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> Talent, Practice makes perfect?
DethKlok
post Jul 23 2008, 12:52 AM
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This is something that has been bugging me since I started playing, and I don't think I'm alone in that. The question of which is more important: talent or practice? Well, I've been reading a book called "This is Your Brain on Music" written by Daniel Levitin - a prominent recording studio engineer who decided to get a PhD and dedicate the rest of his life to music research. This is what it has to say about the matter:

"The strongest evidence for the talent position is that some people simply acquire musical skills more rapidly than others. The evidence against the talent account - or rather, in favor of the view tat practice makes perfect - comes from research on how much training the experts or high achievement people actually do... In several studies, the very best conservatory students were found to have practiced the most, sometimes twice as much as those who weren't judged as good. In another study, students were secretly divided into two groups (not revealed to the students so as not to bias them) based on teachers' evaluations of their abilities, or the perception of talent. Several years later, the students who achieved the highest performance ratings were those who had practiced the most, irrespective of which "talent" group they had been assigned to previously."

This gives very convincing evidence of what Kris has been telling us all along. We assign the label of "talented" to those who have already achieved great skill through many hours of practice. It should be encouraging to anyone who wants to be a great musician.

I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this.
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sigma7
post Jul 23 2008, 12:56 AM
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Very Interesting Evidence...I guess practice does make perfect.


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Enucleation
post Jul 23 2008, 12:58 AM
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Well, I just believe that maybe some people catch on faster but practice can make you as good as you work at.


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Tryton
post Jul 23 2008, 01:10 AM
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I believe aptitude and Talent go hand in hand and like you said talent (or aptitude) just make it easier.
But the word talent is so broad when it comes describing music, you may have physical talent that makes
your fingers faster, but your emotional talent is lacking, we've all known someone like this.

This is why I believe aptitude is more important than talent. A little aptitude and a lot of tenacity will take you
along way.

my 2 cents
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jul 23 2008, 01:39 AM
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Well, all I can say that talent does exist, and I've seen many talented people. But practice and hard work is what it is all about, so, talent itself is not meaningful without support of hard work - even for geniously talented people.


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RIP Dime
post Jul 23 2008, 03:13 AM
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This is why I'm so attracted to music, because the best players aren't necessarily the most talented, but the ones that put the most of their time into becoming a good guitar player. I've heard that many great guitar players weren't natural musicians, like Ritchie Blackmore, and Steve Vai.

I think talent is just a natural inclination to pick up something easily, I think the word is often overused, because I see it used often to describe someone who excels at their trade, hobby, or what have you. When the case is really that the person worked their butts off to get where they are. I think Kris is a great guitar player, but he insists that he had to work for all the skills he has, witch I personally think makes him more impressive than someone who was just a natural and easily got his skills.

Music comes down to creativity, and I think we all as humans have imaginations that can't be limited, so I think the playing field, while not totally level, is much more level than others when it comes to music.


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Smikey2006
post Jul 23 2008, 06:19 AM
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I think ability to create comes from practice but the ability to be able to concieve comes from other sources.. the mind which builds memories to remind us how we form those chords without buzzing works differently from the mind that tells us which notes will create the feeling you want to create. I cannot imagine how to train creativity.. There are people who have it and people who simply do not. I think with expansion of the mind ( and willingness to expand the mind) comes a greater ability to be creative. People who allow themselves to discover new surroundings and to see the world as art not just as materials may be better at expanding their own creative aspect. But i still wonder.. how can we train creativity.. can we be naturally talanted at being creative.. or do all people have the same ability for creativity.. just others are given different ways of figuring out how to use theirs.. lots of interesting things come from the question of talant vs practice smile.gif


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stickyfingers
post Jul 23 2008, 06:50 AM
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my guitar teacher once told me that i pick up new stuff quite fast. but i figured it was not about learning which notes to play, thats in fact easy to learn, when you have an idea about the melody and can memorize those notes, but playing it steadily and clean on a constantly rising bpm count is the problem -> then it's all about practicing.


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Skyla°Lit
post Jul 23 2008, 11:51 AM
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IMHO, a good example would be poetry & literary skills??
2 things count here - 'I have something to say' and 'I have a tool to express it'.

First one is about 80% talent + 20% hard work and dedication...
Second - is 80% hard work and dedication + 20% talent...
But both can be trained I think.

Well, of course, the numbers are approximate and only express my subjective view smile.gif

The same with music...

You may hear music in your head all the time and it makes you wanna pick up your guitar and play 'cause nothing else in life matters as much to you... You kinda have no choice but play smile.gif Smth like that))
Those are usually called 'Prodigy musicians';

You may start hearing music inside every time you pick up your guitar... And whether you are going to be a musician or not - depends on how much time & effort you invest into the goal-achieving smile.gif Those are usually labeled as 'Natural-born-musicians';

You can train yourself to start hearing music inside... And that requires a whole lot of metamorphosises. Certain changes in self- and world- perceptions smile.gif It's like believing that you have the ability to self-heal smile.gif Lots of people talk about it and wish they could - but only few manage to do it.
There's a huge difference between 'I believe' & 'I want to believe' smile.gif
We could call those 'Non-natural-born-musicians'.

And of course, you simply can't be either of the 3 without Practice! smile.gif That makes it kinda Very Extra Important I guess smile.gif

The thing is we tend to speak about Talent keeping in mind billions of pictures, information & masterpieces of famous talented guitarists and musicians. We see the already achieved results and go 'Wow, That's gotta be THE Mr. Talent itself. Hand of God, Part of the Universal Plan bla bla bla... No mortal man could have created this'.
But the truth is we can never know for sure how they got to the Olympus... and whether their "talent" is natural-born or acquired or prodigy-like...

I, personally, don't think that a 'musician by vocation' implies that all of it comes oh so naturally to you...
I think it's more of whether picturing yourself in those ideal environments where you already are who you think you wanna be - makes you all thrilled and over-energized in a matter of seconds... Something you could do every day, all day long and not care if you're paid or not tongue.gif

This post has been edited by Skyla°Lit: Jul 23 2008, 11:58 AM


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Jesse
post Jul 23 2008, 11:57 AM
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QUOTE (DethKlok @ Jul 23 2008, 01:52 AM) *
This is something that has been bugging me since I started playing, and I don't think I'm alone in that. The question of which is more important: talent or practice? Well, I've been reading a book called "This is Your Brain on Music" written by Daniel Levitin - a prominent recording studio engineer who decided to get a PhD and dedicate the rest of his life to music research. This is what it has to say about the matter:

"The strongest evidence for the talent position is that some people simply acquire musical skills more rapidly than others. The evidence against the talent account - or rather, in favor of the view tat practice makes perfect - comes from research on how much training the experts or high achievement people actually do... In several studies, the very best conservatory students were found to have practiced the most, sometimes twice as much as those who weren't judged as good. In another study, students were secretly divided into two groups (not revealed to the students so as not to bias them) based on teachers' evaluations of their abilities, or the perception of talent. Several years later, the students who achieved the highest performance ratings were those who had practiced the most, irrespective of which "talent" group they had been assigned to previously."

This gives very convincing evidence of what Kris has been telling us all along. We assign the label of "talented" to those who have already achieved great skill through many hours of practice. It should be encouraging to anyone who wants to be a great musician.

I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this.
hmm. interesting. I think I got a "little bit " of talent. In the sense that, I pick things up very quick+My blues feeling is ehm, great. As in phrasing. I dont think there is a talent of someone picking up a guitar and shreds right away. Feeling can be achieved but some people are just better at that.


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mattacuk
post Jul 23 2008, 12:07 PM
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My ex teacher told me I had natural talent, he didnt have talent though... and he had no idea I was learning with gmc laugh.gif laugh.gif

So I would say generally people use the word talent to describe someone who is Skilled.



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Muris Varajic
post Jul 23 2008, 12:54 PM
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Somehow I have always had doubt about
existing of "talent". smile.gif
What is the talent,ability to learn something faster then someone else?
Well with enough hard work (which includes focusing on the right thing)
there is no thing you cannot achieve indeed.
Of course you cannot be great backetball player if you are
like 1.6 meters tall and that is just because basket is set very high.
But your height is not related with talent I hope? smile.gif

So imho it's about motivation and hard work.
Without motivation (read joy) you can spend many hours
on something without right results.
And in art you can really enjoy your work
while it's really tricky to say the same for an office job or som.
Next thing I think it's really important is intelligence
but again if you use it in wrong direction and in a wrong way
you'll miss the point.

95% hard work + 5% motivation , my 2 cents smile.gif


QUOTE (mattacuk @ Jul 23 2008, 01:07 PM) *
So I would say generally people use the word talent to describe someone who is Skilled.


+1 And none was born skilled I guess smile.gif


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Fsgdjv
post Jul 23 2008, 01:44 PM
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QUOTE (Smikey2006 @ Jul 23 2008, 07:19 AM) *
I think ability to create comes from practice but the ability to be able to concieve comes from other sources.. the mind which builds memories to remind us how we form those chords without buzzing works differently from the mind that tells us which notes will create the feeling you want to create. I cannot imagine how to train creativity.. There are people who have it and people who simply do not. I think with expansion of the mind ( and willingness to expand the mind) comes a greater ability to be creative. People who allow themselves to discover new surroundings and to see the world as art not just as materials may be better at expanding their own creative aspect. But i still wonder.. how can we train creativity.. can we be naturally talanted at being creative.. or do all people have the same ability for creativity.. just others are given different ways of figuring out how to use theirs.. lots of interesting things come from the question of talant vs practice smile.gif


Yes, you can train creativity. If you want to be a better songwriter, just sit down and write songs, even if they are horrible, they will get better. That's what I do, I still don't neccisarily enjoy my songs, but I still see that they get better with time, so that means that you can train creativity aswell. Same with anything you want to improve in. The only difference in that from practicing fast scale runs or whatever is that you have to think so much here, I sometimes find it really exhaustive. So you have to put down a bit more effort to this than to improve your speed, vibrato or bending or whatever, but it's definetly something you can practice.

But about "guitar skills" and talent, ie the physical side. It obviously has something to do with your physical inteligence, how fast you pick up movements and coordination etc, that's what I think is seen as "talent". Luckily, that only matters in the start, and everyone who keeps playing will get over that first level where talent has anything to do with your skill level, and after that, it's only practice.


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Skyla°Lit
post Jul 23 2008, 01:48 PM
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Well, if people created such word as "Talent" there is no need to neglect it I guess smile.gif Probably provide a certain meaning correction though...

So, another imho smile.gif

When it comes to creativity, i.e., music composition - talent stands for the ability to compose a lot and quite easily and have an original sounding almost right away. Some manage to be good at it almost at the first go. Others have to work harder and play thousands of music pieces to be able to compose smth worthy.

When it comes to practice, i.e., the technical part - talent stands for the ability to grasp licks and techniques and theory easily and fast. Not mentioning the ear for music. Sure enough, with hard work - such talent can also be developed.

Anyway, I agree with most of you and still go for Practice as the #1 Requirement for Success.
But I also still go for Talent as an existing phenomenon, which I regard as some kind of preexisting on-the-surface or deeply-hidden potential present in each and every human being.

Talent can be trained with practice.
However, looks like talent only counts for the learning process...
For some it takes 2 months to learn and nail the lesson, for others only 1...



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Siggum
post Jul 23 2008, 01:51 PM
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Well, i kind of agree and disagree, take football players for example, they practise every single day to get good, but imo what seperates the great from the good is talent, not sure you can transfer that to music 100 % but i definalelty think talent plays a role. That being said i do belive you achieve ALOT with hard work as well, and talent without any work is pretty useless smile.gif


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Canis
post Jul 23 2008, 01:52 PM
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If talent is learning something faster then other, then I guess I'm a little bit talented tongue.gif
I was with my cousin this weekend, and he has been learning how to play piano for several weeks now. He was trying to learn this game theme (Elder Scrolls: Morrowind) from a lesson on youtube, and after a while he just gave up.
I had been watching a little and said: "Hey, let me try", and I learned the song in two minutes tongue.gif

But hard practice is the very best way to be good... If people keep saying "I don't have to practice.. I have talent!", they'll just end up as Dragonforce.....


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Fsgdjv
post Jul 23 2008, 01:57 PM
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QUOTE (Siggum @ Jul 23 2008, 02:51 PM) *
Well, i kind of agree and disagree, take football players for example, they practise every single day to get good, but imo what seperates the great from the good is talent, not sure you can transfer that to music 100 % but i definalelty think talent plays a role. That being said i do belive you achieve ALOT with hard work as well, and talent without any work is pretty useless smile.gif

You are right, but in the wrong direction so to speak. I've read lots of article about football players and practice. Yes, the talent is what mostly seperates the great from the good, as in, the talented people never have to work for anything, so they eventually end up worse than the less talented people who always had to work to be in the team, they HAVE to practice more, so they end up better in the end. (Just for example, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was never seen as the new super talent in malmö, that was Tony Flygare. Flygare is now playing in division 3 or something while Zlatan is, well you know where he is.)

That's also something that I see as the proof that practice is so more important than talent.


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Siggum
post Jul 23 2008, 02:02 PM
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QUOTE (Fsgdjv @ Jul 23 2008, 02:57 PM) *
You are right, but in the wrong direction so to speak. I've read lots of article about football players and practice. Yes, the talent is what mostly seperates the great from the good, as in, the talented people never have to work for anything, so they eventually end up worse than the less talented people who always had to work to be in the team, they HAVE to practice more, so they end up better in the end. (Just for example, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was never seen as the new super talent in malmö, that was Tony Flygare. Flygare is now playing in division 3 or something while Zlatan is, well you know where he is.)

That's also something that I see as the proof that practice is so more important than talent.


I know what your saying, but take for example ronaldinho, maradonna etc, their way of playing is something that comes so naturally for them, we know maradonna ended up like a burger face, but talent plus hardwork is what made him better than the others, talent does play a factor but its not the main factor for succes, however i think its the main factor for thoose last 5-10% that will take you on top of the pyramid, atleast in football.

Anyway dont wanna turn it into a football thread laugh.gif it was just an example of where i see talent makes a difference smile.gif

This post has been edited by Siggum: Jul 23 2008, 02:04 PM


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Nighthawk1
post Jul 23 2008, 02:16 PM
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Very interesting psychological topic here...the most has been said already...
I also think that the real meaning of talent is diffusing. Most people understand that talent is something like a God-Given ability which you already have whereas others have to work hard for it...But I mostly disagree with that, I think the reason why people get along with something better, pick-up and transact any given information faster, or have better ideas (musical or whatever) than others lies somewhere else than in something like a "god-given" talent. It is a different way of thinking, let's say once a different tecnique of thinking AND also the fact that they often have MORE input than others and can assemble information being spread in their network.
The most persons which we would call talented are not aware of the different way of thinking, and that's the reason why such a mystery comes up about the whole idea of talent !In addition to that many prefer the mere thought "Yeah man I have talent" than saying "No, there is no talent at all I just learn things differently than you do".
A lil example would be of course if I learn a pattern by heart without thinking about which chords progression/scale or whatever I am playing there is way more difficult to create something new and be creative than somebody who is always aware of what he is actually doing there.

I also think that if you really want to speak about musical talent such as something given by God you should consider the following facts:
You have musical talent:
- if music arouses huge emotions in you/ if music can give you the creeps (Which means that you have a feeling for music, believe me this is not self-evident)
- If you have an constant need, a natural motivated engagement for music (active or passive) which means playing guitar or just listening to music.
I have met a lot of people who don't really seem to have a relation to music. They like a song on the radio here and there and that's it...so that's the only reason why I think there is something like being talent for music..but not for the reason which are normally described as talent...
Sorry for the long comment but I really found this extremely interesting because I study Psychology laugh.gif and that's where two passions come together, I hope somebody will read this in spite of the length
Cya guys

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Jesse
post Jul 23 2008, 04:52 PM
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QUOTE (mattacuk @ Jul 23 2008, 01:07 PM) *
My ex teacher told me I had natural talent, he didnt have talent though... and he had no idea I was learning with gmc laugh.gif laugh.gif

So I would say generally people use the word talent to describe someone who is Skilled.
lol all my teachers say that too. in the 2 class in high school wich is second year after primary school. I played this blues solo for music class she was like ohmy.gif if you can play that now "i was 12 or just 13" your gonna be pro.


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