#1
Why is it a common thing among many musicians to be able to learn another instrument, compose using software they have never seen before or simply just write a song? I find it amazing how people in given fields are able to pick up this "6th sense", if they are at a moderate to high level at their craft.

For example, a lot of people who are great at fps shooters, do well transitioning over to a new shooter.
A lot of the top dog RTS players back in the day, are almost seeded into being part of the top 4% of any RTS they pursue.
Magic the gathering pros becoming poker pros in just 2 years..

And us musicians are so confident that if we were to learn a brand new instrument, "given we practice enough", anything is possible.

Is it confidence? Or is it a 6th sense people of a certain craft develop? The whole 10,000 hour thing is a joke, life has no way of mapping things out to whole numbers of "10", and it wouldn't explain prodigies.
Much appreciated, what are all of your opinions?
#2
I believe it has to do with that the fields have a lot of similarities between them. Take your example about FPS for example, most FPS shooters use the same mechanics. In pretty much any fps you have the elements of shooting, managing your ammo, choosing the right equipment, taking cover etc. They share similar traits and that's why it's easy for people to make the transition.

The same thing occurs in music. When we start playing a instrument we are merely players and not necessarily musicians. We start by just learning to play the instrument, we don't often think about notes or how they work together until much later. I believe it's when we take that step and realize that the things we've learned on our current instrument is applicable to all instruments that we can start picking up other instrument and start composing whole songs by ourselves.

For example i started of with guitar and didn't learn much theory or work on my ear until two years in. When i learned how to read sheet music, how chord construction worked and which chords worked in which keys the transition to piano was very smooth for me. When i later started working much on rhythmical patterns on guitar and getting into funk playing, coming up with drum parts became more and more natural.

I think it's a matter of realizing that music is universal and it's just a matter of which instrument you choose to get it out. Starting to think of the music as a whole instead of just like a guitarplayer or just like a drummer.
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#3
Sickz hit the nail on the head I think. Familiarity with music and how music works is universal through any instrument, similar to how someone who does handyman work can figure out how to work through a job he's done before through his familiarity with those kind of tasks and the way that stuff works. Its Just a field we've become trained in.
#4
Watch how fast a programmer learns a new programming language, compared to a novice. I'm convinced that the experienced person is only learning the differences, not the whole new task
#6
The title of this thread cracks me up. "Why are musicians so good at doing musical things?"
I guess it is because if they were not good at doing musical things they wouldn't be musicians.

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Si
#7
Yeah, 20 Tigers and Sickz are right.

You won't become a musician if you aren't interested in music. And if you are interested in something, it's also easier to learn. It's actually really fun to learn things you are interested in and you also learn faster.

I don't think anybody's bad at music. It's more about if you are interested in music. And if you are not, you won't learn it. Nobody's not born to be a musician - it's all about if you want to be a musician or not.

And yeah, there are lots of similarities between instruments. When you start your second instrument, you don't need to learn the basics of music because you already know them. You know the note names and sounds and how they work and just need to find out how to play those notes. Piano and guitar are really logical instruments (when you go up the fretboard/keyboard, you get a higher pitch) so they are also pretty easy to learn after you know something about music. And you don't need to know any playing technique to get all the sounds out of them.
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#9
Because they're 'musicians', not just 'guitarists'. They know music as opposed to an instrument. When you know the fundamentals, you can take it anywhere.

I'm at the point now where, if I can make a noise on anything, I can play it. Whether it's a musical instrument or anything that makes a note. Violin, piano, ocarina, desk, kitchen bench...
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#11
Quote by TwoPlusTwo
Why is it a common thing among many musicians to be able to learn another instrument, compose using software they have never seen before or simply just write a song? I find it amazing how people in given fields are able to pick up this "6th sense", if they are at a moderate to high level at their craft.

For example, a lot of people who are great at fps shooters, do well transitioning over to a new shooter.
A lot of the top dog RTS players back in the day, are almost seeded into being part of the top 4% of any RTS they pursue.
Magic the gathering pros becoming poker pros in just 2 years..

And us musicians are so confident that if we were to learn a brand new instrument, "given we practice enough", anything is possible.

Is it confidence? Or is it a 6th sense people of a certain craft develop? The whole 10,000 hour thing is a joke, life has no way of mapping things out to whole numbers of "10", and it wouldn't explain prodigies.
Much appreciated, what are all of your opinions?



if you want to call it a 6th sense or something, go ahead. i just look at it as i love music and i'm not lazy. the bands i were in weren't doing what i wanted so i learned how to play all the instruments i need so i could do whatever i wanted. (i play guitar, bass, piano, drums, sing and write and play a bit of anything lying around like mandolin or harmonica) if you don't think you can, you wont. most people don't think they can. when i see an instrument now i don't see something i don't know how to play. the music is within, it's call an "instrument" for a reason. it's just a tool for getting the music out, but there are many kinds of tools for the job. i rarely think of my self as a guitarist anymore. i mean, i love the guitar still. i think it will always be my "main" instrument of choice. good portability, many different tonal possibilities, and i've worked too long and hard on my gear to get a good tone to give it up now :P
#12
Quote by innovine
Watch how fast a programmer learns a new programming language, compared to a novice. I'm convinced that the experienced person is only learning the differences, not the whole new task


I'm a programmer, and this is correct.

When you learn a new language, you're learning new syntax, and maybe some new objects. You're not learning completely new rules every time.

For example, all object-oriented languages use inheritance. Most of them follow C++ style object notation (Java, etc.) so they're easy to learn because they're all basically the same language. Likewise, if you know how to write a FOR-loop in C, you can write a FOR loop in half-a-dozen other languages as well, as long as you know what a FOR loop is in the first place.

I'm trying to learn Objective-C right now, because I need to develop for the iPhone in the near future. The structure of the language is so alien to me that it's like I'm back in school because nothing carries over. Even the terminology is different; they're not methods, they're messages.
#13
Exactly what he said...

It's about crossover skills.

A musician is someone that has musical skills. They make music using concepts applicable to anything that can make sound - rhythm melody harmony.

If someone doesn't have those skills then they have to learn them. Usually when learning their first instrument at the same time they are also learning the physical mechanics required to play the instrument. They not only have to develop their sense and understanding of rhythm and pitch but also their finger strength independence and muscle memory.

Once they have these things down they can apply those skills to other instruments and already having a sense of rhythm, for example, they then only have to worry about learning the physical mechanics required to control the instrument.

Even the physical aspects (finger strength independence coordination etc) are to some extent crossover skills and make learning a new instrument easier.

Though such skills will give a student a massive head start it will still take years of practice to master an instrument.
Si
#14
Why are some chefs so good at making dinner goddamnit?!?!?!

WHAT IS THEIR SECRET I MUST KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#15
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Why are some chefs so good at making dinner goddamnit?!?!?!

WHAT IS THEIR SECRET I MUST KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I really wanna know lol but yeah that's a good example ig. Once you know how to fry chicken, learning how to fry porkchop is pretty simple (Eric is a country boy lol)
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

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#16
Personally, I get off on finding metaphorical ways to understand different things; metaphors aren't correct in an empirical sense, but I find that they give people a basis to build knowledge on something unrelated.

To expand on what others have said about crossover skills, I write a lot and I have noticed that those skills can be applied to many different things. When I got into guitar, I really tried to apply aspects of my writing ability to understanding and writing music. I like to think of a song as a story, but the musical aspect of a song (as opposed to lyrics) seems to be purely about conveying emotions and a certain feel. I imagine you guys can see how the structure of a story is quite analogous to the musical structure of a song in a few ways.

However, writing music and writing stories are completely different things; being proficient with one won't magically make you proficient with the other. It's like how knowing a certain programming language will not make you good with all programming languages. Learning one thing may teach you a certain logic you can apply to the other, but not the specifics.

For example, if you know a bit about the techniques used for playing guitar you could most definitely apply some of those to playing bass. However, bass isn't really meant to be played like a guitar and it's clearly a different instrument. At the same time, I would argue that a guitarist picking up a bass would have a much easier time than a guitarist picking up a violin. I would also argue that someone who knows a bit about a guitar would probably have an easier time with a violin than someone who has never played any musical instrument at all.

I would consider myself a decent writer but a rather amateur guitarist. It's all about the context of how you can apply these skills; how relevant are the things you have already learned to something else?
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