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#2136805 - 08/21/13 07:57 PM The 10,000 hour rule
Calgary Mike Offline
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#2136833 - 08/21/13 10:03 PM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: Calgary Mike]
Monica K. Offline

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Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17809
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Thanks, Mike! I hadn't seen this one yet. Sounds to me like Gladwell was just a tad defensive about criticisms of his 10,000 hour generalization--but I think it was important and useful clarification.

The relevant question for us, of course, is whether playing the piano can be considered a "cognitively complex task" or instead a mere motor skill like throwing darts.
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#2136843 - 08/21/13 10:27 PM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: Calgary Mike]
Calgary Mike Offline
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I thought another important takeaway was no matter the initial "talent" level, long & hard work is necessary. "Talented" folks seem to get this...
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#2136845 - 08/21/13 10:35 PM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: Calgary Mike]
Monica K. Offline

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Yes, I agree. In fact, I think the evidence is stronger that deliberate practice is much, much more important than "natural talent" (whatever that is) than the converse.
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#2136898 - 08/22/13 01:50 AM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: Calgary Mike]
4evrBeginR Offline
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Given enough hours, you could master any skill. Just because a skill has been mastered doesn't mean it reflects true talent. A truly talented individual seem to have abilities beyond all his peers who also put in the same amount of hours. I think it is rather too easy to misunderstand talent as a free pass, as if the talent could cover up laziness. No amount of talent could overcome laziness.

In Outlier the idea is that talent is a myth. I don't agree with that. I think the article disagrees with this. Talent is not a myth just as spending thousands of hours cannot overcome having little to no talent. However, it does not take talent to be competent in any given field either. It only takes hard work. On the other hand, to write-off talent as an ingredient to special individuals is saying all the the very special individuals in history are no more than obsessed workaholics. I know this cannot be because I know a lot of obsessed workaholics, but very few truly talented individuals in their field of endevour.
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#2136959 - 08/22/13 05:52 AM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: Calgary Mike]
justpin Offline
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TBH I see it like speaking and writing English or driving a car.

It has been done so often you don't have to think about it much, the knowledge is just there it becomes almost a reflex.

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#2136979 - 08/22/13 07:18 AM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: Calgary Mike]
TrapperJohn Online   content
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The 10,000 hour rule is obsolete - inflation has set in - it is now the 12,500 hour rule (and growing)...

I'm at 10,000 and haven't achieved mastery, so it must be 12,500...hopefully, I'll get there before it expands again...


Edited to add that I think we've spent at least 10,000 hours here discussing this topic over the years...


Edited by TrapperJohn (08/22/13 07:19 AM)
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#2169087 - 10/20/13 07:36 PM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: Calgary Mike]
Rusty Fortysome Offline
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Posts: 194
Loc: USA
I'd verify the 10,000 hour rule. In one career I had, I spent about 4 years working 40-120 hours/week doing my task. At the end of that time I was advanced beyond all others, won awards, won notoriety, was advancing upwards into better positions every year or two. I had definitely become "excellent", able to teach others and see their faults and strengths, and I was able to quickly and effortlessly turn out excellent efforts. Brilliant efforts then took work, but were achievable.

I started piano practice 3.5 years ago. I'm at circa 2700-2800 hours of effort. A couple hundred hours back, I noticed my ability leap, my hands become subtle with expression, my understanding of all music coming easier. I can definitely see that in 4x this much practice I can become excellent at piano. Now, I might not achieve recognition, I might not be able to do everything I wish I could, I will still have limits and blank areas that need work, but I will be excellent with the basic skills I have studied and pursued to be excellent at: expression, reading music, ear-note recognition, ability to move fluidly over the keys, ability to fake-book like a master, ability to adapt instantly to any style of music, ability to create rhythms, etc.

Excellence doesn't equate to success or fame or wealth, but it means you have the competence to bridge into brilliance with applied effort a non-master can never quite achieve.
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#2169134 - 10/20/13 09:15 PM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: Rusty Fortysome]
Michael_99 Offline
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Registered: 07/28/12
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Loc: Canada Alberta
Rusty Fortesome, I have read your post, here:

subject: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: Calgary Mike]


I'd verify the 10,000 hour rule. In one career I had, I spent about 4 years working 40-120 hours/week doing my task. At the end of that time I was advanced beyond all others, won awards, won notoriety, was advancing upwards into better positions every year or two. I had definitely become "excellent", able to teach others and see their faults and strengths, and I was able to quickly and effortlessly turn out excellent efforts. Brilliant efforts then took work, but were achievable.

I started piano practice 3.5 years ago. I'm at circa 2700-2800 hours of effort. A couple hundred hours back, I noticed my ability leap, my hands become subtle with expression, my understanding of all music coming easier. I can definitely see that in 4x this much practice I can become excellent at piano. Now, I might not achieve recognition, I might not be able to do everything I wish I could, I will still have limits and blank areas that need work, but I will be excellent with the basic skills I have studied and pursued to be excellent at: expression, reading music, ear-note recognition, ability to move fluidly over the keys, ability to fake-book like a master, ability to adapt instantly to any style of music, ability to create rhythms, etc.

Excellence doesn't equate to success or fame or wealth, but it means you have the competence to bridge into brilliance with applied effort a non-master can never quite achieve.


__________

Great post, Rusty. Since the beginning of time humans have always thought they can do a task fast and without problems but the reality is that it takes 3 times as long and is never done that well unless you have done the task or job 10,000 times and then it usually goes just okay.

My sax teacher said to me while we were walking to a jazz club after my lesson to hear some great local musicians and sip on a beer - he said you see that guy playing the sax on the corner there, he has probably been playing 10 years. That is how long it takes to be at that level - getting coins from the street!

I am a beginner and I believe it will take me 10 years or 10,000 hours to be hopefully that good, too.

Everyday people post in the forums and ask how they can be good - fast. Also everyday there is information posted here that for a few dollars you can get magical tips on how to learn to play the piano fast and well. Well, it will some money and a lot of luck or magic in my humble opinion. Anything you have to do, you have to do it slowly without mistakes and keep the standards of learning and playing high - never breaking the piano rules - along the way and not taking shortcuts because that takes you nowhere - slowly!

Historically, average people become rich on a simple average salary simply by never wasting a penny!

cheers,

3B20NY

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#2169141 - 10/20/13 09:26 PM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: Rusty Fortysome]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Rusty Fortysome
I'd verify the 10,000 hour rule. In one career I had, I spent about 4 years working 40-120 hours/week doing my task. At the end of that time I was advanced beyond all others, won awards, won notoriety, was advancing upwards into better positions every year or two. I had definitely become "excellent", able to teach others and see their faults and strengths, and I was able to quickly and effortlessly turn out excellent efforts. Brilliant efforts then took work, but were achievable.
It sounds like you spent more than 10,000 hours. But the main question remains how do you know that if putting in a certain amount of time in one field brought you a certain level of expertise that this would apply to someone else? Or even to you in some different field?

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#2169157 - 10/20/13 10:01 PM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: Calgary Mike]
RUSS SHETTLE Online   content
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Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 301
Loc: Brandywine, Maryland
I heard a pianist say once when asked the question: "How long does it take to get that good"

His answer: "10 years, 4 hours a day, every day". That computes to 14,600 hours.

Likely, I'm sure, he took a break during holidays or whatever from time to time.

So for 10,000 hours in 10 years... that computes to 2.74 (rounded off) hours per day if you were to practice literally every single day of the year.

Today I had to cut the grass! smile


Edited by RUSS SHETTLE (10/20/13 10:08 PM)
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#2169298 - 10/21/13 08:04 AM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: Monica K.]
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted By: Monica K.
Yes, I agree. In fact, I think the evidence is stronger that deliberate practice is much, much more important than "natural talent" (whatever that is) than the converse.
This is very true. I've had many talented students who just didn't know how to work hard. I was one of them as well. At some point, though, they usually "get it" and take off.

I do dislike this whole idea though of putting a number on something that varies so much between individuals. Even if you clarify it with "deliberate practice" that doesn't quite encompass what's needed. Some things just aren't that simple. A person can do deliberate practice of poor technique, wrong notes, banging, for 10,000 hours and they'll probably be really good at that. But who wants to be good at bad?
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#2169342 - 10/21/13 09:13 AM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: Calgary Mike]
de cajon Offline
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Registered: 06/10/13
Posts: 190
Loc: London, UK
As with so many things, the answer surely is that the answer doesn't exist; things are just very complicated. If one want to label a particular mix of efficiency levels of many, many cerebral and physiological functions and their integration as 'talent', then fair enough.

And whatever "talent" one happens to have, it can surely be honed by exercising it. And I think the stage of development of a being when practice begins makes a difference. Certain (but not all) processes seem to be more easily modified when young.

One example: we seem to have a wide spectrum of ways of thinking on the auditory-visual axis. Surely that alone has a significan impact on reading/composing/playing music. If I'm working on something and close my eyes and think about it, I don't see pictures; I think in words. On the other hand, when I actually look at a keyboard or a fretboard I see lots of associations amongst the white and black keys or the strings and the frets. If I look at a piece of music, somehow it is overlaid with all sorts of meanings and associations, despite my not being a visual thinker.
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#2169361 - 10/21/13 09:50 AM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: Morodiene]
Ataru074 Offline
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Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 384
Loc: Houston, TX
Originally Posted By: Morodiene

I do dislike this whole idea though of putting a number on something that varies so much between individuals. Even if you clarify it with "deliberate practice" that doesn't quite encompass what's needed. Some things just aren't that simple. A person can do deliberate practice of poor technique, wrong notes, banging, for 10,000 hours and they'll probably be really good at that. But who wants to be good at bad?


Well, misguided instruction exist and is way more spread around than "talented" instruction.
Finding a good teacher is hard, finding an excellent one is like finding a needle in a haystack.
Yes, you can absolutely waste A LIFE in learning it wrong.
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#2169488 - 10/21/13 12:43 PM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: Calgary Mike]
cmb13 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/15/13
Posts: 15
By my calculation, 30 min, 5 days / week = 2.5 hrs x 50 wks = 125 hrs / year. That's all I have time for, with 2 kids, a labradoodle and a wife who supports my quest, but doesn't want me to come home from a 10 hr day of work and disappear into the piano all evening long either.

I'll be turning 44 in a few weeks; I should reach that 10,000 hrs by 124! Looking forward to it!

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#2169542 - 10/21/13 02:29 PM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: cmb13]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1009
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: cmb13

I'll be turning 44 in a few weeks; I should reach that 10,000 hrs by 124! Looking forward to it!


LOL grin

I think I put in about 400 hours in the last 1 year and a half. I want to increase my practice time, but there is no way I will be able to do more than 9 or 10 hours a week. Unless I get a housekeeper, a cook and a butler!
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#2169564 - 10/21/13 02:59 PM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: Calgary Mike]
findingnemo2010 Offline
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Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1498
Great read. I've known about this all along. I always say if I studied piano as a child and all through my life I would be insane right now. If you look at all the greats most of them are born into these kinds of fields. They get it from their parents, it's genetic. They kind of have an upper edge over others in whatever area their parents are in. But that doesn't mean one can't excel in a area that interests them that they are willing to put the work in. On that note, I am on my way. Better go put more time in at the bench like I don't do enough and get my hours up. whome It's never enough tired 10 years is a great number. I am ready to take it all the way mad
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#2169604 - 10/21/13 04:08 PM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: findingnemo2010]
Farmerjones Offline
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Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 202
Loc: USA
So why is it that, given this theory, and a comfortable margin, why isn't every person on the globe that speaks, reads, and writes English above the age of thirty, a Shakespeare, or Dickens? It would seem these folk have a multiple of the average for mastery. So I guess mastery must mean average as it's proposed?

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#2169617 - 10/21/13 04:25 PM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: findingnemo2010]
In A Silent Way Offline
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Registered: 01/25/13
Posts: 75
Hence in a lifetime you could reach an expertise to some extend in half a dozen domains at least, and at some point some or all of them can combine to take your reach much faster and far beyond. And that sounds about right to me.

Now it's even backed by experimental researches, and you could read yesterday for instance : http://www.psychologicalscience.org/inde...mind-sharp.html http://www.psychologicalscience.org/inde...mind-sharp.html

Concerning piano learning though, I find the real fun kicks in after a few thousands of hours, when you start being able to reproduce what you hear and play what you feel. But also the distraction and the laziness start growing at that point, and it might be a limiting factor, for instance, if your concentration span start shrinking so much you regress. So, motivation is essential, and paradoxically it requires a kind of perfect storm to last long : if it's too easy, you start fooling around without getting beyond the goodness of your talent, but if it's too difficult you might as well give up sooner or later.

To trump my concentration problem I started investing time in other instruments, and I plan to keep doing this in the future if I can manage to keep up with the current menagerie...

Anyway, seeing your lifetime as an expertise field you can investigate one area after the other, or several at a time, but without giving up ever this idea to keep learning new things and skills, is a good way to get truly fully happy every morning to get up and continue on what you left interrupted in the evening for a good night of sleep. It's not happening everyday equally maybe, the world around can be demanding too, but there is so much more in this kind of lifestyle than in any other, and there is so little doubt about that certainty, you know when you're there, there's no other place to be, no other life to live, no other way to be!

Aristotle qualified this kind of life as theoretical life, and he meant it was the best kind of existence. 10 000 hours after 10 000 hours, for as long as you have to breathe, indeed, completing the puzzle of the field of studies you are curious about, you can try that, you'll be a solid block of joy long before you start declining.

(Damn I'm so lyrical today, I must be depressed somehow) grin

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#2169621 - 10/21/13 04:34 PM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: Calgary Mike]
Ataru074 Offline
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Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 384
Loc: Houston, TX
Well, in my case the motivation comes from having a teacher... even if I see him once every 2 or 3 weeks, I have plenty of time to work on the pieces and I'm eager to show some progress on the "hard stuff"... at the same time I have enough time to play "just for pleasure"...
My biggest issue is not having 3 hours a day to dedicate to it, so I can't make everything fit frown
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#2181277 - 11/12/13 08:49 PM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: Calgary Mike]
Stevester Offline
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Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
As for 10,000 hours on the piano and me, it did not apply, oh well...
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#2181282 - 11/12/13 09:09 PM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: Farmerjones]
neuralfirings Offline
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Registered: 07/29/13
Posts: 193
Originally Posted By: Farmerjones
So why is it that, given this theory, and a comfortable margin, why isn't every person on the globe that speaks, reads, and writes English above the age of thirty, a Shakespeare, or Dickens?


Because the writing we normals do isn't the same sort of writing that Shakespeare or Dickens do. Writing plays is not the same as writing novels, nor is it the same as writing emails or forum posts. I, for one, have written loads of emails (and according to my profile, over 100 piano world posts!), but have never written a play or novel.

Originally Posted By: Farmerjones
It would seem these folk have a multiple of the average for mastery. So I guess mastery must mean average as it's proposed?


.. come again?


Edited by neuralfirings (11/12/13 09:27 PM)
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#2181422 - 11/13/13 06:51 AM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: neuralfirings]
Nannerl67 Offline
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Registered: 11/12/13
Posts: 3
So, seriously, what happens if I (46 years, started piano 2 years ago, playing 2 hours almost every day on a grand) would have the time to spend 10.000 hours over the next 10 years? concert level?

I guess NO, as the 10.000 hours rule seems to apply to purely cognitive tasks, while playing piano seems to be more than that.

Cheers


Edited by Nannerl67 (11/13/13 06:52 AM)

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#2181436 - 11/13/13 07:47 AM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: Calgary Mike]
Stevester Offline
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Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
I started at 44 as well, 10 years ago. I am playing grade 4-5 with confidence. And I understand the music. That is fine with me.

As for the 10,000 hour rule. I just don't see it. I read the book about 4 years ago, while entertaining that was about it. Food for thought. I trained and worked as a airplane pilot for a number of years. After about two thousand hours I was very good, does it mean anything, no.
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#2181454 - 11/13/13 08:14 AM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: Calgary Mike]
peterws Online   content
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Registered: 07/21/12
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One`s intellectual capacity is of great importance here. So is one`s lack of . . . .the hours needed will rise accordingly and exponentially! I know . . . .
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#2181459 - 11/13/13 08:22 AM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: Stevester]
Nannerl67 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/12/13
Posts: 3
Which grades are you referring to? RCM or ABRSM?

I am somewhere at level 3-4 ABRSM I would say.

But sooo far away from my preferred pieces: The Schubert Impromptus. Hope to be able to play the easier ones one day....

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#2181553 - 11/13/13 11:25 AM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: Nannerl67]
Stevester Offline
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Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
Whatever Kjos uses in the Keith Snell series.
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#2181567 - 11/13/13 11:48 AM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: Monica K.]
Jayden Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/13
Posts: 102
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
Originally Posted By: Monica K.
Thanks, Mike! I hadn't seen this one yet. Sounds to me like Gladwell was just a tad defensive about criticisms of his 10,000 hour generalization--but I think it was important and useful clarification.

The relevant question for us, of course, is whether playing the piano can be considered a "cognitively complex task" or instead a mere motor skill like throwing darts.


I would of thought that those two are essentially one and the same. After all, throwing a dart or lifting your arm or walking are very complex cognitive tasks. We just have a habit of making vast general abstractions when the brain is in question.

Here's an example. I can say out loud 'how are you doing today?' just as easily as I could lift my foot off the ground. The former would seem exponentially more complicated although both require no effort whatsoever. (imagine the information processing it would require via the brain in order to not only recall basic speech patterns but automatically orchestrate the required muscles to carry out those subtle sound differences) With enough time/practice/exposer, the brain abstracts complex tasks for us. Typing on a computer keyboard is another good example.

Almost in the same way high level programming languages are nothing but abstraction layer upon abstraction layer before we're left with simple machine code operations such as MOVE 01100101 -> ffffff. The high level programmer never has to think in binary because the compilers abstract the information for them, so it's user friendly and easy to work with.

Anyway, I am kind of rambling, but yeah.
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#2182183 - 11/14/13 09:08 AM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: TrapperJohn]
WiseBuff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 812
Loc: Brighton Colorado
Originally Posted By: TrapperJohn
The 10,000 hour rule is obsolete - inflation has set in - it is now the 12,500 hour rule (and growing)...

I'm at 10,000 and haven't achieved mastery, so it must be 12,500...hopefully, I'll get there before it expands again...


1-+
Mastery seems pretty elusive to me at this moment after at least 10,000 hours. Perhaps 10,000 is a median rather than a mean. I'm no doubt on the outer edge of the bell curve. BUT maybe I could define mastery in a more reachable way...I know there are a skills I HAVE developed for sure. I enjoy my morning piano time but may never master playing for others. Doesn't mean I'll stop trying.
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#2182191 - 11/14/13 09:20 AM Re: The 10,000 hour rule [Re: Calgary Mike]
Nannerl67 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/12/13
Posts: 3
Talked to th famous 86 yeard old jazz pianist Marcial Solal yesterday night: He says 5 hours playing every day, out of which 2h arpeggios, scales...

So, 5h * 70 years * 365 days = 127 750 hours !!!

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by Oklabecca
11/21/14 12:50 PM
questions about tuning the top octave
by musicalman
11/21/14 11:50 AM
Resources for Preparing for the Tuning and Technical Exam
by pgmitch
11/21/14 10:48 AM
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