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> How Many Hours Of Practice To Be Rick Graham?
Todd Simpson
post Jul 7 2017, 05:17 AM
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Youtube guitar legend RICK GRAHAM has made a name for himself by posting really killer vids and how to vids. Here he talks about his practice history and estimates roughly 30,000 hours of practice over his 26 years of playing, on the conservative side. It takes about 10,000 hours to get really good at pretty much anything. He does point out that it's important to practice well. He is a good example of how good you can get after a scant couple/few decades of consistent practice smile.gif



How much practice have you put in roughly?


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Caelumamittendum
post Jul 7 2017, 11:16 AM
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I do agree that 10.000 hours of practice makes you good. Really good.

However there's a factor I'd like to hear him and others talk about. I know I've mentioned it before. Personally I'm in a lucky position too, regarding how many hours I theoretically could put into guitar. Even during school days I could easily, theoretically, find 5-7 hours a day. But I don't, and it sometimes bothers me. I've had the possibility to put those hours into guitar for the past 10 years or more. So why don't I? Is it lack of motivation? Inspiration? Dedication?

I bet there are other people like me, living alone, no family to take care of etc., at least it's not uncommon in Denmark. I don't know what it's like time wise to have a family, mind you.

But what I'm trying to say is that you need dedication, inspiration and motivation to put in those 10.000 hours too. And where do you find that? Is that a natural gift? Or something you work towards? And how?


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jul 7 2017, 03:14 PM
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Good question Cael!

I have been playing guitar for 24 years now. I'm sure that I've passed the 10000 hours of guitar practice, and I think that if I count the time I've been composing and playing with my band I dare to say that I've exceeded the 30000 hours, and maybe more. My life is all around playing, making music and doing related things like working at GMC, giving private classes, recording and producing other musicians.

How do I get inspiration or motivation? There can be many reasons. The most obvious are that I love music, and that watching my heroes play made me want to go for it. People discouraging me, saying that it was difficult, or impossible, make me work even stronger. I remember my father saying when I was 15, you'll never make a living from music! And that made me stronger, that made me thing that it was difficult so I had to work even harder.

It was always like that. I remember being a 15 years old and comparing my playing with Yngwie or Vai, and feeling sad or depressed, but this depression was converted in more motivation, and reflected in obsessive practice in those days.

At any time of my life, I think that when I was 21, I become more interesting in composition and production than guitar. I had already been able to play all those songs that I wanted to play Malmsteen, Vai, Satriaini, Dream Theater, and I started to want to compose my own music, but not that kind of music that I enjoyed playing, I wanted to compose the kind of music that I've enjoyed listening. It was like a whole new world and that's how my band Cirse was born. I remember dedicating 10 hours or more per day to composition, arranging, and producing the music for the band. All that hard work make me reach another goal, that one that I dreamed when I was an 11 years old child. Playing in a rock band like my teenage heroes: Guns & Roses.

In those days, there was no youtube, internet, so there wasn't a way to do an online guitar career, and being in Argentina, I couldn't see how I could make a Steve Vai type career. There wasn't places to play, there wasn't audience. So the best thing if I wanted to grow as a musician was to have a rock band that could play everywhere. So my goal switched from wanting to be a great guitarist to wanting to have a great rock band with amazing songs. In the meantime I've discovered that it's more difficult to have a great band with great songs (I'm still working on it!) than becoming a great guitarist. laugh.gif

Just 2 or 3 years after starting Cirse, I've started working at GMC and my love for guitar practice was back and never disappeared. The grown of internet makes me want to become better at guitar and try to do a parallel guitar career. Guys like Rick Graham, Nick Johnston, Mateus Asato, Kiko Loureiro, doing great job with social networks really motivate me! I wish days were much longer!!! There are so many amazing things that we could do.

One thing that always happened to me is that I've felt guilty is I didn't play guitar at least 3 hours per day. Noways I'm a bit less sick hahaha, but the feeling is still on me... biggrin.gif


Ok that's a part of my story, I don't know if it answers the question, but maybe brings some inspiration.


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Rammikin
post Jul 7 2017, 04:07 PM
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Malcolm Gladwell made that 10,000 hours idea popular, and there's a lot of truth to it. People like Gabriel and Todd are not born with all that talent. They work hard to achieve it. That's good news for the rest of us. It means we can achieve some success by putting in a similar effort.

The other factor that is often overlooked though, is how you devote yourself during those 10,000 hours. I suspect Gabriel and Todd have wiring in their brains that locks their focus entirely on the guitar while they are practicing. When they spend 5 minutes practicing something, their brains are dedicated entirely to that practice and they get a lot out of it. For the rest of us, it's a struggle to achieve that same level of focus, so we may not get quite as much out of our time practicing.

And, to Cael's point, I think this focus has a lot to do with desire to practice. If you're achieving deep focus on your practice, you'll get more out of it, and if you get more out of it, your desire to practice will grow. And if your desire to practice grows, your focus during practice sessions will improve. It feeds back on itself. And that's more good news. It means your desire and inspiration and motivation can grow as you practice more.



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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jul 7 2017, 04:46 PM
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Rammikin post made me remember this other vid that Rick that is also very interesting.



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Todd Simpson
post Jul 7 2017, 09:46 PM
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You bring up a good point about focus. During practice, my brain locks in to a zen type state where I'm not actually even thinking. It's in that spot that I've made some of my best gains as time seems to slip away, everything seems to slip away and there is only the lick/riff/etc. that I'm playing. Same thing happens when improving a solo. However, I"m sure this type of thing can be learned by anyone since meditation is something that can be learned by anyone. It's quite similar IMHO. being able to let your mind go clear by reciting a "mantra" (Tibetan monks often use a vocalization of OOOHHHHHHMMMMM) or in this case, playing a riff/scale/song/solo that becomes the mantra. smile.gif

Sort of learning to "unthink". It let's you focus much more on what you are playing. Especially once you can play it with your eyes closed. Let the notes work there way in to your fingers and let the notes happen. Don't think about the note you missed, or how fast your are going, just go through it again. Eventually you'll reach that spot. Then you'll look up and realize an hour or two has passed by and it felt like a few minutes. At the end of the session, you should have whatever you were working on in a much more playable state. smile.gif

A side benefit of this is that it's very relaxing. it helps me destress/unwind/go zen. I hope it helps other folks as well.

I hope this makes sense?

Todd

QUOTE (Rammikin @ Jul 7 2017, 11:07 AM) *
Malcolm Gladwell made that 10,000 hours idea popular, and there's a lot of truth to it. People like Gabriel and Todd are not born with all that talent. They work hard to achieve it. That's good news for the rest of us. It means we can achieve some success by putting in a similar effort.

The other factor that is often overlooked though, is how you devote yourself during those 10,000 hours. I suspect Gabriel and Todd have wiring in their brains that locks their focus entirely on the guitar while they are practicing. When they spend 5 minutes practicing something, their brains are dedicated entirely to that practice and they get a lot out of it. For the rest of us, it's a struggle to achieve that same level of focus, so we may not get quite as much out of our time practicing.

And, to Cael's point, I think this focus has a lot to do with desire to practice. If you're achieving deep focus on your practice, you'll get more out of it, and if you get more out of it, your desire to practice will grow. And if your desire to practice grows, your focus during practice sessions will improve. It feeds back on itself. And that's more good news. It means your desire and inspiration and motivation can grow as you practice more.


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Jul 7 2017, 09:54 PM


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Phil66
post Jul 8 2017, 09:15 AM
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Going on the 10000 hour theory, with my life commitments I might be ok by the time I'm 70 years old laugh.gif

To be honest, I think most of us have to try and put that out of our minds and just enjoy it.

Not long ago a GMC member gave up work to try the 10000 hour theory out. I can't remember who it was but he didn't get to the level he expected. This emphasises that, as is said many many times on here, you have to forget the destination and enjoy the journey.

Cheers

This post has been edited by Phil66: Jul 8 2017, 07:33 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Jul 8 2017, 07:51 PM
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Very well said smile.gif I never even thought about "getting to 10,000 hours" during my first several years playing. I just enjoyed playing and learning new things, so I often played a LOT. Sometimes I over did it and got carpal tunnel in both hands which helped me learn to moderate my practicing a bit. Instead of one day putting in 12 hours, I learned to put it down and come back the next day.

You are spot on in that it really is about enjoying the journey. That's the entire point really. If the journey is tedious, trust me, the destination isn't going to be any better. It really is about enjoying the process. This can be tough as humans we are impatient to get to the next stage/level of where we want to be. So it's tough to focus on the present moment and find ways to enjoy that, rather than just putting up with it to reach a given goal.

I really think everyone is a bit different, but that everyone can find a way to enjoy the process. That really is the key. After that, one worries less about getting better quicker and just enjoy playing. smile.gif

Todd
QUOTE (Phil66 @ Jul 8 2017, 04:15 AM) *
Going on the 10000 hour theory, with my life commitments I might be ok by the time I'm 70 years old laugh.gif

To be honest, I think most of us have to try and put that out of our minds and just enjoy it.

Not long ago a GMC member gave up work to try the 10000 hour theory out. I can't remember who it was but he didn't get to the level he expected. This emphasises that, as is said many many times on here, you have to forget the destination and enjoy the journey.

Cheers



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Kristofer Dahl
post Jul 8 2017, 08:19 PM
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Jul 8 2017, 10:15 AM) *
This emphasises that, as is said many many times on here, you have to forget the destination and enjoy the journey.


Exactly, because if you do this - have fun while playing - you will be 120% focused without even thinking about it.


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bleez
post Jul 8 2017, 11:03 PM
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a while ago I decided to focus the bulk of my practice time to Alt picking. I cant do the 10 hour per day thing ( wish I could ) but basically about 1.5 hours per day, 6 days per week just drilling the usual 'picky' stuff to a metronome. I practised other stuff on top of this but about two thirds of my time was spent doing alt picking.
Done this for about 18 months and was gutted at how little I improved compared to what I thought I would. It depressed the tits off me rolleyes.gif but when I worked it out, it was like about 700 hours.... that's nothing really, dunno what I expected! Im not becoming Rick Graham in 700 hours that's for sure.
I try not to think about hours now.


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Todd Simpson
post Jul 9 2017, 09:53 AM
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Learning how to best manage ones practice time takes practice smile.gif Seeking out the "Fun" is the most important thing IMHO as it encourages repeat visits and repeat practice sessions. You can find your fun in anything. Online collabs, live jams, playing along with movies and tv, learning new gmc lessons, all of the above etc. You just gotta find the fun part. At that point, the tedious aspect we sometimes feel when in practice just goes away! So find your fun!!

Todd

QUOTE (bleez @ Jul 8 2017, 06:03 PM) *
a while ago I decided to focus the bulk of my practice time to Alt picking. I cant do the 10 hour per day thing ( wish I could ) but basically about 1.5 hours per day, 6 days per week just drilling the usual 'picky' stuff to a metronome. I practised other stuff on top of this but about two thirds of my time was spent doing alt picking.
Done this for about 18 months and was gutted at how little I improved compared to what I thought I would. It depressed the tits off me rolleyes.gif but when I worked it out, it was like about 700 hours.... that's nothing really, dunno what I expected! Im not becoming Rick Graham in 700 hours that's for sure.
I try not to think about hours now.



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Tom51
post Jul 9 2017, 10:17 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Jul 9 2017, 08:53 AM) *
Learning how to best manage ones practice time takes practice smile.gif Seeking out the "Fun" is the most important thing IMHO as it encourages repeat visits and repeat practice sessions. You can find your fun in anything. Online collabs, live jams, playing along with movies and tv, learning new gmc lessons, all of the above etc. You just gotta find the fun part. At that point, the tedious aspect we sometimes feel when in practice just goes away! So find your fun!!

Todd


Very good point Todd! Seeking for fun stuff is most important. I have been working on two funk rhythm lessons for some months now but I still enjoy it and make progress.
If I do not like what I play my practice is just mindless and more or less wasted time. And even worse I practice "bad playing" as I play what I was told to and not what I would do voluntary.

That is why I often ask Gab in my mentoring thread to go for new lessons after some months because its fun to learn new things and each hour of playing makes me better. But keeping the same stuff over and over again will result in much less improvement. That is how things work for me.

Tom
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