setting. And then you meet more elevated levels, and more, and more... Each level is higher and is less accessible. The same way not everyone can achieve an elite level, not everyone can achieve other levels: not everyone is and/or will be able to play etudes of Villa-Lobos, Asturias, Lauro's waltzes, Giuliani's Sonata op.15, even some Carcassi etudes etc...

-"Additionally, suggesting that people's limited capacity (rather than limited knowledge or limited effort) is frequently the source of their frustration or difficulties in playing, is irresponsible and ALMOST always wrong. Imagine if people actually followed that advice.". <--- Again, I'm not advicing stuff here. I never said it is the MAIN AND ONLY SOURCE of all difficulties regarded playing, I stated that independently to effort and knowledge, there is another source which cannot be denied.
If you have to make an extra effort to achieve something, then do it. And if even by doing a maximum effort through a long period of time you still can't achieve that specific something (a micro-movement, a specific alternation, a specific combination of fingers at a desired paramether, etc...) then it's okay, we're not all the same. Just be selective with repertoire.


-"But don't try to convince people who do want to push their capabilities that their difficulties can't be overcome." Okay major mistake here. I never wrote that all their difficulties can't be overcome. Please, don't put words in my mouth. . About this "10.000 hours to achieve mastery" issue confusion (read the first paragraphs of this response) I was adding how not only hard work is needed to mastery, and not only mastery, you could also implement 10000 focused hours into something and there IS STILL A CHANCE FOR SOME PEOPLE that not even with that they could achieve a high or very high level, maybe even neither a middle level. It's still a possibility, but I never stated this was the most possible scenario for the OP. I do believe that in average, most people can achieve a very decent level with study. But I said "in average", meaning that some simply won't and that a very hard training doesn't guarantee at all that we can all achieve state of guitar masters.

I also think, as written in my previous response, that no matter of what we are born with, we should always give a 100% of ourselves. To push our boundaries as far as WE can, and learn to be happy with that. Training will prove that there are some things we thought to be impossible to play at X level, to be possible; but also this same training will teach us that there are many things that are simply not in our reach. And this line varies a lot among people due to our training and talent.

Have a nice day.
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Sebastian » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:04 am

Rick Beauregard wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:34 am
Thank you chien. I think you hit the point I try to make. And it based on my own experience. We don’t need to convince people not to pursue their passions because they have no “talent.” We need to seek out talent that is hidden and make develop it fully.

And, and example of one who had no apparent talent or natural ability who reached the absolute top of their game: look no forther than 6 time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady. He was not recognized by any “expert” to have the skills to be an NFL player, let alone the greatest ever. But he had something else. He had the passion to prove everyone wrong and the ability to work hard and learn. The issue is not that there no such examples, the issue is that there are not enough because we kill the desire before the “talent” can emerge.
Hi Rick, never at any point I "conviced you not to pursue passions" because of lack of talent. It must be something you interpreted wrong among all that text.
The point was to disapprobe the "10.000 hours of hard work to achieve state of mastery" as I recall on how many people thought that it meant that any "normal" person could achieve the state of the masters such as Picasso with paining, Bach with composition, Julian Bream with gutiar playing, etc...
As written in my previous points, I will remark for third time that despite of our natural traits (limitations and virtues) we all need to push a 100% of ourselves to improve as much AS WE CAN. And that maybe this should be our aim (also written in the previous post).

About that Tom Brady issue, although he might be not recognized by "any experts to have skills as NFL player" in a past time, he still succeded not only due to his in desire and hard work, he also had "something" (talent) although maybe it was not recognized at least in that particular past time. I don't know you guys, but I bet that if I had put all my effort and desire in life to become an NFL player and win 6 Super Bowls like Brady, I still wouldn't succeed at his level of mastery. Brady, although worked a lot, still has that "something" that not everyone has. And it was required for him to be able to get there.

Again, if at any time you felt "discouraged" with my responses, I am very sorry. Again, and I'll retell for a forth time, you should keep improving yourself and everyone has to give a 100% to reach a full potential destinated to art.


PS: Another thing that you might be not interpretating correctly is "talent". It doesn't mean a super natural force which allows you to become a god. There are also different level of talents, some allows a person to become Julian Bream with a full training, and other kinds of talent which allow you to play at a lesser level (at least regarding strenght-speed-accuracy-stamina levels) but still good. It's not that there are only two options: NO TALENT or ABSOLUTE GOD-LEVEL TALENT. There are levels in between. And I assure you that all that stair of talent levels affects our result.
Last edited by Sebastian on Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Rick Beauregard » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:10 am

I have no issues with our “debate” Seb. On the contrary I think we are in “violent agreement.”

And, ya, I think I could out-do Brady. :)
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Rick Beauregard » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:12 am

I think Sebastian that the book went too far beyond the research it is based on by Anders Erickson. You should read his paper. Google it.

Erickson’s emphasis is about deliberate practice as contributor to excellence as opposed to inherent “talent”. His focus is on what is considered deliberate practice, not on 10,000 hours. I think we can all agree that there is a special something that creates greatness. (Tom Brady obviously has a tremendous ability to read defenses and react with fast decision making). But his point is that we tend to over rate talent and under rate hard work as a factor in achievement.

On a lighter note, I love John Prine’s comment about his rudimentary guitar playing skills. “If you play bad long enough pretty soon people start calling it a “style.” Same for talent. If you practice long enough people start calling you talented.
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Sebastian » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:24 am

Rick Beauregard wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:10 am
I have no issues with our “debate” Seb. On the contrary I think we are in “violent agreement.”

And, ya, I think I could out-do Brady. :)
Well you still have a couple of years more to out-do Brady and win 7 Super Bowls.
PS: I'm not american and don't even watch american football (neither ever played it or even know the rules, in Argentina literally nobody knows about it) but I swear for God that until I recently I had a Tom Brady poster in my bedroom wall. If you contacted Patriots and other pages through Facebook they would send you free stuff to your house, and hence the poster.
I would sometimes stare at that poster and think stuff like "Who the hell is this guy", then thought that if he was in a poster he might be kind of good.
Good to know he won so many prizes. Lol.
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Rick Beauregard » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:37 am

Well doesn’t everyone know NFL football? I don’t follow “real football” but I’m sure you have another example which I could not to relate to. Apologies for my ethnocentrism.
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Sebastian » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:45 am

Rick Beauregard wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:12 am
I think Sebastian that the book went too far beyond the research it is based on by Anders Erickson. You should read his paper. Google it.

Erickson’s emphasis is about deliberate practice as contributor to excellence as opposed to inherent “talent”. His focus is on what is considered deliberate practice, not on 10,000 hours. I think we can all agree that there is a special something that creates greatness. (Tom Brady obviously has a tremendous ability to read defenses and react with fast decision making). But his point is that we tend to over rate talent and under rate hard work as a factor in achievement.

On a lighter note, I love John Prine’s comment about his rudimentary guitar playing skills. “If you play bad long enough pretty soon people start calling it a “style.” Same for talent. If you practice long enough people start calling you talented.
Understandable. I just added the other responses as to give more detail to the confusion that many people had of "X" quantity of time and centered effort to achieve "X" or "Y"'s state.

I also understand that most people sometimes overrate talent and underrate hard work. In my case it's been the opposite for a long time I thought that talent had no impact at all. Heck, I remember that when I was 15-16 I literally thought that anyone could achieve, for instance, Diego Maradona's soccer level only with proper training and desire (I really don't know if people in the USA know who Maradona is, but if you don't google him, he is frequently adressed as one of the top 3 players in history, if not the best). As time went by I started realizing that it wasn't entirely true. I was so dumb.

" If you practice long enough people start calling you talented.", I think I get that, he's trying to say that with practice people -and traits- will get confused whether if one has either lots of talent or lots or training, or both.

PS: literally now I read your latest post, lol, no, American football doesn't seem to be known outside of american territory, other than in movies.
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Rick Beauregard
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Rick Beauregard » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:57 am

Yes I know of Maradona. And Pele. That’s about it. And I don’t speak Spanish as well as your English. Yet we have so much in common.
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Eberhard Mueller
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Eberhard Mueller » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:48 pm

Sebastian, I do admire your well reasoned, passionate defense of the role of "talent" as well as the maturity to accept or love self at whatever one's innate limitations. The journey of serious guitar study surely reveals the challenge. Hard work has its intrinsic rewards, as you no doubt agree, but talent is divine.

Secondly, your capability of patient, reasoned debate in this matter is impressive, especially as a non native English speaker. I do recognize your talent! :bravo:

Thirdly, you are going against the stream since the prevailing idealism for quite some time has been that "anyone can become anything they desire!" I suppose the caveat is, "with hard work." This goes along with favoured theories of environmental factors superseding genetic influences in human accomplishment. I believe that the genetic determinism may yet continue to put up a good fight, even as opponents rail! Nevertheless, It is right for Gladwell, to highlight the caveat, namely hard work. But in doing so, I'm sure he didn't imply a guarantee of success, or a reliable predictor of genius.

Fourthly, your teacher, as you recount, is a wonderful pragmatic realist! I would have been so pleased to have had such a one!

This "debate" is not new. I remember it well, back in the 1960s, at a fourth year university colloquium! :D (I do wish I could equally remember well, the pieces I'm currently working on! But, such is a limitation of aging.) :? The case was being made for environmental determinism, which includes hard work, practice, for developing musical ability, nay "talent." Around the large table the consensus agreeing with this position was near unanimous with the exception of one puzzled and upset fellow. He came from a large family, with some members being very talented, successful, career musicians. He noted that from their very early years, before logging significant practice hours, their ability with the violin, for example, was apparent to anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear. Why is that so? Unfortunately, the poor fellow was badly beaten up by the true believers!

"Talent means: speed of learning and maximum capacity." I like that. Well said! Of course, that refers to innate ability. For "old guys" this is relevant since in aging there is a decline with regard to both factors. But, may the love of music prevail!
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by ashepps » Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:25 pm

QUOTED
“This "debate" is not new. I remember it well, back in the 1960s, at a fourth year university colloquium! (I do wish I could equally remember well, the pieces I'm currently working on! But, such is a limitation of aging.
====

The above said, I have noticed that my pieces of the late 60s into the early 90s are far easier for me to play well although took some time to resurrect them.

Any new pieces always seem to be much harder to memorize than my originals and I find it very hard to accept especially if you can’t play the piece without the music in front of me.

Just my thought on that topic.

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