It all started with my discovery of
For some reason, hearing blue grass music make me feel like I wanted to
(and might be able to) learn how to make music myself.
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Most explanations of music theory make the assumption that you already know something. This site does a great job of starting from scratch.
The following is my paraphrase of the tips given by Bill Evans:
Playing slow when learning is something that almost every teacher emphasizes. Play it slow and get it right. Be patient and speed will come. Almost every student lacks patience and jumps ahead trying to play too fast.
I had the good fortune to hear Douglas Dillard play a concert, and afterwards had a brief moment to speak to him. I told him I was learning the banjo and asked his advice. He said what I hoped he would: "practice".
Earl Scruggs advised playing a tune 10,000 times to really learn it.
The recent book "Outliers" suggests that people who are "great" at anything have invested 10,000 hours practicing or studying it. Perhaps it is the drive or passion to practice 10,000 hours that is mistaken for talent. Hard work; painful demanding practice are what are required to achieve success, not some natural gift. Practice specific things with a focused goal. If you settle for mediocrity, realize that it is your choice, not your destiny.
See this article on what it takes to be great.
Talent may just be a discount on the hard work required. Bobby Fischer spent 9 years in intensive study to become a chess grandmaster at age 16. Deliberate and focused practice, not just hours banging away is what yields results.
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