Last night I watched a great program on ‘Insight’ called “Born or Made” It was about with the right amount of practice you can do anything.
There is a belief that if you practice something for 10 000 hours you will be in the top percentage of people in the world that also practice that skill. There were a few people on the program that believed this and a few that didn’t. The people that didn’t believe this basically felt that people in the top percent of their craft have “talent” over and above the rest of us.
One thing that both sides agreed on was that in order for anyone to achieve any success in their craft they need to have an intrinsic passion for their craft.
I don’t think in the history of jazz has there been a musician of any level that has just played the music (well) without some hard practice. While some people have a better “ear” than others it can be trained to a high level. This can be applied to any facet of the study of music.
I don’t know if 10 000 hours is a magic number it does mean that it takes a lot of hours in the practice room to achieve great success. I do believe that those that have the right attitude to learning and practicing plus the passion to keep at it will achieve success.
Here is a clip from a great musician Hal Galper about “Attitude is Everything”