Life In Baby Steps

Posted May 21 by Cool Waters Band

Learning how to do anything is possible for anyone. It just takes time and patience. One can learn to play a new instrument(or your first instrument), a new language, auto mechanics, or how to bake a cake with enough time and patience.

I’ve taught people to play saxophone for a number of years and it always seems daunting for those just getting started. Do you remember being a baby and learning to talk? Yeah. Me neither. Even though we don’t remember we all did it pretty much the same way using imitation and trial and error. Luckily when learning something new it’s a lot easier after we know how to talk and read, but so many of us seem to be impatient, or make excuses for ourselves like ‘I’m just not musically inclined’, ‘all that car stuff is just too complicated’, ‘I’m just not a good cook’ or ‘I suck at math’. We all have access to the most information ever all at our finger tips via the internet.

You want to learn guitar, Spanish, or how to make killer cookies, but you aren’t musically inclined, or remember things easily, or know the slightest thing about baking. Houston, we have a problem. The problem is our own mind though for the most part. Sure some people ‘pick up’ things easier than others, but that doesn’t preclude everyone from the ability to learn most things.

The key is baby steps, but first you also have to want to learn and it’s even easier if you have an actual passion for what you want to learn. When you were young and your parents made you take piano lessons, or karate , or soccer for some of you it wasn’t fun, but you had to do it because your parents made you. Well now we have to make ourselves do it. For some things that’s a problem. If you don’t care a hill of beans about how a car works or have any interest in it, you’re probably not going to stick with learning auto mechanics. The same thing goes for learning guitar or saxophone.

I’ll often hear someone say ‘I wish I could play guitar like that’ or ‘man that drummer is awesome, I wish I could do that’. Here’s a news flash. That 7 year old guitar player you see on YouTube wasn’t born that way. The best musicians I know work at it very hard, or at least did for a long time to get there. Eddie VanHalen didn’t just wake up one day and know how to shred his brains out on the guitar.

Science says just about anyone can become an ‘expert’ at a skill with 10,000 hours of practice. That’s 5 years of a full time job, but we all get distracted easily in this day of instant gratification. Playing Mary Had a Little Lamb for 10,000 hours isn’t going to make you the next Motzart. There’s more to it than that, but no matter what you want to learn, if you have a passion for it and enough time you can become very good at what you want to.

Double R

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