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> Talent, Practice makes perfect?
Skyla°Lit
post Jul 24 2008, 07:09 PM
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QUOTE (vintageplaya666 @ Jul 24 2008, 07:29 PM) *
I'm with Muris on this one. Talent is down to Motovation. If you're motovated enough in you're instrument and Do put in all the hard work, then someone will find you Talented.

It's quite rare to find good Talent. Everyone has their own definition of 'Talent' So can we really pinpoint a true definition? I dont think we can.


Well, as a matter of fact, there is a pretty much official definition of ‘Talent’ that goes smth like “above the average ability”.
So that’s it…
No miraculous powers, no god given hu-u-ugest gift ever, no nothing over-extraordinary…
Simply a predisposition to a specific area of activity that can be either developed into some greatnesses or left unutilized and undiscovered for the lifetime…

Another imho smile.gif

But I agree totally that if you try hard enough someone will label you as 'talented' eventually smile.gif

Self-discipline, hard work, iron will, indestructible motivation and an intelligent time- and effort- wise approach to learning are also talents I guess smile.gif


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John In Socal
post Jul 24 2008, 10:57 PM
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I believe there is a limit to hard work and dedication though and that's where talent takes over. I don't believe everybody on the planet can be as good as steve vai, or mozart or who ever given enough hard work. I think hard work and dedication and having the right tools/information can take you a very long way but it will not turn you into a brilliant musiscian that can create some of the worlds most memorable and enduring songs. I believe that is where talent takes over. Music is about being creative, it's not about a tapping technique, or playing a zillion notes a second. Writing novels is a talent. I believe you can work hard to be a writer and can improve but there simply has to be some natural talent in order to be good writer and no amount of hard work will ever make you a truly great writer. Writing good music is the same way, it's not necessarily about studying and working hard at music theory. You can spend a zillion hours at music theory and studying how music is put together and practice all you want at writing your own songs but will they be good ? Can you be mozart with hard work ? I don't think so.

I believe it's the same in many things not just music. Can anybody be a professional baseball or basketball player giving enough hard work ? I don't believe so, I think natural talent plays a big role there. Can anybody be an einstein with enough hard work ? Would anybody think of E=MC'2 given enough time or hard work ?
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Muris Varajic
post Jul 24 2008, 11:03 PM
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QUOTE (Skyla°Lit @ Jul 24 2008, 08:09 PM) *
Self-discipline, hard work, iron will, indestructible motivation and an intelligent time- and effort- wise approach to learning are also talents I guess smile.gif


Agree tho I don't like the word talent. biggrin.gif


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wrk
post Jul 24 2008, 11:12 PM
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QUOTE (John In Socal @ Jul 24 2008, 11:57 PM) *
I believe there is a limit to hard work and dedication though and that's where talent takes over.....


Seriously, i think its the other way around .. smile.gif



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Dexxter
post Jul 24 2008, 11:21 PM
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How I look at talent, to be able to compose something that's really memorable and gives you chills and all that.
Like my little brother, I'm absolutely stunned over his ability to create music. Drums are his main instrument, but he just picks up the guitar and figure out these amazing riffs that he hears in his head by ear. And he know nothing about theory. I'm like "How did you come up with that, it has no scale logic or anything?" He completely blows my mind. I think he's really talented smile.gif
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John In Socal
post Jul 25 2008, 12:20 AM
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QUOTE (wrk @ Jul 24 2008, 03:12 PM) *
Seriously, i think its the other way around .. smile.gif


meaning with enough hard work that talent is not required and anybody can be mozart or steve vai with enough hard work ? I guess I don't really understand how so many on this thread think that talent simply means you can get somewhere faster and that a lack of talent can be overcome with hard work. Or perhaps I am missing the boat compltely on this thread and what people are saying. It seems to me talent does actually exist and at certain levels you smiply have a talent to do something or don't and no amout of practice can overcome it. Obviously it's never an either or type of thing, both go hand in hand. All the talent in the world means squat unless you use it and work hard to refine it. However all the practicing in the world doesn't lead to talent either. I think just about everybody could practice and work hard at basketball and become pretty good, but no amount of practice will turn you into a world class basketball player unless you have a natural ability/talent to do so.
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Daniel Robinson
post Jul 25 2008, 02:17 AM
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I think talent as a whole is subdivided into other tools they are strengths a person may or may not possess that help them achieve in certain areas more quickly than others.


For example, people who are "Tone deaf" someone who is unable at first to distinguish between different sound frequencies will have a tough time learning harmony, or even tuning their guitar without a machine.

So i don't know if its necessarily talent, but some people's tools are better equipped to learn music with a smaller amount of effort.

Myself i was born with a good ear, i don't have perfect pitch i.e. the ability to automatically know that i am hearing middle C for example. But, if you were to play E on the piano, and then F, i can actually sing, and hear frequencies in the cracks, i can hear if something falls between E and F on the piano.

There are actually well known musicians, singers especially that are famous and well thought of that i can't listen to, because i actually hear them being flat, or sharp all the time. The normal person doesnt hear this tonal dissonance.

Does this mean i have raw talent? I don't think it does. It just means that training my ear is something i don't have to really work on because of how my brain interprets incoming sound. Its aptitude based on how you are wired inside.

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FrankW
post Jul 25 2008, 04:26 AM
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There are varying degrees of talent. Some people are more gifted than others. Two people could practice guitar in exactly the same way, and one would inevitably show more progress than the other.
As others have noted, just because one puts in ten hour days at playing guitar doesn't guarantee that one will achieve the playing level of a Steve Vai, for instance.

A person that shows marked progress in a particular endeavor over others where all were exposed to and worked on the same things at the same pace, is a person who is more talented.

This Johan Randen kid who is 20 years old, (see the post), is playing fusion like a top professional. He is up there with Greg Howe, Guthrie Govan, and others. That is the definition of talent. The kid hasn't been on the earth long enough to log in the hours that most players require to play like that.

One can master the guitar by working hard and working smart, but that doesn't mean that one can reach the level of Shawn Lane or Allan Holdsworth unless they are also very talented. Sorry guys, hard work alone is no guarantee.
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Skyla°Lit
post Jul 25 2008, 07:01 AM
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Hard work alone is no guarantee, talent alone is no guarantee… Succeeding is rarely about guarantee smile.gif

The remarkable Steve Vai that’s been mentioned so so many times already had a very hard time learning… well, at least he says so. Still, he is Steve Vai today. Many haters many fans but definitely very few indifferent ones smile.gif

Anyway, the truth is we can barely ever state that Mr X is just talented… the biography rarely provides all the necessary details to do some kind of researching and see whether it was talent over hard work, or hard work over talent or both.

As for the prodigy musician kids…
Of course, there are tons of natural-born talent examples and not only in the music field. But just because natural-born talent or predisposition exist doesn’t mean talent cannot be trained. I think talent is more like intuition and all of the human brain abilities that can be developed if you just give it a try. It’s a whole different level of thinking, but still… For some it sounds totally impossible, for others – it’s totally normal.

Ability to Create is in some way what makes us humans… There is absolutely no way someone was born uncreative…

However, I agree with Muris that some young and not only young guitar players have wrong cause of motivation… Moreover, some even manage to stubbornly try mastering the instrument simply to prove something to somebody or to look cool or whatever - a whole lot of ridiculous reasons… And not because their biggest happiness is to just sit and play. I’ve seen musicians that happened to be musicians just because they didn’t stop long enough to consider and reconsider. And vice versa, I’ve seen those that should’ve been musicians but somehow ended up in the wrong place. So staying true to yourself and choosing the right path that is truly yours is also important.


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FrankW
post Jul 25 2008, 07:28 AM
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The point is, though, that some people are simply more adept at a particular skill than others, no matter how hard others try. Some people are more gifted at music than others, some people are more gifted at sports than others.

An extremely talented or gifted person is not defined by their accomplishments, but rather, their ability to excel at any one particular thing with ease, while others struggle just to try to keep up.

People are talented in different ways: the trick is to identify that talent and exploit it.
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Skyla°Lit
post Jul 25 2008, 07:44 AM
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QUOTE (FrankW @ Jul 25 2008, 08:28 AM) *
The point is, though, that some people are simply more adept at a particular skill than others, no matter how hard others try. Some people are more gifted at music than others, some people are more gifted at sports than others.

An extremely talented or gifted person is not defined by their accomplishments, but rather, their ability to excel at any one particular thing with ease, while others struggle just to try to keep up.

People are talented in different ways: the trick is to identify that talent and exploit it.


I totally agree smile.gif Talent does exist

It's just that trying hard and getting nowhere at all means you're forcing in the wrong direction... You're on the wrong path.
But once you've correctly identified the right one - there is absolutely no way you don't have any talent at all.

Besides, there are thousands of variations... you can become a great innovative teacher who will have the talent of releasing the hidden potential in kids, or you can become a great lyricist, or a great music theorist, or a great session guitarist, or a great solo player, or a creative guitar manufacturer or whatever... millions of possibilities...

This post has been edited by Skyla°Lit: Jul 25 2008, 07:54 AM


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FrankW
post Jul 25 2008, 08:36 AM
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I agree with you, Skyla. I particularly like your thought on how one, by utilizing their own talent, can help others unlock their potential. Tapping ones' resources can be a difficult journey, but there's no doubt that each of us has enormous potential when you consider that we humans are, generally speaking, using only around 10% of our brain power. I will admit that there are times when I'm not using even that much...
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Nighthawk1
post Jul 25 2008, 08:19 PM
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This is a real GMC showpiece-thread guys !!!...all your thoughts and arguments are very interesting and constructive. Even though I don't share everyones opinions (Which is never the goal anyway) of course it is still interesting and make me pore over the stuff which was said!! biggrin.gif

http://www.theshredzone.com/content/article.asp?pageid=327
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Skyla°Lit
post Jul 25 2008, 08:36 PM
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QUOTE (Nighthawk @ Jul 25 2008, 09:19 PM) *


Great article! smile.gif I could never ever explain better smile.gif The incalculable number of words it took me to not even get remotely close to the point is the proof biggrin.gif
But it oh so totally fits what I was trying to say rolleyes.gif


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black and white
post Jul 25 2008, 09:46 PM
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Not sure this about talent as much as about how organisms or people LEARN.

If you break down playing a guitar, it is really a series of individual, complex motor skills such as fingers picking a string or moving along a fretboard. Now individuals who are able to master these skills are said to possess talent. Fair enough.

These skills are all learned in the same way according to the principles of behavior modification. If someone receives reinforcement from their practice, they tend to practice more which then leads to additional reinforcement and then more practice. You can see how this leads to a feedback loop that is very gratifying. Same goes in the opposite direction. If playing the guitar is hard, and frustrating, then one will tend to stop playing, even if they have a natural aptitude for music or the guitar.

This is one reason that GMC is so successful IMHO. There is a lot of reinforcment here. People saying good job, keep trying, posting their licks and getting positive feedback. These are just some of the ways that guitar players are reinforced. This is in addition to the natural reinforcement that goes along with knowing that you are improving because you hear your playing improve.....VERY reinforcing. Kris and all of the instructors here say practice, practice, practice....and they are correct. This helps and it is absolutely critical. I think what is just as important, or more so, is the feedback that one recieves for that practice......and whether this was intentional or not, GMC has become a place of massive reinforcement as guitarists learn.....thus creating or enhancing talent.

So I think that talent is both, given innately, and conditioned. Does talent exist.....of course it does. Everyone has talent, or aptitude at something. Some people learn a skill fast. They just take to it. It is easy for them, but they follow the same process as anyone else....maybe just a bit faster.

I believe that the guitar greats deserve as much or more, credit for all the long hours they have spent honing their skills. Often this is passed off as talent, but I bet you they worked their behinds off to get where they are today.......and I am sure that is was not always easy.

Behavior is behavior and the same rules apply to modifying behavior in all instances...that is why they are referred to as behavior PRINCIPLES, they hold in all instances. So talent.....it is just a word that describes a certain subset of skills or behaviors....and they can all be modified with a little bit of positive attention. Works with kids and wives too. The world would be a kinder place with a little more attention to the things people do well.

And by the way....learning does not occur in a linear fashion, everyone gets stuck, or plateaus. Take a step back, practice what you are good at, then do tackle the hot new skill, or Muris' canon shred. Keep it fun, move forward, and do not be afraid to take a step back. Two steps back to go three steps forward, over time, still wins the race....ask the tortoise.

So from me.......you all are doing a great job here at GMC....thanks.

This post has been edited by black and white: Jul 26 2008, 05:14 PM
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Skyla°Lit
post Jul 26 2008, 08:37 AM
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Great post Black & White! cool.gif

I guess it could be a Thank You Letter from all of us GMC'ers biggrin.gif


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Joe Kataldo
post Jul 26 2008, 02:51 PM
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Practice gets you to 99%

The remaining 1% is talent

Motivation is the most important thing


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Juan M. Valero
post Jul 26 2008, 03:08 PM
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I think that for playing guitar is not necessary talent, just practice. Everybody can become an amazing shredder just with good practice. But IMHO I think that when you improvise or you write songs you need some kind of talent smile.gif


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Gus
post Jul 30 2008, 12:03 AM
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I think that in anything we decide to do in our lives takes is affected by practice, learning and "talent", whether it´s playing a sport, playing an instrument or studying at a university.
Each of these activities, however are affected in different ways by these 3 components. Some sports, for instance, are more affected by talent than the other components. Still, a talented sport player with much practice will be better than someone who has talent but doesn´t practice properly.

As for guitar, I believe that what separates a mediocre player from a great player is learning and practice. What separates a great player from a guitar god is talent...


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Torben
post Jul 30 2008, 08:41 AM
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Apparently this topic really engage a lot of GMC'ers! Me too...

I think we are discussing more than one topic here. The existing of talent (already established by definitions elsewhere) and then wether or not this phenomena (talent) is natural or achieved.

My point of view is, that the latter question (natural or achieved) is very difficult to answer. And maybe it's not that important (at least until science settles the things).

Talent is in my opinion the many different abilities you possess when you start. These may be natural (ie. you are born with them) or achieved.

Take for instance absolute pitch . It's an ongoing discussion wether or not this is inherited. Opinions are divided. Either some people are born with this ability. Or they achieve it in early childhood. (There's even a third option: we may all be born with the ability, but many of us loose it!).

No matter what's the reason for this (one) skill, I'm way beyond having it by now! Hence my talent is somewhat less.
In the end it may not be that important. If I want to, I can compensate somewhat by building up a relative pitch ability.
Maybe I will never be able to reach the level of someone who has absolute pitch, but I could still be good enough to play in the band!

The main thing is: I'm doing something (when I play my guitar) that really makes me feel good. Have fun.
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