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Musical Theory Abound!!!
 #80459  by tcsned
 Sat May 22, 2010 1:10 pm
myoung6923 wrote:It seems like the more I learn about guitar, the more I realize that I've barely scratched the surface. Mastery is elusive, like a mirage.
If it wasn't it wouldn't be any fun
 #80464  by ugly rumor
 Sun May 23, 2010 3:11 pm
You guys are wrong, man. I knew WAY more about playing when I first started than I do now! Less practice = more better!!
 #80531  by Mick
 Mon May 24, 2010 1:14 pm
ugly rumor wrote:You guys are wrong, man. I knew WAY more about playing when I first started than I do now! Less practice = more better!!
I agree. When I started playing guitar (4 years ago), I was pretty smart. For about a year and a half, I got steadily smarter. Since then, I've been getting steadily dumber. I figure I'll stay with it at least until I start to get smarter again.
 #80535  by tcsned
 Mon May 24, 2010 1:58 pm
lol - though I don't think you're getting dumber - just more aware and able to see the forest through the trees.
 #80539  by FretWilkes
 Mon May 24, 2010 3:10 pm
Mick wrote:
ugly rumor wrote:You guys are wrong, man. I knew WAY more about playing when I first started than I do now! Less practice = more better!!
I agree. When I started playing guitar (4 years ago), I was pretty smart. For about a year and a half, I got steadily smarter. Since then, I've been getting steadily dumber. I figure I'll stay with it at least until I start to get smarter again.
"I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now".
 #80544  by charliehornsby
 Mon May 24, 2010 8:00 pm
malcom gladwell talks about this in OUTLIERS.

this same theory he applies to the beatles playing in clubs for HOURS in anonymity.

i'm sure the same could be true for the Dead in all their hours of playing together.

of course it's a sliding scale, but just to give it context.
 #80567  by Mick
 Tue May 25, 2010 11:33 am
tcsned wrote:lol - though I don't think you're getting dumber - just more aware and able to see the forest through the trees.
At work, we describe people this way:

Stage 1: new to the subject, learning fast, eager to learn more. Will probably willingly admit to being a beginner.

Stage 2: Been around a little while and learned a lot, but does not yet have a grasp of the breadth and depth of the subject matter, said another way, they don't know what it is that they don't know.

Stage 3: Been around a while, good grasp of what the breadth and depth of the topic is, but doesn't yet know enough to be truly competent in any one area.

Stage 4: Achieved competence in one or more small areas, knows enough to be able to plan their own development going forward.

Stage 5: Competent in several areas, good resource for others.

As far as guitar playing, I would guess I am still pretty firmly rooted in stage 2. I have been getting dumber because I am not only learning more about playing, but also figuring out the breadth and depth of the subject. In other words, I am learning a lot of what it is that I don't know. Stage 2 is often called "the dangerous phase". In my other hobby, classic cars, it is all too often Stage 2 folks who make big money mistakes, or worse, drop a car on themselves or light themselves on fire. It's usually stage 4, or at least on the verge of it, before people feel like they are getting smarter.

Anyway, back to the topic of 10,000 hours: I think there are lots of things that no one "masters" in 10,000 hours. That would be 5 years of working full-time on something, which doesn't sound like enough if you are a physicist or something like that. There is no question in my mind that with something like guitar, you would have to put in some number of thousands of hours before you would have any informed view of what your potential even is, which might be more what the guideline is about, but I think it would take decades to fully realize that potential. Of course, we should keep in mind that that is coming from someone who just admitted to being stage 2 on the topic ;-)
 #80574  by tcsned
 Tue May 25, 2010 12:19 pm
Mick - you make some good points. Though I think you are selling yourself short - "stage 2" folks wouldn't know that they were getting dumber - that takes awareness - you seem to have that :)

A good analogy is someone who knows a little bit of karate - just enough to pick a fight with someone who can really kick their ass. As they say, "you can't know what you don't know" . . . until someone shows you - then you know ;)

As to the Gladwell debate - one thing I think he missed was that he was talking about success and not about mastery - those are two entirely different animals. I would think he would have a much more sound argument for mastery than his attempt to define what makes one successful. The Beatles put in their time for sure but there were a lot of other reasons they became as big as they were. I remember my boss talking about putting his 10,000 hours in on the golf course and being ready to win his Master's green jacket - I responded - the golf teacher at the country club is a "master" you can put your 10,000 hours in and take that job. Getting the green jacket takes a lot more than that. I put more than 10,000 hours into playing and learning about the guitar but that doesn't make me Eddie Van Halen or Jerry Garcia. It makes me somewhat qualified to teach the instrument to others and to perform in public. Success, fame, and fortune take more than that.
 #80595  by Harvestwind
 Tue May 25, 2010 4:41 pm
A friend of mine described musicianship as "the 80 year apprenticeship". If you are the type of player who wants to keep learning and developing can't say I disagree. I know a few club band musos who haven't learned a new lick since 1985 though.