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> Interesting Research About Talent.
Robin
post Dec 2 2007, 10:31 PM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Dec 2 2007, 10:23 PM) *
This topic is very dear to me and I would be very intereted in reading what everyone has got to say about it (instructors as well as students). I have taken the liberty to paste what I said about this in this thread one year ago.
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I don't believe talent exists.

And if it does no one can ever objectively determine whether you have it or not. Not me, your mum or your music teacher.

The only thing I can tell when I hear somebody's recording is if I liked it or not. I cannot tell whether I liked it because they have practiced or if it's because they have talent or if it's a combination of both.

Unfortunately no scientific studies of rock n roll have been made yet - I suspect that's why there is an awful amount of bull going around on this topic. That is also why I like to make a stand against the whole talent thing.

Now here is something I do know - I exposed my playing and music to a lot of people in my early practicing stage and did not get any acknowledgement. This wasn't once or twice - there was an obvious trend. Now, I could have chosen to do as many people would have - acknowledge defeat... ("I don't have sense of timing, musicality...talent!)

But I didn't - that's when the fun begun. I told myself s**w them - they are speaking about talent as an excuse to why they never got anywhere, I won't let that happen to me. I sat down and practiced and now I make a living of my playing - thanks to motivation not talent (I will never know if I had any - but if I had listened to what others said, I wouldn't be were I am today and surely would have thought of myself as talentless.)

Now recently I have got to hear "Sure kristofer you can play guitar - that's your talent" - (where were these people 10 years ago??!!) - "but don't think you can write and sing songs"!! Ok so there are still a lot of ignorant people to convince. At the age of 23 I could barely sing a note in pitch - but is that going to stop me?

Recently I have practiced singing and songwriting - you will find my most recent attempt here. I can tell you that tune alone has been enough to prove my point to some people. However I intend to take this very much further and keep developing my singing and songwriting through new strategies. I like to use my brain and not my "talent".

...talent, an extremely miss-used word. How about we throw it in the bin and substitute it with the following ( English grammar experts please fill me out here):

motivation, starting-early, early-positive-stimulation

Now if you lack the the "early" parts no worries - that's why we have gmc. smile.gif

--Kris

PS Awesome discussions we got going on! biggrin.gif



QUOTE (Layzer @ Dec 2 2007, 10:29 PM) *
A bit off subject...but i have seen some children with Autism have perfect pitch and amazing talent but are completely unable to read music. Very interesting!

I saw something like that on 60minutes. Its AMAZING.


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botoxfox
post Dec 2 2007, 10:32 PM
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I only think it comes down to the wiring in your brain...


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Pavel
post Dec 2 2007, 11:51 PM
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QUOTE (botoxfox @ Dec 2 2007, 10:32 PM) *
I only think it comes down to the wiring in your brain...


laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif

This topic again turns to "personal opinion" point wink.gif Some people can put enormous amount of effort and achieve nothing while some can practice/study something for 2 hours and really get the subject down.

Also - the talent is clearly shown in places like live performance. Some people just get on stage and hit the correct notes with no feeling at all. It sounds totally wrong than. Talented people get on stage and they can hit 3 notes and make it sound AWESOME.

Practice is all fine - but not enough. There are some things from "inside" of you that you may have or not.

Most of the people drive car's right? We all have driving licenses. If you take F1 formula racing you can clearly see who's got driving talent and who has not. Apparently a driver who drives 20 races and each time gets to the finish under number 18 is not created to be an F1 driver. AND - same way you can say for those who come among top 3 EACH TIME that they are naturally gifted drivers.

I bet you're like: "You're all wrong, i'm right here!", Kris must be boiling with "no talent" thing because i jsut said the opposite thing laugh.gif laugh.gif but again, making a fight is pointless because none of us can give us the TRUTH! smile.gif


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TheReturnFC-Iban...
post Dec 3 2007, 02:44 AM
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From my side....

I feel that talent is a force of a person that push him to do something that he really like to do....

2 years ago...or since i was born...i heard no music...i get shy sometime too...

I started to play guitar 1year ago(which was waste of time over chords...and simple riff[not more than 3 ])
I play with the feeling that i should be able to master it with something that i called knowledge(in computer language is called Power user)
that mean i be able to be decent or know more than normal players...

I keep observing ppl playing guitar( which is in Psychology that effect learning skills) i even try to observe how the notes goes( even i don know how to read music yet that time) how the pitch and all changes...and whatever so....

I feel that after practice of tunning purely by my ear over year make me get perfect pitch( on acoustic although my E was D lol)


I really believe that if motivation(same in psychology) is presence...surely you will observe and learn something new....but mainly nowadays ppl get attract to girls or friends or whatever gaming...and so on. These make ppl lose there aim in learning since they brains are just mess up with all things that they have to do...(as an example of Pavel, which i believe that is a truth...)

I started to learn how to read music 4 months ago...my teacher comment on my mid-term.." Good sense of pitch" since nobody else play music before....

In my music class there is guy playing guitar(while i'm bass, which make me sick because i want to play guitar not bass anyway)
Since 4 months...he learned nothing...not even a music reading or "understanding" since he have no motivation....

Then i would conclude that " Effort, Motivation, Observation" Are mainly effect our skills.(Example a young child learn how to walk...since they saw mom and dad walk...so we did try and we walk)

I believe that "talent" come from these motivation when you are young....that why we can do it...and everyone does it...(like walking)

I hope this is right...sorry for any misunderstanding or words...
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Chris Evans
post Dec 3 2007, 01:27 PM
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I kinda agree with Kris and Pavel on this, I think someone with no talent whatsoever can learn to do anything that they set their mind on, however its the execution of what is being played for me that is where the talent comes in.
Eye,hand and brain co ordination comes a lot easier to some than others, theres also the way that they hear whats being played, that to me is a talent. personally I think you need a bit of both, a bit of talent an aptitude if you like and lots of bloomin hard work thrown in as well smile.gif


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Tank
post Dec 3 2007, 05:00 PM
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Great discussion guys, I've been thinking a lot on this subject recently, because of my increase in practicing. I agree with Pavel, that this will be a matter of opinion. So I'll have to wade in with mine tongue.gif biggrin.gif

I was told that I was talented when I was younger. My grandfather gave me a violin (well actually it was a fiddle, as he used to teach traditional Irish music) when I was 4. He taught me the basics of learning music when I was 5, and I don't ever remember feeling "this is difficult". When I was 7, I was tested using a standard examination (a record was played "Which rhythm is faster.." "Which note is higher, the first or the second" etc) which was designed for 10 year olds. I aced it, and the school gave me a cello to learn (I had no idea what a cello looked like). I was in choirs, in the regional orchestras, and played music internationally in chamber orchestras etc for the next 10 years.

But I never, ever worked at it. In fact, for my "A" level music exam, you had to compose a piece of music, based on a situation (If I remember rightly, "Imagine a play set about the Titanic. Write a piece of music to coincide with a scene of the play"). The piece of music I submitted was for 32 piece orchestra, and I didn't write one bar while sat at an instrument. In fact, most of it was written in the school study hall, while on detention. I just worked out a key, and grafted it out of my head. Not because that was a cool thing to do, but because I was lazy. I got an A for composition (scored a C altogether, as I didn't study for the written exam). As a result of my laziness, my teachers and I never saw eye to eye. They saw me wasting my chances, it's only later in life, I realised this.

And I believe that's the key to where I've fallen behind. Lots of the musicians I grew up with, and studied with are superior to me. The difference between each one of those people, and me, is that they worked at it harder than I ever did. I allowed talent to be an excuse for not putting in effort. And so I'm "good" (read "mediocre"), and they aren't.

So what is talent? The only thing that I could point to within myself and say "perhaps that's what talent is" may be a natural preclusion to just try something and not worry about what happens (or in the case of music, what it sounds like, until you get it right). In my time I've played to various standards, piano, guitar, 'cello, bass (both upright, and electric) violin, bodhran (Irish drum), whistles, bagpipes, bouzouki, mandolin. Some of these, I've had to be on a stage, playing them, after a week or so of practice. But it doesn't scare me to do that, it's never really bothered me.

Here is the thing though. This ability to not be scared by it, can be achieved by practicing. It may take the "untalented" a while longer, but once it happens, a talented person has little advantage over a hard worker. The reason why I am a master at none of the instruments listed above, is that no point, have I committed to practicing them, in a serious way. Luckily, in my time, I've managed to master "being on stage", only through the practice of having played many gigs a year, so as Pavel said, I have the ability to outshine a better guitarist, through better performance.

In my experience, talent can be a barrier, if you believe that talent is an excuse to not work at it. On the flip side of the coin, there are also those who've given up because they say "I have no talent". Perhaps the very rarest of musicians have talent AND have worked hard to become musical geniuses. But I've read a lot of interviews, biographies, and have also met some of the people I consider to be geniuses. They all attest that their success is dependent on a point in their lives when they took to serious practice. And it's the work that they put in, that allowed them to express music through their chosen instruments, or to allowed them to put pen to paper and write the music that they have produced. Perhaps talent AND work will give you immortality, but I've realised that I'd be happy with working hard, and mastering my guitar biggrin.gif

/T
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Chris Evans
post Dec 3 2007, 05:22 PM
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great post Tank some real good points in there, especially using the excuse of "talent" not to work hard at something,

I`ve picked up many different instruments and can generally squeeze a tune out of most things within a few minutes of playing aound with them, but, I dont want to be a jack of all trades and master of none, so I choose to put all efforts into the guitar, you are so right with your post, and for me mirrors a lot of what I have done in the past, I put the guitar down for pretty much 6 months and picked it up and hadnt gone backwards at all too badly, for sure the fingers where a little sore etc, but the playing wasnt terrible, however, over the last 6 months I have put more effort into my practice/playing than I have done in 20 odd years and the rewards are outstanding! I could kick myself that I didnt put in this kind of effort many years ago, I really could! mad.gif

Excellent post mate, thanks


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steve25
post Dec 4 2007, 12:08 AM
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Great discussion and heres my part on it

Back in primary school (elementary school for the americans) we were introduced to musical instruments and were offered lessons at the school. I can still remember the day going home to my parents and saying that i wanted to play one. I didn't care what, i just wanted to get into music. I remember feeling very disappointed when they told me they couldn't afford for me to do it. However they told me when i moved up to Secondary school that they would let me, so i waited.

In Secondary school it was the same thing. I sort of forgot about it for a while but i always thought to myself what if i could be *something* in music, ever get that feeling? I bet all of you have. Back then though, i wasn't listening to the same stuff i am now, i had a bad music taste but obviously i liked that stuff.

So when GCSE came along i still didn't have an instrument to play, but that didn't stop me taking GCSE in music. Nearly everyone there played an instrument. All i could do was try and learn keyboard on my own as fast as possible. And if i must say, it taught me a lesson about music and i didn't do too bad. Though sometimes i felt quite put down. People used to ask me why i took music when i know nothing about it and as they said "you're no good at it".

That's when i realised there's a lot more to music then meets the ears. If there was anyone in that whole class who was unnaturally talented, it was me! I couldn't sing a note to save my life. I couldn't play any instruments. I got nervous whenever it was my turn to play. It took me god knows how many takes in the recording studio to play the simplest piece on the keyboard ever but the point is i did it, and i passed. Not a great grade in fact i did worse on the theory but got a C in the practical which i was rather pleased about.

Having finally left school i got a job and that's when i decided as i've got my own money it's time to buy a guitar. I did so and people were surprised when i did. I think they sort of expected me to give up on music after that. But i'm glad i took GCSE music because it gave me a good starting point. And before long i took lessons. My teacher was very impressed with how quickly i was learning and progressing with it. But this wasn't natural talent, this was me working at it. He told me i'm the best he's ever had and it really motivated me to try harder. Of course eventually he told me i should get another teacher to teach me the style i want to play. Also by signing up here has helped me to. One of the main things that made me sign up to GMC is the part with Kris saying he did it all without natural talent. I finally believed that it is not what it's all about and it was a relief.

I do believe in natural talent but i believe in hard work more. Sometimes natural talents can actually be peoples downfalls. I think this because they might think there's no need to practice because they're naturally talented at it. To be honest, i cannot imagine anyone picking up a guitar for the first time and being good at it. I can't imagine them understanding perfectly every little bit of music theory straight away. To be able to play every chord properly, to learn scales in next to no time i can't imagine it.

So for me, i wouldn't want to be naturally talented anyway. In a few years i hope i can say that i'm at least a half decent player and that i did it all with proper hard work. I hope that maybe one day i can write my own music and it'll be good and people will like it. But that takes time and patience etc and i think as long as anyone has it nothing should get in the way.
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blindwillie
post Dec 4 2007, 09:38 PM
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My take then. I'll stay in the middle.

You can become very, very good at anything with hard work and "no talent".
With talent and no work you won't accomplish anything.
With both, well, that's where greatness is born.

There is an autistic pianist, can't rember his name, who is very talented. Plays it all by ear and haven't had any musical education. My kid is really good at guitar, but lazy, and learns fast with a minimum amount of training.

So. To me there is no doubt about whether people can be more or less talented. What's talent then? I don't know.
Maybe it's in the way you approach something. If you really love something maybe you do it more relaxed and with an open mind.
We are all born a little bit different. Which is a great thing. Some have an understanding for abstract thinking. Some are great with mechanical stuff. Some are strong, some have great motoric(?) skills.
Some learn faster if they get their information visually, some by hearing, some by reading, some by doing (repeatedly. me! me!).

Maybe talent is just a lucky combination of interest, opportunity, mind and physical abilitys?

Oh I forgot: And money to buy gear tongue.gif


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Mackietao
post Dec 4 2007, 09:48 PM
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I believe some people may have advantages. I wouldn´t call it talent though. It might be the shape of your body. All instruments doesn´t look the same. Some people might recover faster fysically or just lived a very healthy life growing up and don´t have to deal with pain in varias areas of the body and such

I read some of you were in to the thing about listening to music as a kid. I believe that it makes you get a rythm feeling and all that. The brain is envolving, thinking, memorybuilding and all that. It´s easier to play something familiar and from what I´ve learned on the posted about getting better playing instrument with mental training it supports the idea. So are these ones gifted? Since it is probably learned over several years it´s not really a gift is it? smile.gif

I believe that a slight "talent" might excist. A little better connection between brain and muscles or whatever. But I also belive that is so small help it´s almost irrelevant. What happens with you growing up I believe is the main thing when speaking of talent.!

While some people may be slightys slighty more talented then others some people actually suck big time. That´s a bigger difference. Just like people can be born without an arm I think people can be born with very very musical disadvantages. If that is muscular so you can´t make your hands do what you want. Or you just don´t know you aren´t doing what you think it doesn´t really matter in this discussion.
So speaking in pictures: no arm is real bad... Normal arm is.. normal. A great arm doesn´t really excist. a bit better then average sure but we all know nervs and all that can be trained up. So if you haven´t been playing around with technical stuff like lego etc. as a child just keep on practising. smile.gif

And as for another thing I believe many people is mistaking for a gift is perfection desire. Some people just feel the need to be perfekt. Could be their hair or whatever. And many people actually believe they are better. In a way this makes them better because they will not settle with a sloppy sound and give more thought in to training. Very serious when it comes to schoolwork also. But now I´m just generalising.

So main factor is will, strive and second factor is like Kris is pointing out. Be smart! train smart and you will sound good and get the most out of it. And avoid injuries.

Hope this made sence, i´m sort of tired.. Quitting writing now :S

This post has been edited by Mackietao: Dec 4 2007, 09:51 PM
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botoxfox
post Dec 4 2007, 09:57 PM
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QUOTE (botoxfox @ Dec 2 2007, 10:32 PM) *
I only think it comes down to the wiring in your brain...


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Resurrection
post Dec 4 2007, 10:12 PM
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QUOTE (Layzer @ Dec 2 2007, 09:29 PM) *
A bit off subject...but i have seen some children with Autism have perfect pitch and amazing talent but are completely unable to read music. Very interesting!



This is true. Two of my children have autism and, whilst their 'talents' are not (yet?) in the area of music, there are definitely areas where they are more advanced than typical children. The flip side is that they have extra difficulties in other areas that most of us take for granted. However, I have personally seen autistic children who have very advanced skills in art and music from a very early age.

I believe, as others have said, that the brains of different individuals have varying abilities with how they store, recall and process different types of information. This leads to the conclusion that, for any particular skill, some people will find it more 'instinctive' than others. Such people may be labelled 'talented' at that skill. Of course, practice has a very important part to play, as the brains of most people can be trained to process a particular type of information to an improved degree through exercises, repetition and analysis. Don't forget that there are large regions of the human brain that medical science doesn't understand very well. We all have a lot of unaccounted processing power available in our heads smile.gif

Great thread, by the way smile.gif


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Bogdan Radovic
post Dec 4 2007, 10:23 PM
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I beleve in hard work ...If you want something bad and work hard for it you will accomplish it....


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fkalich
post Dec 4 2007, 11:16 PM
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QUOTE (Pavel @ Dec 2 2007, 07:56 AM) *
Well, i do believe in talent because there are some kids, like 7 years old kids who can do crazy stuff on instruments with almost NO hours of practice.

Don't even try to convince me wrong - it won't work. Let's just state our opinions here wink.gif


Correct. The supermen do exist. In every field. That being said, they often end up being screw ups in a sense, or just get bored.

However, be careful about the 7 year olds. We as a species have abilities at that age that we lose as we get a little older. That is why they learn language so quickly, the young child's brain has abilities that get lost as we enter adult hood.

As adults we have to use our head better, come up with frameworks to help us. And learn to work effectively. Not just harder, to work smarter. The little kids don't need that.



QUOTE (Pavel @ Dec 2 2007, 04:51 PM) *
Practice is all fine - but not enough. There are some things from "inside" of you that you may have or not.
TRUTH! smile.gif


yes and no. you can find things inside you, but you may have to change. most people are not going to change the way they are, the way they think. but it can be done.


regarding talent, anyone who says that supermen do not exist, has clearly never been in competition in a top college, or a good graduate department any decent university. yes, the supermen exist.
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drummingguitaris...
post Dec 5 2007, 01:34 AM
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I completely agree with what Pavel says. 100%. I do believe talent exists. But I also believe it's true hard work.

In my true and honest opinion, I believe that people with talent will always be better. Using Kris as an example, if there were two copies of Kris, one with talent and one without, and they played the same riff or the same solo the same way, I believe that a discrepancy can be made who was born for music, and who wasn't. The scientific study about the brain being pressured into hard work is all well and good, and obviously it's what drives them, but the sheer fact that genetics for specific brain patterns that enlarge the same parts made for music (as to others who's parts are not enlarged) will discredit what talent is believed to be. Some people call it talent, some people call it apt, some people believe that there is no such thing, that those same brain patterns can be duplicated under any environment.

"If something is a marvel, and the truth behind the marvel is revealed, if it's not still amazing, then it wasn't a marvel at all."

I will call it talent. But I agree with Kris about the hard work. It takes hard work to get there, talent just can make all the difference.


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Owen
post Dec 5 2007, 06:45 PM
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QUOTE (drummingguitarist06 @ Dec 4 2007, 04:34 PM) *
I completely agree with what Pavel says. 100%. I do believe talent exists. But I also believe it's true hard work.

In my true and honest opinion, I believe that people with talent will always be better. Using Kris as an example, if there were two copies of Kris, one with talent and one without, and they played the same riff or the same solo the same way, I believe that a discrepancy can be made who was born for music, and who wasn't. The scientific study about the brain being pressured into hard work is all well and good, and obviously it's what drives them, but the sheer fact that genetics for specific brain patterns that enlarge the same parts made for music (as to others who's parts are not enlarged) will discredit what talent is believed to be. Some people call it talent, some people call it apt, some people believe that there is no such thing, that those same brain patterns can be duplicated under any environment.

"If something is a marvel, and the truth behind the marvel is revealed, if it's not still amazing, then it wasn't a marvel at all."

I will call it talent. But I agree with Kris about the hard work. It takes hard work to get there, talent just can make all the difference.


Whilst I do agree that there is such a thing as natural talent I do not agree here.

Having no natural talent for something can force you to work outside the box, you think up new ways to complete challenges instead of them just being simple A to B work like they would for someone who had talent.

Also people like Mozart did have natural talent - he could play anything by anyone, it would pose no challenge to him - he was thrown around Europe as this child prodigy - nothing more than an attraction - "come see the child play fast music!", but compositionally he had to go back to basics because initially he didnt understand where to go, so many of Mozarts pieces are simple melodies which have been elaborated upon to create something greater.

Maybe a talented Kris could outperform an untalented Kris at playing a particular riff, but being able to play something is not the same thing as being able to compose great music!

There are so many prodigies in this world, yet most of them only become session musicians because they have no vision of their own, they do not think outside the box so they play other peoples music!

Believe me, if the "talented" had all the cards, there wouldnt be any point in the rest of us trying would there? But I believe, as a totally untalented guitarist, that I have the ability to write more interesting music than a talented person perhaps would.

Be original! Be untalented! cool.gif wink.gif


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The Uncreator
post Dec 5 2007, 08:06 PM
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QUOTE (Owen @ Dec 5 2007, 09:45 AM) *
Be original! Be untalented! cool.gif wink.gif


Im with you on that laugh.gif
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Dejan Farkas
post Dec 5 2007, 08:14 PM
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I see two segments in music, performance and composition

As per performance, I believe we have a kind of compressor built inside us. We have certain levels that we can reach easily and as progress further it takes more and more effort. Some people that we call 'untalented' have to work more, than those 'talented'. If you compare it to sports, almost every healthy person can train himself to run 100 meters under 10 seconds, but not everyone can beat the world record. smile.gif

But speaking about composition, firstly we have to have a sense for that, to hear a melody inside the head, and then to work hard on the skills to let this melody out.


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TheClansmanDK
post Dec 5 2007, 08:28 PM
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Personally i believe in natural talent. I went to a music school after a few years of hard practicing. Even tho, i could not even compare my playing with some mates there who played for maybe 5 months or so. And i did about 4 hours of practice every day at the time, where i asked the others they maybe play for about 3 hours in a week. So i believe in natural talent smile.gif But certainly i don't own it, and im glad i dont. I think people working to the top deserves it more!

Cheerz, and very interesting dialog going on in here wink.gif
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drummingguitaris...
post Dec 5 2007, 09:37 PM
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QUOTE (Owen @ Dec 5 2007, 11:45 AM) *
Whilst I do agree that there is such a thing as natural talent I do not agree here.

Having no natural talent for something can force you to work outside the box, you think up new ways to complete challenges instead of them just being simple A to B work like they would for someone who had talent.

Also people like Mozart did have natural talent - he could play anything by anyone, it would pose no challenge to him - he was thrown around Europe as this child prodigy - nothing more than an attraction - "come see the child play fast music!", but compositionally he had to go back to basics because initially he didnt understand where to go, so many of Mozarts pieces are simple melodies which have been elaborated upon to create something greater.

Maybe a talented Kris could outperform an untalented Kris at playing a particular riff, but being able to play something is not the same thing as being able to compose great music!

There are so many prodigies in this world, yet most of them only become session musicians because they have no vision of their own, they do not think outside the box so they play other peoples music!

Believe me, if the "talented" had all the cards, there wouldnt be any point in the rest of us trying would there? But I believe, as a totally untalented guitarist, that I have the ability to write more interesting music than a talented person perhaps would.

Be original! Be untalented! cool.gif wink.gif


I completely understand where you are coming from. It's fair to say that people with no natural talent could think outside the box, and I do believe that, but what I did NOT (my bad) differentiate was that talent was necessarily better than hard work. What I MEANT to say was is that the difference between A Talented and A Untalented is the mere fact that you can SEE talent. I believe both can create fantastic music, but I believe talent is a mere naysay, only a difference that you can see, not necessarily better because of that talent within him.

Hopefully I cleared that up.


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thedarkblues06 wrote:

jpast wrote:

He wishes he was in the minority. Nothing like making out with guys to stick it to the man. (Pun intended)
(Off-hand comment made about Pete Wentz wishing he was gay.)
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