Author Topic: Talent vs practice  (Read 1016 times)

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Re: Talent vs practice
« Reply #30 on: October 31, 2019, 12:59:05 am »

That's what I suspected, a teacher can be good, the downside is that they don't wait to give you new material is that right? That's what Justin said.
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Offline LazyAsian

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Re: Talent vs practice
« Reply #31 on: October 31, 2019, 02:57:35 am »
I've asked this question to several high level professional guitar players and teachers before, and they all generally said the same thing. For any player, there comes a point where they hit a plateau, beyond which it gets more and more difficult to improve. Talent helps carry you along so that you can reach that plateau faster, but once it is reached, you have no choice but to put in good old-fashioned hard work to further improve your skills.

I'm not aware of scientific studies related to this. For one thing, talent is hard to quantify, and mainstream science is mostly interested in things that can be quantified. From personal experience, everyone I know who is regarded as exceptional in their field worked hard to get there. They may have learned their skills faster than others, but they invariably put in a lot of work behind the scenes.
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Offline J.W.C.

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Re: Talent vs practice
« Reply #32 on: October 31, 2019, 09:01:42 am »

That's what I suspected, a teacher can be good, the downside is that they don't wait to give you new material is that right? That's what Justin said.

In what context did he say that? (Not challenging it, just curious.)

My experience is that teachers who frequently assign new material fall into two broad categories.

The first (and most desirable) is the teacher who is giving you a new piece or a new exercise for a specific purpose, and as soon as that purpose is fulfilled, they move you along. I've experienced this, and I've also seen it with my daughters' teachers. An example: my daughter's teacher assigned her a new piece (an etude). It was a demanding piece. Long before my daughter felt she'd mastered it, the teacher said "okay, we're done with that..." and assigned something new. My daughter asked me about that. I said "you should ask your teacher." She did, and the teacher replied that she assigned the piece because it was a good etude for practicing spicatto bowing technique (this was a viola piece). The teacher didn't assign the etude with the goal of having my daughter master and polish the piece, but to work on a specific weak area. When my daughter's technique improved, the purpose of the assignment was fulfilled. I think a teacher doing this is fine. It's best to communicate the purpose, though, to avoid confusion.

The second broad reason a teacher might assign a new piece and move on is to appear to be "doing something" to move the student along. Assigning new material is an easy way to create that perception. But it can be an illusion if the student isn't actually making progress, and constantly being assigned new material can be just as frustrating as being stuck in a rut on the same few things for a long time.

I guess there are other possible reasons, too. For example, maybe the student really is stuck on a certain piece, and the teacher assigns a different one to break out of the rut and come at the problem from another angle.

I'm interested in what Justin had to say about this. (He's a good teacher.) Please post a link if you have it handy.

Offline diademgrove

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Re: Talent vs practice
« Reply #33 on: October 31, 2019, 09:35:31 am »
@diademgrove so how can someone new possible knows if the sound is right?

I.E, when I strum, it sounds about right for my ear (but my music ear is begginner). But it is really right? How do I know if I'm not practicing something wrong and making the wrong permanent?

The easiest way to know if what you're playing sounds ok is to record yourself. Then leave it a couple of days and play the recording back. Things to look out for include,

the beat, is it steady?

are the chords in tune (easy if you have a tuner and tune up before starting)?

are you playing all the notes, does the chord sound muffled?

are the chord changes smooth?

finally does it sound like music?

The play back will let you know what you need to improve, if anything. If its fine start introducing more difficult chords, for example F and A barre chords. if not work on your weaknesses but don't neglect your strengths.

One of the hardest things for me was hearing fairly simple chord progressions hour after hour whilst wanting to sound like Jimi Hendrix. Finding songs that sound similar to your level helps. Early Bob Dylan songs are just him singing, an acoustic guitar and some strumming or occasionally finger picking. Playing along, even if its just strumming on the beat will be good for you. If you can sing even better.

If you're worried about your hand position film yourself playing and check it. Justin provides plenty of advice on the correct hand position in his lessons, including in Tammy's latest lesson.

A teacher can open doors for you but its up to you to walk through them, you should also open doors he or she doesn't show you.

Working systematically through Justin's beginner's course will give you a sound foundation.

The one thing I'd recommend, starting today is to develop your ear. Jump into Justin's transcribing lessons with both feet, don't get discouraged if the water's freezing, just dry yourself down and jump in again, and again. Advice I wish I'd been forced to follow when I was much, much younger.

Good luck,


Offline Endureth

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Re: Talent vs practice
« Reply #34 on: October 31, 2019, 07:20:14 pm »
Learn new concepts.
Practice, practice, practice.
Play songs, have fun.
Learn new concepts.
Practice, practice, practice.
Play songs, have fun.
Learn new concepts.
Practice, practice, practice.
Play songs, have fun.

It never changes no matter how advanced you become.  This holds true for professionals and for you.

Offline deadeye_ag

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Re: Talent vs practice
« Reply #35 on: October 31, 2019, 08:02:45 pm »
BTW some guys seems like they are hating Tina S, don't do that, she is very good, and I guess she can do stuff that many of us can't. She's young and got a full life for improvements.

I don't think anyone here means to hate on TinaS. You mentioned that you thought she is an "epic player" in your eyes. And as a beginner, I completely understand. You are telling yourself "man, I could only dream of getting that good." When I first started playing I thought people who could strum around the campfire were awesome. Low and behold I'm one of those people now, so my standards have changed. Yours will too if you stick to it. For those like Kasper, who already play at a higher level than most of us, "epic players" are a much shorter list.

Offline tobyjenner

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Re: Talent vs practice
« Reply #36 on: October 31, 2019, 11:57:14 pm »
That's the challenge, how someone could know if they are practicing right? I guess that's the reason we do need a in-the-flesh teacher.

Sorry I disagree as it depends on the teacher. For me with logistical limitations I will struggle to find a one to one teacher but if I did who can say that teacher is right. What I do know after 17 yrs that DYI teaching following books and internet ain't enough. You need structure and that is what Justin is all about. That's why his site is not only great for beginners but is full of experienced players who still learn from how he teaches and share that with those here. I could name many but they know who they are and are still humble enough to share their own hard earned talents and experience.

Everything you need his here, no need to look elsewhere and above all you have a forum full of folks who have all been down the same path or have just taken the first few steps. And they are all here to share their experiences good and bad, so you don't make the same mistakes that many of us here have made.

There are no shortcuts, talent follows years of practice and the wisdom and skill of a great teacher. You have found your way here now follow the path.


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Offline licksnkicks

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Re: Talent vs practice
« Reply #37 on: November 11, 2019, 12:23:40 am »
Talented people tend to love what they do and practice the most.
So are they talented because they spend so much time practicing or
because they love what they do.

I agree with Keith some people just learn or understand music quicker
than other but this can also be detrimental. When some people finding thing
to easy they get bored and quit, while others love the challenge and put in the time.

That would be me. If I am not playing guitar you can bet I am surely thinking about it. I don’t know how talented I am but I love love my guitars to death. They bring me so much happiness. I can easily play for hrs on end. 

The way I practice is motivating. I practice the stuff that I am having difficulty with and then I reward myself with a couple of songs I love to play in between. I practice my scales etc the same exact way.
I have such a passion for music and playing. I will be playing until iam dead. It’s the best drug in the world.
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Offline DanniTSI3

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Re: Talent vs practice
« Reply #38 on: November 12, 2019, 11:06:38 am »
I always think back to my gymnastics days. Some people are born with natural flexibility, their bodies bend in ways that mine never would, no matter how much much I stretched or practice.

I also think of the few friends I have who can sing with a voice I could only dream of, yet they've never taken a lesson.

Natural ability is a thing: whether you can bend your body into a pretzel, sing like bloody Beyonce or bloody work out 137x34 without a calculator.

Yes some people have a natural talent for music and instruments. I have a friend who plays 6 instruments. Six. He's a bafta award winning composer and I can imagine he's put a xx--xx load of hours in. Millions. Yes he has definite talent and ability, especially composition.


I think if you have a love for something it really doesn't matter, unless you want to make a living out of it.

I'm struggling away with sloppy chord changes, an OK voice cos I like playing guitar.


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