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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by oldenick, Mar 12, 2009.
I liked the book, but it provoked an opposite response for me.
Am I really seeking mastery? No. But he's right to emphasize that practice is still critical to achieve any degree of skill. It's not just magical talent.
Outliers makes it clear that the path to success isn't just knowledge of how to do something, but doing it regularly. Luck and timing, factors Gladwell enjoys taking apart, can be critical factors in encouraging that path, and determining the rewards for the path, but we can't all be "outliers" - and frankly, we don't have to be.
Have you finished the book? Practice is the foundation, really determining the quality of your work.
Circumstance has a lot to do with how well your work turns into success per se.
For example, the world has a lot fewer paying trumpet positions than it used to have. Maybe the same number at the very top, but far fewer "steps on the ladder" positions.
I just read Beyond Category, the Duke Ellington bio, and was impressed to see how neatly it fit with the "Beatles in Hamburg" story in Outliers. Years of development in venues that weren't all promising, putting in lots of time developing and leading a group that eventually turned into a phenomenon. His timing was right for markets that opened up for him, and he was able to ascend, survive, and come back even when the overall picture wasn't pretty. But there were a lot of years when he could barely keep his orchestra together, and it's not gotten any easier.
Fortunately, I'm not looking for a career playing, but if I was, reading Outliers and then looking at how trumpeting has changed over the past century would leave me pretty depressed.
That sounds good to me! It's just a little different from the "story of success" Gladwell tells in the rest of the book.
If we attempt to visualize a process where success can be made probable, we need a time span like was mentioned.
Reality says that success is not an "absolute" goal related to mastery. There are a good deal of working musicians that are in the middle 60% (remebering the bell curve for distribution of anything). I know some personally that could use a thousand or two more hours...............
It's too big a statement for me , if I learn some thing in the next hour I'll be happy. Let you guys know in ten , twelve years or so how it's worked ( if I'm still around ).
I read the book and I was pleasantly surprised when the 10,000 hours for mastery came up. Mastery is knowing all the basics by rote and being able to incorporate them when necessary. I found this to be true in studying martial arts and law practice in my experience. A black belt in most martial arts is awarded after a student masters the basic techniques to the point that he or she can perform them repeatedly and effortlessly. I can only imagine based on my limited number of hours of study, that the same will apply to studying this instrument.