Talent or Hard Work

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by schleiman, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. fraserhutch

    fraserhutch Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Novato, CA, USA
    I do however believe that often time talent only becomes evident with hard work. I don't believe that talent is always manifest up front (at the beginning).

    So if you're asking because it may not at this moment seem as if you have loads of talent, I would say work at it for a bit. It may take some work to get at it, and you'll know in time.
  2. MJ

    MJ Administrator Staff Member

    Jan 30, 2006
    It comes down to talent. You can have 0 talent and work harder than anyone else and your chances of making it in the music business -performing- are small. The players I went to school with who make a great living playing trumpet were flat out talented. Some practiced hard and had to work on a couple of things and some didn't. They had raw talent.

    It's nice to think working your ass off will get you to the top but you must have natural ability to make it.

    That is my .02 based on my experience.
  3. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    rowuk sez:
    As far as reaching the great players, I see the chances as not too great. They have even more than talent and hard work, they have the gift of opportunities (being in the right place at the right time with their hard work and talent) that mere mortals are not privy to. Without the opportunities, our development is immensely more difficult.
    Ahhh, the opportunity variable.
    I have to agree with rowuk in that a person can be talented and work hard at honing their craft but without opportunities, its going to be difficult to make it.
    However, I do take a different stand on opportunities.
    Opportunity isn't a gift. Its something that's earned.
    I create my own opportunities.
    It takes a lot of behind the scenes work before a person can be in the right place at the right time doing the right thing in front of the right people.
    This is the part of the music business that musicians seem to forget.
    No one will hand a person a gig unless they are established. If they are established, then they did their marketing and advertizing homework.
    A musician has to discover where to look, who to talk to, the personality of the perspective client, when's the best time to contact them, what method is the best way to contact them, what are some of their likes and dislikes, yada yada yada.
    This part of the music business is just as hard (or at least a lot less palatable) than the songs or skills a person needs to have under your belt.
    Yes, in time the calls will come if a good marketing & advertizing strategy is adhered to AND the person realizes that everytime they put the horn to their face in public or talk to an audience member, its marketing.
    Unfortunately too many musicians feel they are somehow "endowed" and shouldn't have to soil their hands with marketing and advertizing.
    As a result, they are often the greatest musicians in the world but they play to an audience of one cat, and a bowl of goldfish.
    Before opportunities can make you, you have to create an environment where opportunities can happen.
    Here's the good part:
    There are books (cheap) that will teach you marketing skills. One of the first books that's worth checking out is Dale Carnegie's book How to win Friends and Influence People. You can pick it up used for around a dollar.
    Good luck!
  4. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

    May 30, 2010
    Gilroy, California
    I sure agree with Rowuk on this. When I got involved with That Sport, I just happened to find I lived where there were competitions ALL the time, some of, no, wait, most of the, best competitors in the US, and the place Nationals was held not too far away. In fact I qualified for Nationals at a match there thinking it was just another match. Every single DAY I could practice with others, compete with others, work for that little goal this week or today, work up for the bigger goal next month or in a month or three, etc. Plus I was out of work, had UI and some savings, AND had some supportive friends. I was used to working 10 hours a day and needed something to fill the gap. Everything came together. I wish I had it that way for trumpet. But I think I can make it that way for trumpet if I work at it.

    Tiger Woods and Arthur Ashe grew up practically on the competition field. One of the Gods of the sport I did, I was told by an OLD timer, was taken around to matches constantly by his dad from about when he was 8 or 10. Greg LeMond grew up intensely bicycle racing from about age 13 - before that he did skiiing so he had a good base already. Lance Armstrong was racing triathlons from about age 14 (he's make like $200 each, winning and I'd have done the same at age 14 to feed my mom and siblings you bet) all these people who are "great" and "talented" seem to have a lot of "work" in there too.
  5. ewanmains

    ewanmains Piano User

    Jun 9, 2009
    Kilmarnock, UK
    On a more serious note Dark Knight- if you think of yourself as mediocre, how can you expect yourself to be anything but that?

    You're merely affirming the way you see yourself, that way, when you put in a mediocre performance, you tell yourself 'Oh well, I can hardly be surprised at that! - I am only a mediocre player after all'.

    In order to be better then mediocre, you have to first see yourself as BEING better. Sometimes, you telling yourself that you are mediocre is just a false modesty. We are all aware of not perpetuating the 'ego' myth of brass players. Confidence in your own abilities can sometimes be perceived by others as arrogance.

    Internalise your confidence - you don't need to tell the whole world about it, but at the same time, when you perceive yourself as being able to play anything, you are much more likely to succeed than if you see yourself as being a mediocre player.

    In order to be the player you wish you could be, you need to find your own way of activating your own 'success mechanism'.

    Have a look at my other post on 'positive visualisation'.


    Just my own thoughts & opinions.

    Last edited: Nov 2, 2010
  6. ewanmains

    ewanmains Piano User

    Jun 9, 2009
    Kilmarnock, UK
    Great post Markie. All too often the 'business' side of things is over-looked.

  7. schleiman

    schleiman Piano User

    May 12, 2010
    Austin, TX
    My Dad told me about a book called the 10,000 hour rule. Supposedly in many years of study and interviews with famous "masters" of their respective field, this authored claimed that to master a skill, any skill required 10,000 hours of practice at minimum. I found that interesting. Well, only 9,648 to go! haha
  8. schleiman

    schleiman Piano User

    May 12, 2010
    Austin, TX
    Somewhat, that was the reason. I mean, when I started to play guitar, my dad was the trumpet player in a blues band called the pleasure cats, so once I'd been playing for 6 months or however long, the band would let me sit in for a couple tunes. Then people started telling me I was very good for how long I'd been playing, my dad was very proud. But to be honest, blues guitar is muuuuuch easier to learn than trumpet. You learn one lick, and you can play it in any key! Besides which trumpet is such a physical instrument, requiring complete physical and mental focus. Since I'm re-starting to play trumpet later in life, I'm finding the support structure hard to find. It is taking more time and giving less in return than guitar. The odd thing is, when I do make a breakthrough, it's a lot more satisfying! And I do feel proud simply to play this noble and beautiful instrument. Anyways kind of ranting, but thanks for the reply :)
  9. edfitzvb

    edfitzvb Forte User

    Jun 10, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    I will have to chime in and agree that the trumpet is easy and hard to play. I started out as a violinist, then played French Horn, then came to the trumpet.
    The violin has a smaller skill set to master... basic fingerings, a few bowing techniques, hand positions, and coordination of all. However, it does not tire one physically to play it. With practice and training it becomes easier.
    The French Horn requires concentration and focus because the overtones/partials are so close together that you have to know where your pitches are. Also, although there is a lot of litrerature which requires low register proficiency, that does not require stamina. Not only that, but people tend to be more forgiving of mistakes on violin and French Horn, because they are perceived as "hard" instruments.
    Trumpet is a nice simple instrument. The overtones are spaced out fairly simply and playing on the staff is a breeze for stuff of the caliber that I played on the other instruments.


    Trumpet is a beast because:

    People are constantly stretching the boundaries of what is required. Triple tonguing a passage is much more difficult and taxing than a tremolo bowing, and rarely required in horn literature. The upper range HAS no limits that I can see...Only mine. I have yet to see much music for soloing over printed chord changes for Horn, and if it's on violin, at least you have a visual reference if you get lost. On trumpet, if you mis-hear an interval and go to a wrong fingering, it messes with you. I have gotten lost and had to stop for a beat or two to re-orient myself.... not a happy time. Trumpet is also a physically demanding instrument. It tires you out more than any other instrument I ever tried to play. I have seen sax players take a week off and have no problems with endurance. if I take a week off without face time, I am IN TROUBLE. Trumpet demands that I keep to my regimen.
    Didn't mean to go on so long... Think this is my longest post so far.
  10. edfitzvb

    edfitzvb Forte User

    Jun 10, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    All of the above to say "BOTH"

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