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natural talent

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(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

I don't do the 'natural talent' dance. Look at all those supposedly brilliant classical folks, the bulk of them started at ultra young age and had a father in some local court or other such position. Example: I doubt anyone would find it impossible to play like Clapton or Gilmour after decades of practicing. But most of us don't so we call those who do talented, to create an artificial excuse why others are better.

Apart from that the idea of natural talent with music is absurd, as music is an art. As such natural talent generally gets degraded into 'someone being able to play something I like with minimal training', or ofcourse the usual 'I can shred within twelve hours of picking up the guitar!' nonsense. If you can't define an objective best then the concept of natural talent is pointless.


   
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(@nicktorres)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5381
 

I believe there is natural talent. That and several thousand hours of practice are going to make you a good guitarist.

Pity the poor person without. They are going to need several thousand hours of practice to become a good guitarist.


   
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(@elecktrablue)
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Joined: 20 years ago
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ROFL! :D You crack me up, Nick!

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¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ .·´
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´ -:¦:- Elecktrablue -:¦:-

"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"


   
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(@tim_madsen)
Prominent Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 724
 

Three years ago when I started (at the ripe young age of 50) I thought the guitar was an impossibly difficult instrument to play. Now I believe that anyone with two hands and part of a brain can play it. And since I saw a fellow playing a banjo not long ago, with no fingers on his fretting hand. And playing it very well. Now I have doubts about the needing two hands part. Talent? I'll take determination any time.

Now that I read the poll again I don't think I answered it very well, so I'll try again.
Yes there is natural talent, no it is not an excuse for not playing.

Tim Madsen
Nobody cares how much you know,
until they know how much you care.

"What you keep to yourself you lose, what you give away you keep forever." -Axel Munthe


   
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 cnev
(@cnev)
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There is absolutely a thing called natural talent it's real and people posess it. What they do with it is a different story though.

You can probably for the most part get pretty darn good with alot of determination but in my opinion if every thing else is equal, such as practice time, determination etc...at the end of the day a person with natural talent will have gotten there much quicker and in some cases do things that determination will never get you to.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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What do we mean with natural talent? If my father would have played guitar all his life and I grew up listening to it, would it still be considered 'natural talent' if I turned out to be able to learn guitar relatively easily? Or if an intelligent person finds it very easy to think music in abstract ways and thus learn faster, is that natural talent? If yes, then I agree it exist. But if natural talent is the mysterious ability to be able to learn faster then expected without any previous experience with the skill in any shape or form, without being helped by possessing general skills like dexterity, intelligence and mental skills like determinism and positivism then I doubt it exists.


   
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 cnev
(@cnev)
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Arjen

I think the subject is a little stupid to debate because who really cares but you tell me what it is when someone can pick up an instrument and start playing by ear almost immediately, while others struggle for months on end trying to get a C chord fingered properly. Maybe calling "natural ability" is incorrect but I don't know of any other way to describe it.

I am still under the opinion that all people are NOT created equally and some people have a certain talent for tasks that others don't, for whatever the reason is.

How about a 5 year old that's playing classical piano fluently? I could start playing piano tomorrow and I'll bet in 5 years I won't be doing that no matter how much I tried....

I think every thing pretty much fits a bell shaped curev...90% will be average and have average abilities which with alot of determination we can excel at certain things, then there are 5% or so that just pick up anything and excel at it with a lot less work involved, then there are 5% that no matter how hard they try ain't gonna get there.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


   
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(@biker_jim_uk)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 536
 

People can be naturally talented, for eg growing up my brother and I (he is a year younger) basically played football (Soccer) together all the time, after school, at school, same teams, same training. He was better than me, same for cricket (I played more orthodox because I practiced that way, but he had a better eye and better timing), that isn't a nuture thing, he was just more sporty, whereas I found intellectual things (readingwritingmaths etc) much easier than him.


   
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(@elecktrablue)
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To quote Sly Stone:

"Different strokes for different folks and so on and so on and scooby dooby dooby....."

..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ .·´
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´ -:¦:- Elecktrablue -:¦:-

"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

you tell me what it is when someone can pick up an instrument and start playing by ear almost immediately, while others struggle for months on end trying to get a C chord fingered properly.

That's called 'a well-trained ear.'. You can practice that if you need, some don't need to practice it because they've been around music so much and have paid close attention to it. That's not talent but just practice, formally or informally.
How about a 5 year old that's playing classical piano fluently?

Firstly, noone plays fluently classical piano at that age, simply because that takes vastly more time. Compare the performance of a concert pianist versus the performance of a 'prodigy'. What is possible is play the correct notes in the correct time, and that is a skill that you can practice. If you would spend five hours a day practicing piano (and all those prodigies do!) then you'd be surprised how good you'll be in two years. And yes, kids start piano at the age of three. Besides that, young kids are way better in concentrating and focussing on specific tasks. You can have a kid practice the C-major scale for two hours a day, try getting an adult so far.
I am still under the opinion that all people are NOT created equally and some people have a certain talent for tasks that others don't, for whatever the reason is.

I didn't say the opposite. What I say is that what people consider a 'piano talent' is actually a combination of various traits and perks people possess. If you have a child that likes music, is intelligent, has the determination to practice, has the concentration to focus on the here&now and is raised in a family that actively supports it then that kid will play very well at a very young age. That kid could also have excelled at the flute, math, chinese riddles, and more such things, yet we'll say he/she is a piano prodigy.

Biker: That's what I say. His general strengths and weaknesses made him a better sportsman then you. He didn't have an amazing football/tennis/whatever talent, he was just better geared by nature towards sport and linked activities. Your strengths make you better in a wide variety of things, not just literature or just maths. So if you mean this with natural talent, then yeah, sure it exists.


   
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(@bford)
Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 245
 

I think the subject is a little stupid to debate because who really cares but you tell me what it is when someone can pick up an instrument and start playing by ear almost immediately, while others struggle for months on end trying to get a C chord fingered properly. Maybe calling "natural ability" is incorrect but I don't know of any other way to describe it.

I am still under the opinion that all people are NOT created equally and some people have a certain talent for tasks that others don't, for whatever the reason is.

How about a 5 year old that's playing classical piano fluently? I could start playing piano tomorrow and I'll bet in 5 years I won't be doing that no matter how much I tried....

I think every thing pretty much fits a bell shaped curev...90% will be average and have average abilities which with alot of determination we can excel at certain things, then there are 5% or so that just pick up anything and excel at it with a lot less work involved, then there are 5% that no matter how hard they try ain't gonna get there.

I couldn't agree more. Well said. We are all wired differently.
I think some of us just pick up on things easier than others. I'm not one of them. Learning a new craft at an older age is going to be more difficult than at a younger age. Especially if under the age of 6. Kids minds are like sponges. They soak up so much. When the minds aren't stimulated to learn at a young age, learning something new at an older age is going to be more of a challenge.
Just my .02

Treat others how you would like to be treated.


   
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(@nicktorres)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5381
 

Just a friendly reminder that it's okay to have two different opinions. I have them all the time.

Feel free to post what you think but don't feel the need to convert anyone to your way of thinking.


   
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 cnev
(@cnev)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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Arjen

I don't want to beat this to death but what I'm saying is pretty much the same thing that biker jim said and you seem to agree with his description of natural talent vs mine.

So are you saying that in regard to music there is no such thing but for all other tasks there is? That confuses me?

The bottom line is whether it's music or football (which ever kind you play) certain people have more tendancies to excel than other people. The people that can master the skills faster than other people are the ones I say have a natural talent for them.

here's another example, put two people, with no prior musical ability or training, young or old in a room and show them x number of chords etc and a song that uses them. Ask them to practice the same amount each day. at the end of a week one of them will have progressed faster...that's the natural ability thing I'm talking about

All I know is a wish I had it!

I can understand a little about you feeling there is no such thing as natural talent in music and I I somewhat agree but in order to have an objective measure I'm thinking in terms of very technically difficult material. I know with determination anyone can "play" the guitar...but it depends on your idea of what playing is? Is it strumming a few chords around the campfire? Then I agree..because you can probably teach a monkey how to do that. I'm talking about taking a very difficult piece of material and play it well. The average Joe ain't gonna get there no matter how long they play. I doubt if I practiced all day long for years I'd ever be able to play as fast as Yngwie. He posesses something the average person doesn't have and for a lack of a better term I'll call it natural ability.

Anyway this has been discussed to death that's just my two cents.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

Cnev: we ain't disagreeing so much I think. Yes, some learn music faster then others, but that is due to general strengths and weaknesses one may have. The combination of these abilities could be called 'talent', which is indeed one of the definitions.
here's another example, put two people, with no prior musical ability or training

That's the key: noone has no prior music training. Even if you never held an instrument before the act of listening to music is a form of musical development. Which would be one aspect of this person's 'talent'. But 'talent' on itself is nothing, it's a label for a wide variety of possible subjects which individually have an impact on one's ability to learn new skills.
I doubt if I practiced all day long for years I'd ever be able to play as fast as Yngwie.

One aspect of Yngwie's talent is his arrogance. He is the king, he rules, he is the best. The idea he could fail probably never came up in his mind. That led him to sit on his bed practicing his appergios all day, with insane focus. Which is another part of his talent. Workrate and drive doesn't complement one's talents, it's part of it.

So in short: the only thing I disagree with is the 'magical' talent. The 'he is exactly like me but has more talent so he is better'. Maybe you can't put your finger on it, or maybe it's very complex to describe, but in every situation the 'talent' is a collection of abilities and skills that can be analyzed and labeled. And the reason I'm preaching so much (again!) is that people (not meaning anyone in specific) who believe in a 'magical' talent are shooting themselves in their foot. A great part of people's talent can be 'trained', to some extent.

Ok, the soapbox is availlable. :D


   
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(@biker_jim_uk)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 536
 

Biker: That's what I say. His general strengths and weaknesses made him a better sportsman then you. He didn't have an amazing football/tennis/whatever talent, he was just better geared by nature towards sport and linked activities. Your strengths make you better in a wide variety of things, not just literature or just maths. So if you mean this with natural talent, then yeah, sure it exists.

Glad we agree :D


   
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