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#1
so i ask this question because i have noticed huge differences with me and my guitar playing friends based on how long we have been playing vs technique.

i have been playing 3 years and have most techniques ok...but some rather sloppy, triplet 16th notes at 120 bpm before being sloppy in sweeping, alternate picking and economy picking and tapping. no teacher
friend 1 has been playing 2 years and can do the same. has a teacher.
friend 2 can do those about 16th notes 120 bpm - 3months of playing! no teacher.
friend 3 has been playing 7 years, he is as good as friend 2. has a teacher.

so as you can see we are all at different levels and friend 2 is obviously progressing faster than the rest of us - I'm sure that is natural talent.


so MT - is there natural talent?

EDIT : fixed grammar

"The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n"

- John Milton, Paradise Lost
#2
Everyone's different.

Friend 2 might be as sloppy as **** - which makes him ****.
#5
Of course theres natrual talent. How have you not noticed that before?
#6
unless he practices about 10 times what you or both of your friends do, yea, he was probably born with excelent hand coordination
#7
i dont know... i think its more determination... ive been playin about 3 years i think... but im not an excellent lead player... i never have enough motivation and determination to become any faster... but i guess some people learn stuff faster than others...
#8
I would say yes to natural talent. Your just born with it, i would say looking at "friend 1" he has a teacher, has been playing a year less than youand as you say then same skill level as you. Which is why id say having a teacher would pogress you further and faster.
#9
I wouldn't say there is natural talent because he obviously didn't just pick up guitar when he did that. Although some people do learn things faster.
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#10
No. It's all environmental. If someone grows up playing and loving music, they are going to be musically inclined.

Some people get lucky and start out playing with relaxed, descent technique, or know how to practice properly and are able to progress faster. There is no gene that makes moving your hands around on a guitar any easier.
#11
Yes there is.

I have three guitar playing friends.

One has played 4 years. He can riff as good as anyone i've ever seen. His soloing is good, but not by any means perfect. His sweeping is sloppy after a certain speed. He's self taught.

Friend two has played 7 years. He can riff not quite as well as friend one, but can solo and improv a lot better. Soloing is good in all areas but not exceptional. Has been taught for 5 of those years.

Friend three however has played three years, can riff as good as the first guy but solos something close to petrucci/any awesome guitarist speed and accuracy. He beat the other two guys in our college music comp this year by a country mile. He played Sea Of Lies by Symphony X. me (bassist), him (with added keyboard sweeping harmonies) and the first guy (Romeos standard lead parts) were gonna cover it. but the first guy couldn't deal with it. The second guy admitted he could never play it.

Answer. Yes it does exist.

Yes, it exists.
#12
Quote by guitar_loner
unless he practices about 10 times what you or both of your friends do, yea, he was probably born with excelent hand coordination


i play more hours a day than all of them(4-6), friend 2 is sloppy as hell when he goes above the speed i mentioned but under that its quite clean.

however could it be distortion? i play mostly on the treadplate2 channel of my pod with gain halfway, my friends with there spiders3s(goddamn sound control ppl :p use insane with gain maxed...hadn't thought about that until now

"The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n"

- John Milton, Paradise Lost
#13
Some people learn faster than others, but it's never going to be a HUGE advantage as long as those without this "natural talent" keep practicing.

It doesn't mean some of us are doomed to be worse than anyone else because we lack this trait.
#14
back in highschool id been playing for maybe 3 or 4 years, i had a friend that was playing nirvana and offspring after his ~1st year of playing. 1 year later hes shredding pantera/bodom/dragonforce grade stuff while i was still playing rhythm.

why? lets look at a timeline, even when i practiced i didnt practice the right stuff, he researched how to get that good and sat around all day while i screwed around. not just practicing but knowing WHAT you need to practice is crucial. my first year with a band i started focusing on technique as opposed to theory and i made identical practice in that one year.

your friend played 3 months and can do 120bpm 16ths? ehem.. you MUST mean 32nds right? just about every song set to 120bpm has 16ths in it. 32nds would be somewhat difficult. how is he playing them.. is he using his wrist and not anchoring? anyone can play that 'fast' by shaking their ARM, but thats not very good technique, not only is it far less accurate it can be very fatiguing by the end of one song.
#15
Most people's problem is that they think they can't do something! ("I can't draw/sing/play like him/her" etc) I believe that anyone can do anything they put their mind to. The people that you think are learning faster either practice more effectively or (more likely) have something lacking in their playing that you have.
#16
yes, he has a natural talent, he can move his hands really fast.

EDIT: also, i think people are mistaking musical talent with technical talent. imo, playing fast and clean riffs has nothing to do with actual musical ability, as in composition, melody writing, etc. I could practice 10 hours a day some yngwie malmsteen or something, does that mean I have musical talent? Not necesarly, it just means I practiced a lot.
Last edited by cubs at May 8, 2008,
#17
depends, on lots of things, you can develop your ear without realising it, so he might have a better ear than all of you, which would help him larn alot faster and that could be called natural talent.... but it isn't. it's how much and how efficiently you practise. thats how people progress. an if you have got a good ear you can pick up musical instruments a **** load faster.
#18
I think it's down to how you practice as well. Running through the same scales/riffs/licks all the time won't do you as much good as genuinely pushing yourself musically AND technically.
#19
The word "talent," as far as I can tell, represents a meaningless entity that is superimposed into a situation where an individual wishes to describe an unattainable magic that another possesses. While there are times I feel the word can be used with a shred validity, the definition is so loose that it is often used without a solid context or proper knowledge of the subject at hand and therefore leads to unjust conceptualizations and is used then for that aforementioned justification.

And for the record, I do not think it is a coincidence that Leopold Mozart birthed TWO child prodigies (Mozart, and his lesser known sister) and that almost all the major late 20th and early 21st century composers were all taught by the same teachers. I would, in most cases, attribute "talent" to environmental causes rather than chancy predispositions and a flawless filtering process.
#20
Quote by Erc
The word "talent," as far as I can tell, represents a meaningless entity that is superimposed into a situation where an individual wishes to describe an unattainable magic that another possesses. While there are times I feel the word can be used with a shred validity, the definition is so loose that it is often used without a solid context or proper knowledge of the subject at hand and therefore leads to unjust conceptualizations and is used then for that aforementioned justification.

And for the record, I do not think it is a coincidence that Leopold Mozart birthed TWO child prodigies (Mozart, and his lesser known sister) and that almost all the major late 20th and early 21st century composers were all taught by the same teachers. I would, in most cases, attribute "talent" to environmental causes rather than chancy predispositions and a flawless filtering process.



Very, very, very true. I agree with what you said 100%. If I could fit that, that post would be sigged.
#21
Hard work can overcome natural deficiencies (in anything). However, there are skills that come easier to some people (in anything).


Let's put it this way. You don't wake up one morning, never having played the guitar, and sweep diminished arps at 20 nps, but someone with naturally good fine motor skills will not have to practice quite as much as a klutz.
#22
No, he probably practices in his mind. Tell me, do you ever practice in your mind?


I'm being absolutely serious too. I progressed very fast in my playing, not shawn lane fast, but faster then most people. I've come to conclusion that it was because i was almost always practicing in my mind. You should try it.
#23
Quote by ouchies
I'm being absolutely serious too. I progressed very fast in my playing, not shawn lane fast, but faster then most people. I've come to conclusion that it was because i was almost always practicing in my mind. You should try it.
I think it's good to think about music or whatever subject you're studying, but with something that requires physical skills, you need to physically get your guitar and get your fingers moving faster.

Theory wise, I think this could help. And then you would be able to spend that time working on technique.
#24
Natural talent does exist, but it does take a minor % on your development. A good teacher, efficient practicing and motivation is what makes you good. As for the talent: I am very good at learning a riff in few minutes and i can play fast and fingerpick like a beast but i have a really crappy ear, my friend has been playing for 2 more years with almost same practice but im much better on technical playing, but he just simply destroys me on musical ability, composing and on ear.

What i mean everyone has a talent, its just different for every person. For me is learning fast, for my friend is a impressive and mater full musical ability. The way to be good is to discover your talent and taking advantages from it
#25
I think there is no such thing as talent. When someone sees a very skilled guitarist or musician and they can't fathom what they did to get to their level, or how they did it, they call them talented. But I think everyone on this site realizes that skill requires hard work and good practice, not talent. The closest thing to talent one might have would be having a knack musically or having a good ear, and even that can be learned.
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#26
I think talent is directly related to your approach. Also, some people just learn a lil faster then others.
#27
Quote by Winsbury
i dont know... i think its more determination...

i very much agree. the same goes for almost anything in life.. if you want it bad enough to invest the patience, discipline, and persistence, you can probably achieve it. i don't really care if there is natural talent.. i am much more interested to know whether or not years of persistent practice and hard work will really pay off, whether you have inherent abilities or not.

by the way, i do think natural talent has a place in the creative process like writing stuff. but as far as playing proficiency goes, i think it's all about hard work and discipline.
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#28
Yes, however perseverance always prevails.
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#29
If one guy practices a single technique 90% of the time, he will obviously be better at that specific technique than someone who practices it 20% of the time, but spends a greater greater effort becoming more adept all around. Therefore it's impossible really to judge someone's musical ability by how many bmp they play (which I think is rediculous to begin with). Get my drift?
Ain't nothin wrong, ain't nothin right, and still I sit and lie awake all night...
#30
im only saying on shredding techniques because im the only one who learns music theory as well.

ouchies - how would i do that?

bangoodcharlotte, what would be a good practice routine?

"The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n"

- John Milton, Paradise Lost
#31
Quote by willguitarist
Most people's problem is that they think they can't do something! ("I can't draw/sing/play like him/her" etc) I believe that anyone can do anything they put their mind to. The people that you think are learning faster either practice more effectively or (more likely) have something lacking in their playing that you have.


I agree with this 1000%. The long and short of the matter is that anyone can do anything they want, with basically no exceptions. Ever see someone play guitar with their feet? Run a marathon with prosthetics? Graduate college with a retard (no offense) level IQ? People can do amazing things, but they HAVE TO WANT TO!!! The problem is that most people really don't want to, they want to just wake up and have amazing chops, and not have to practice; that's sidestepping every obstacle. If you want to get good at something you can't solely want to get good at something, you have to want to do what it takes to get good at something. You have to want to practice.

As far as natural talent, plain and simple, it does exist. You're never going to convince me that every guitarist ever, even ones that were raised in similar environments, or what have you, started off just as good as everyone else. There's no denying it, some people just pick up an instrument and are better for no explicable reason, that's what we call natural talent. Just because there isn't a gene for shredding at guitar doesn't mean that people don't have the natural ability.

The thing is that, at the end of the day, natural talent doesn't matter much. What it boils down to is that someone else can get from point A to point B a little sooner than someone else. Big whoopdie doo. I couldn't care less if it took me another month to learn something compared to someone else, so long as I learn it.

Here's the way I see it, talent is no substitute for hard work, but hard work IS a substitute for talent.

In summary, natural talent is real, it doesn't matter, and worrying about it doesn't matter. JUST PLAY THE DAMN GUITAR!!!
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#32
Quote by bangoodcharlote
I think it's good to think about music or whatever subject you're studying, but with something that requires physical skills, you need to physically get your guitar and get your fingers moving faster.

Theory wise, I think this could help. And then you would be able to spend that time working on technique.


Yes that too, but I mean I would always actually play guitar in my mind. I could almost feel my muscles being used and sometimes I would even make mistakes in my mind, its really odd but its cool. What I do is visualize the fretboard and just practice songs on it.. its good to make time pass by in school :]
#33
Some people are naturally gifted in areas. Be it maths, music, sport & chemistry what not etc I believe alot of it is due to upbringing however, But then you get into the Nature / Nuture argument which is non ending...

Hardwork is what seperates it all however, you could be a child prodigy at anything but with out the direction, motivation and sheer work you wont achieve anything... Lets face it Im sure most of us have seen a good naturally gifted sports person, whos been pushed into it by his / her parents and ended up hating what he / she does.
#36
Think about this: there's this football place kicking coach who is highly sought after. I think he mostly teaches younger kids or whatever, but I'm not entirely clear on that. I saw a story on him years ago on one of those sports expose shows. Anyway, he's an excellent kicking teacher...but he has no legs.

You could easily argue that he has natural talent for kicking, or at least, knowing what goes in to it and being an excellent teacher (obviously since he can't demonstrate).

So, yes, I believe in natural ability. However, that natural ability doesn't mean a person can pick up a guitar and immediately become Hendrix. But there are definitely persons in this world with a predisposition to pick up a guitar and simply have a natural ability out of the gate. They have a head start on others...but don't necessarily become better than someone who really works at it.

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#37
Some people seem to have the capacity to pick it up a lot quicker than others, so I suppose that could be called a form of natural talent.
#38
could age affect how quickly you learn?

"The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n"

- John Milton, Paradise Lost
#39
Quote by metallicafan616
could age affect how quickly you learn?

I wouldn't say that it affects learning to play the guitar enough to think about.

There are certain psychological and physiological trade-offs when learning earlier on or later on, but it isn't anything that can't be overcome with dedication and hard work. There is no need to worry about age when playing guitar, just whether you enjoy playing it and want to continue to play it.
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#40
Quote by metallicafan616
could age affect how quickly you learn?


yeah it does. Alot of things can affect how quickly you learn. Age, Intelligence, talent, as well as your own desire and determination.

The truth is talent exists in varying levels. Its an important factor, but its not the only factor.
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