A blog about creativity
interesting discussion in Kottke - personally the practice element I think is way underestimated in 'success'.
Absolutely - but you do need a smidgeon of a gift in the first place. Whether that's because having some initial aptitude for something will make your first results less agonising and therefore encourage to you to keep going or whether it's because you then don't see what your doing as practice or whether you'll then find it easier to grasp the tools of your trade (physically and mentally) I'm not sure.Out of the people I know who are sucessful in their chosen sphere, constant practise is the thing that defines them, even after they've reached a stage where the rest of the world would say that they've arrived at a mastery. For example; F will still do at least 4 (and sometime up to 8) hours a day on his "scales" no matter what other compositions he's working on.They don't sound anything like something I'd associate with a scale - they sound like incredibly lovely and complex and fast pieces of music- but to him they're scales and nothing more than exercises to keep his fingers in trim and to come up wth new techniques. I did once ask him why he spent the time doing this and he likened it to being a gunslinger - you have to practise being quick on the draw because you never knew when someone was going to challenge you to a shoot out!NB. F however firmly believes that talent is caused by practise and that anyone can be gifted at whatever they choose if they put the hours into getting good at it. He says that the only reason he has a gift for music is because from the age of 12 he didn't go out, he didn't watch tv, he at with a guitar and worked out how to play what he wanted to be able to play. I would argue that this is selling your gift short and that that sort of devotion is a manifestation of the gift/talent being desperate to burst out...not that you're creting the talent by the hours of practise you do.
I'm fully with F on this one and as I've heard the results he's a very good proof of this theory. Of course what we should do is kidnap a child and park them and F on the Bass Rock with a pile of insturuments and return 5 years later to monitor the outcome!
we'd need to install broadband onto bass rock but it would certainly give me some peace and quiet.It's also not a bad idea for a reality tv show..."its day 5 on Bass rock and F is attempting to teach Y a major diminished 5th"
ok then we'll split the profits from the show. Don't tell F or S!
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