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How ambitious are you?


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#31 T-Bay

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 09:39 AM

I am a 5, very ambitious to improve technically but happy to plod along in other ways. Our band is just starting out but we will be happy to do a gig a month and are not looking to tour America anytime soon.

#32 Horizontalste

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 11:04 AM

On another note then, what are people's thoughts on innate talent? I'm firmly in the camp of talent is earned & learned rather than born.

#33 Downdown

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 11:12 AM

That's an interesting one.

I like to believe that everyone is born with the same potential and that 'talent' is earned and learned, and also influenced by the sum of our experiences, including those in the womb before we're even born. But I don't know if this is actually true or if anyone really knows. I'm sure we've all known people who seem to be able to learn to play a musical instrument, often at a young age, far easier than others - among a million other examples. So how does that happen if there's no innate talent?

#34 T-Bay

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 11:37 AM

I am 100% sure that there is basic talent in many things, music being one of them. I help out with a club for people learning guitar and bass and there is a distinct range in abilities. Some kids you can show them once and they are off, others you feel will have to try for a month before even basic stuff goes in. Time and experience does help, I am still new to the whole thing really and and on that nice part where I have enough ability to play in a band but still feel I am learning quickly, but it does take a lot of time and effort. I do worry slightly that a lot of kids want instant computer game type satisfaction and if they can't be shredding a tune out whilst sliding on their knees after twenty minutes they lose interest. But perhaps it was always like that.

#35 Horizontalste

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 03:01 PM

I think there's a convincing argument for both sides for sure & it is widely known that humans do most of their learning early in life but that's not to say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. You certainly can, in fact it has been proven by science that the brains plasticity does slow but doesn't stop! Inspiration for us all.
I think talent is learned and I agree that it's also influenced by the environment, age is also a huge factor. There are lots of good books on the subject if anyone's interested. For me personally just the belief that I can still learn anything (at almost forty) with a bit of effort has forced a shift in my mindset that has in my opinion made learning easier, if that makes sense!

#36 Dan Dare

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 04:17 PM

View PostHorizontalste, on 18 March 2017 - 11:04 AM, said:

On another note then, what are people's thoughts on innate talent? I'm firmly in the camp of talent is earned & learned rather than born.

Talent and ability, potential or realised, are different things. If you have innate talent, which you are born with, you will make much quicker progress and be able to take things to a higher level than someone who is not so fortunate. It isn't easy to accept, especially in these days of "I can achieve anything I want", but some do have greater talent than others. A pal of mine is tone deaf. He just can't pitch accurately. He really wants to play and sing and works at it, but is always back to square one. Various friends have tried to help him, but it's like explaining the concept of colour to a blind man. He just doesn't hear pitch accurately. It's an extreme case, I know, but the principle applies to a lesser extent, too. Some just have greater aptitude for sport, music, painting, etc, etc than others.

Edited by Dan Dare, 18 March 2017 - 04:18 PM.


#37 Horizontalste

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 06:19 PM

View PostDan Dare, on 18 March 2017 - 04:17 PM, said:



Talent and ability, potential or realised, are different things. If you have innate talent, which you are born with, you will make much quicker progress and be able to take things to a higher level than someone who is not so fortunate. It isn't easy to accept, especially in these days of "I can achieve anything I want", but some do have greater talent than others. A pal of mine is tone deaf. He just can't pitch accurately. He really wants to play and sing and works at it, but is always back to square one. Various friends have tried to help him, but it's like explaining the concept of colour to a blind man. He just doesn't hear pitch accurately. It's an extreme case, I know, but the principle applies to a lesser extent, too. Some just have greater aptitude for sport, music, painting, etc, etc than others.

So in the case of the fellow who is tone deaf there's an issue/disability that prevents him from reaching his goal?
I don't buy into "the born with it" ethos at all. When I was a youngster at primary school the music teacher told me I couldn't have a violin because I couldn't sing the major scale, now I can hold my own musically & learn everything by ear. I also couldn't walk, swim or ride a bike when I was born but in my twenties & early thirties I was a pretty decent triathlete. Natural talent? Hell no! Discipline & hard work? Tons of it!
It's easy to dismiss one way or the other & I think threads like this one are great for gauging opinions, I'd love to hear people talk of their natural born ability, but most talk of toil & determination.
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#38 mikel

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 08:12 PM

Natural talent is a born with gift. George Best, Pele etc, just to us a stupid footballing analogy. They had talent you cant coach or learn, they didnt think about what they were going to do next, it was innate. I used to coach junior athletics and the "naturals" were easy to spot. Not just the big or strong for age kids, I mean the ones who had a natural flair for the technical events like hurdles, high jump. javelin etc. That is not to say that a technical discipline can not be learned by lots of application, it can, but the truly gifted will always have a head start. Another question worth arguing is, why do so many gifted people fail to reach the very top in there field? Probably, IMO, because they find the basics so easy that some of them are not prepared to put in the hard work needed to make the best of what they are blessed with.

Take the guitar. I have played for years, 50 if I am being honest. I can play all the chords and I can learn, by tab, to play play lots of solos by the greats. I have worked and worked at it but coming up with a great solo that fits and enhances a song is still beyond me. I can work out a good solo, given time, but natural guitarists dont need to do that, they can improvise and play a solo that empties the emotions on the fly. Thats talent and it will always trump my hard work and dedication. Natural talent and creativity, you cant beat it.

Edited by mikel, 18 March 2017 - 08:20 PM.


#39 grandad

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 10:45 AM

I'm 68 yrs old. Starting late in life I did the weekend warrior covers band in pub's and clubs. We improved and did weddings, functions and local music festivals. This spanned about 15 years, (aged 50 - 65), armed with just the rudiments of musical knowledge, that is to say, which key is which fret down the lower end of the fret-board and remembering patterns of notes that fit together.

Now it's helping run a fortnightly music club and a weekly practice with 3 accomplished musicians/friends making up a Jazz quartet. We can pick and choose where and when to perform, money being not the object. It is just perfect for me now.

The ambitions or rather the things I'd like to achieve musically are to make up for the lost time of the first 50 years of my life before I picked up a musical instrument in earnest.

1. To continue my slow progress improving my music knowledge and skills, particularly reading scores, (this is hard late in life).

2. To play certain favourite tunes of mine with the quartet which I think will sound great as instrumentals. They are:

THIS GUY'S IN LOVE, I SAY A LITTLE FOR YOU, HERE THERE AND EVERYWHERE, PENNY LANE, BEGIN THE BEGUINE, MOONLIGHT SERENADE.
There's bound to be more in the future.

Not big ambitions on the scale of things but for me I'm loving every minute and desperately trying to retain what I learn, (a feature of old age I guess). I practice daily and read endlessly but the musical world seems to get bigger the more you do learn.

So, my advice is, it ain't a competition. Set yourself a goal and practice towards it. Then set another one. I am truly grateful to be involved in making music. I've made great friendships, met lots of lovely people and a few nutters. I've played in front of a handful of people and a few hundred people and given pleasure I hope to most.

Last year my quartet were joined by 3 other fellow musicians to play at the Guild House festival in Henley in Arden. The venue was the walled garden with food stalls around the outside and families seated on the grass. I don't think I'll better that as a sunny afternoon gig. So no ambition here to do Wembly.

I do encourage my grandchildren to play an instrument which they all do. So my retirement ambitions seem to be music, taking the dogs for a walk, mowing the lawn, sorting the caravan out and more music. And of course spending hours on BC waffling away. Retirement, I love it.

Edited by grandad, 25 March 2017 - 06:26 AM.

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#40 fretmeister

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 10:50 AM

Ambition is over-rated.

Every frozen corpse on Everest was an extremely ambitious person.

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#41 christhammer666

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 02:53 PM

I do enough to get be in the bands I am in.If I joined a band that required someone more then what I could offer I think I would at least try to up my game
failing to prepare is preparing to fail

#42 LewisK1975

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 03:16 PM

Don't forget, along with talent, ambition, etc, you also need confidence, or at least the ability to look confident in what you are doing. That's a huge part of it too IMHO.

An average player with a shed load of confidence is more likely to 'make it', than a shy type, regardless of ability/ambition.

It is true though, that you could get lucky and fall into a very successful band which requires only very rudimentary ability..right place, right time etc..
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#43 Horizontalste

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 08:08 PM

View Postgrandad, on 24 March 2017 - 10:45 AM, said:

I'm 68 yrs old. Starting late in life I did the weekend warrior covers band in pub's and clubs. We improved and did weddings, functions and local music festivals. This spanned about 15 years, (aged 50 - 65), armed with just the rudiments of musical knowledge, that is to say, which key is which fret down the lower end of the fret-board and remembering patterns of notes that fit together.

Now it's helping run a fortnightly music club and a weekly practice with 3 accomplished musicians/friends making up a Jazz quartet. We can pick and choose where and when to perform, money being not the object. It is a just perfect for me now.

The ambitions or rather the things I'd like to achieve musically are to make up for the lost time of the first 50 years of my life before I picked up a musical instrument in earnest.

1. To continue my slow progress improving my music knowledge and skills, particularly reading scores, (this is hard late in life).

2. To play certain favourite tunes of mine with the quartet which I think will sound great as instrumentals. They are:

THIS GUY'S IN LOVE, I SAY A LITTLE FOR YOU, HERE THERE AND EVERYWHERE, PENNY LANE, BEGIN THE BEGUINE, MOONLIGHT SERENADE.
There's bound to be more in the future.

Not big ambitions on the scale of things but for me I'm loving every minute and desperately trying to retain what I learn, (a feature of old age I guess). I practice daily and read endlessly but the musical world seems to get bigger the more you do learn.

So, my advice is, it ain't a competition. Set yourself a goal and practice towards it. Then set another one. I am truly grateful to be involved in making music. I've made great friendships, met lots of lovely people and a few nutters. I've played in front of a handful of people and few hundred people and given pleasure I hope to most.

Last year my quartet were joined by 3 other fellow musicians to play at the Guild House festival in Henley in Arden. The venue was the walled garden with food stalls around the outside and families seated on the grass. I don't think I'll better that as a sunny afternoon gig. So no ambition here to do Wembly.

I do encourage my grandchildren to play an instrument which they all do. So my retirement ambitions seem to be music, taking the dogs for a walk, mowing the lawn, sorting the caravan out and more music. And of course spending hours on BC waffling away. Retirement, I love it.

Hats off to you Grandad, more proof that old dogs can learn new tricks :-)

#44 Horizontalste

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 08:15 PM

View Postfretmeister, on 24 March 2017 - 10:50 AM, said:

Ambition is over-rated.

Every frozen corpse on Everest was an extremely ambitious person.

Different strokes for different folks I guess, aren't the scientists looking to cure cancer ambitious? Or the service men & women who learn to walk again after losing limbs?
Ambition is there to serve you surely & the climbers who are still on Hillary's step? are they victims of ambition or the task?

Edited by Horizontalste, 24 March 2017 - 08:18 PM.


#45 fretmeister

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 10:10 PM

View PostHorizontalste, on 24 March 2017 - 08:15 PM, said:



Different strokes for different folks I guess, aren't the scientists looking to cure cancer ambitious? Or the service men & women who learn to walk again after losing limbs?
Ambition is there to serve you surely & the climbers who are still on Hillary's step? are they victims of ambition or the task?

I was taking the piss.

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#46 Horizontalste

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 11:34 AM

View Postfretmeister, on 24 March 2017 - 10:10 PM, said:



I was taking the piss.

Maybe you should emphasise that with a smiley face or something, then maybe I'd know you're joking & not just a dick :-)

#47 RhysP

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 12:28 PM

I'm totally unambitious.





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