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  #31  
Old 10-30-2013, 02:42 PM
Monk of Funk Monk of Funk is offline
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Originally Posted by Texas Dave View Post
My throat is sore right now from trying to keep up with Chris Stapleton's voice.


My girlfriend "tries" to read while I practice my guitar and sing in the same room. She's helped me remember a few times by reminding me that I'm NOT the person that I'm all to often trying to mimic. When I sing with My voice and rein it in to MY capabilities I sound better.

I think all to often folks try to imitate someone else's voice rather than accept and develop their own. I'm all to guilty of that.

The thing on here I agree with most is that you have to sing to develop what you have. ...I'm so lucky to have a patient girlfriend...and vodka.

Great discussion folks.
I totally agree with this. You really have to discover what your voice is, and what it can do, and work to develop your own voice in how it is. Jamiroquai Jack johnson, ray charles, usher, axl rose, freddie mercury, all of these guys sound different, and it's not because they could all sound the same if they wanted to, and just chose that voice.

That voice, or rather the potential for it, was something they were born with. And they worked at it.

It's like trying to get an acoustic guitar to sound like a banjo, it just won't. We are different shapes and sizes, and our vocal chords are different.
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  #32  
Old 10-30-2013, 02:53 PM
stanron stanron is offline
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I could see that, but I think that there are also others that have trouble hearing intervals. It's a brain thing. Just like some people need to count and develop timing, and others just feel it naturally.
Could be. Intervals were one of the things I practiced. I'd play things like 1, 3, 1, 4, 1, 5, 1 4. At the bottom of my range and then try singing it a couple of times. Then repeat one fret higher until I got to the top of my range. Also scales, single intervals and arpeggios. Most successfully into a mic, wearing earphones and watching a tuner. Things improved but not to the point where I'd risk trying to sing unaccompanied.

Once you can actually hear your pitch the rest is just training.
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  #33  
Old 10-30-2013, 05:25 PM
jimmybcool jimmybcool is offline
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Some people don't hear pitch very well. It's sort of a subli......
OK, I don't experience the same thing but I can see how you could play a guitar and all. I wonder though the suggestion made about hearing yourself if it comes from somewhere else. Do you have a mic and amp/pa/???

Maybe that;s the key. I know I've sung a few times in front of a rock band with no stage monitor and had NO idea if I was in key on note or anything. That's my only experience with what you have and maybe it's the same concept.
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  #34  
Old 10-30-2013, 06:49 PM
Monk of Funk Monk of Funk is offline
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OK, I don't experience the same thing but I can see how you could play a guitar and all. I wonder though the suggestion made about hearing yourself if it comes from somewhere else. Do you have a mic and amp/pa/???

Maybe that;s the key. I know I've sung a few times in front of a rock band with no stage monitor and had NO idea if I was in key on note or anything. That's my only experience with what you have and maybe it's the same concept.
I think you misunderstood me somewhere. I don't have any issues with hearing pitch or singing on pitch, I mean I'm not perfect with the best voice you've ever heard, but I can hold a tune.

I was just failing at trying to describe what it might be like for people that can't hear pitch correctly, and how it could make sense that someone posts in a music forum about singing, and may not have good enough hearing to sing on pitch very easily. I mean, I don't know either way in this case, I'm just saying that it could be possible.


Someone else that was saying that their own voice might block out their ability to hear what they should be singing to. Forget who.
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  #35  
Old 10-30-2013, 06:59 PM
Monk of Funk Monk of Funk is offline
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Could be. Intervals were one of the things I practiced. I'd play things like 1, 3, 1, 4, 1, 5, 1 4. At the bottom of my range and then try singing it a couple of times. Then repeat one fret higher until I got to the top of my range. Also scales, single intervals and arpeggios. Most successfully into a mic, wearing earphones and watching a tuner. Things improved but not to the point where I'd risk trying to sing unaccompanied.

Once you can actually hear your pitch the rest is just training.
There are different sorts of training though also. There is trainging yourself to recognize and name things you already hear just fine, in order to wield them more strongly. But there is also training in order to overcome a difficulty with something.

Like I mentioned, training to count, because rhythm is not as natural for you.

What I mean of intervals though, is not predicting how many intervals are between two notes, it is a bit that, but I think I never had that straight from birth. I mean, I could always put through a good guess, but the first time I sat at a piano I could ear out twinkle twinkle, perfectly on the first try. I could remember the tune though, and guess pretty good, and hit or miss a bit, until I got it, and I knew I got it.

what I meant for intervals is like.. imagine you throw two stones in a pond. One large one and one small one.

You can see that the large one is a pitch and the small one is higher pitch.

Now, you're taking about essentially, measuring how many in between pitches there are, and getting accustomed to knowing that number upon seeing both sets of ripples one after the other.

What I meant was, as these two ripples coincide with each other, they make this new interference pattern. which is the sound of an interval.

That's why, I thought maybe people might have difficulty hearing this. They would do as you said, train and hear two pitches, but not so well how they interact or something.

Or maybe it is just lack of resolution in wave patterns. They have low "sample rates". That would seem to me more plausible I guess. But I was referring to hearing the interval itself as its own sound, the interference pattern itself.

A recognisable sound. More than that though, an inherently pleasing or displeasing sort of sound almost. Which may become pleasing or displeasing based on context, but if you are too far off, then it is basically always displeasing.

There is a margin of error for everybody I think also. I mean a tempered piano is actually slight off, which is easy to live with, but compare it with a perfectly tune one, you can see the difference. it's just a few cents off though (more difference the farther from center you go), but still.
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  #36  
Old 10-30-2013, 09:01 PM
jimmybcool jimmybcool is offline
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Originally Posted by Monk of Funk View Post
I think you misunderstood me somewhere. I don't have any issues with hearing pitch or singing on pitch, I mean I'm not perfect with the best voice you've ever heard, but I can hold a tune.

I was just failing at trying to describe what it might be like for people that can't hear pitch correctly, and how it could make sense that someone posts in a music forum about singing, and may not have good enough hearing to sing on pitch very easily. I mean, I don't know either way in this case, I'm just saying that it could be possible.


Someone else that was saying that their own voice might block out their ability to hear what they should be singing to. Forget who.
Well just label me confused and slap my ***.

I doubt many people have perfect pitch. For me I started to learn how to sing with a mic and teacher. I hear myself and he teaches how to use my natural voice instead of just trying to force everything thru chest voice. Makes it a LOT easier to sing without passing out.
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  #37  
Old 10-30-2013, 10:03 PM
Monk of Funk Monk of Funk is offline
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Well just label me confused and slap my ***.

I doubt many people have perfect pitch. For me I started to learn how to sing with a mic and teacher. I hear myself and he teaches how to use my natural voice instead of just trying to force everything thru chest voice. Makes it a LOT easier to sing without passing out.
I think I know what you mean but "perfect pitch" is something else altogether.
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  #38  
Old 10-31-2013, 03:49 AM
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well, I've never perceived sound as anyone else does
How do you know? In what way do you think it's different for you?
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Originally Posted by Monk of Funk View Post
, but there are people that can't tell if they are on pitch or not. It is one thing, to not have proper control on your body to produce the pitch you want, and it is another not to know whether or not you've reached the right pitch.
True - you need both skills.
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I'm not sure what is different between people that find hearing that they hitting the right pitch is very easy, and people that have to train hard to do it, but that sounds very difficult to me.
You said earlier:
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The difficulty with singing, to me, was figuring out what you were supposed to do. It is hard to convey the proper sensation, and what muscles one should be using and stuff like that. So, it takes practice, and then you're like, oh, I get what it should feel like.
- very close to my own experience. At high school our music teacher auditioned us all for the choir (I was about 12), by playing a note on the piano and asking us to sing it back. I had no idea what he meant: how could I make my voice sound like a piano?
The concept of pitching my voice was totally bizarre (let alone the obvious fact that the timbre was so different from a piano note). Nobody had ever asked me to sing before; nobody in my family was musical, none of them played an instrument (or even sang nursery rhymes to us); nobody I knew did either. I heard music on the radio, of course (1950s childhood), but had simply zero experience of music as something ordinary people could do.
But a few years later, when I began teaching myself guitar, I worked out how to do it; I'd hum a note and find it on guitar, or play a note and hum it.
IOW, from zero I trained myself both to hear more clearly, and to pitch my voice. I still can't sing very well - which I put down to (a) childhood musical deprivation, (b) no vocal lessons, and (c) lack of practice.
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Anyone can learn to sing if they can hear whether or not they are on pitch, but that is not to say that talent does not exist.
I'm not saying it doesn't exist. The argument is over exactly what it consists of, and where it comes from.
You believe some people are just born with a special skill, and I don't. I've seen no evidence of that.
Obviously I see people who look as if they were born with it. But to assume that's the case is just lazy thinking. It's drawing conclusions from common sense observation.
Someone speaking their mother tongue does it naturally and easily - but we know they weren't born with it; they learned it in infancy. What we're born with is some kind of capacity for learning language - any language. The language we end up speaking is the one that surrounds us in infancy, and we pick it up by listening and copying. Later in life, it's a whole lot harder to learn a new language the same way, because that infant skill has diminished - we don't need it any more so it atrophies.

My belief is that we are all born with a capacity for music. That has to be the case, because music is universal, and everyone understands and appreciates music to some level. It seems to be closely connected to spoken language, as a series of sounds in meaningful patterns.
But not everyone has the same childhood experience of it - because, at least in the west, it's not as essential a part of life as speech is. It's regarded as a luxury, an add-on, or the preserve of a professional elite.
A few are deliberately hot-housed from an early age, others just have lucky circumstances - parents who sing, or who have a piano in the house (and don't mind the kids banging around on it). It's not only a matter of hearing it all around you, but of being allowed or encouraged to actually join in - to sing or play; so it becomes as much a part of normal life as talking is.
If that's the case, then you will find music easy, and therefore appear "gifted" later in life.

I accept some kind of genetic component is possible - making a few people better disposed towards music than others. But the environment (nurture, upbringing) plays such a huge part - once you look at into it - that it explains almost everything. IMO it usually does explain everything. IOW, while genetics is not out of the question, it's not a necessary hypothesis. Given a universal musical capacity (a kind of readiness for learning, similar to the linguistic one, switched on in infancy), everything else can be explained by a kind of "use it or lose it" scenario.

Of course, by the time one reaches teenage years (and probably before), the die is cast. Musical skill may as well have been inborn, because if you don't have it by then, it's increasingly hard to learn it as you get older. And if you do have it to some degree, it's going to be easy to develop it.
In teenage years, when the brain is still relatively open and the necessary obsession is easily found, the capacity can be re-awakened and progress made. But once you're into adulthood, set in your ways, it's much harder to begin.
But it's never impossible. This is what I don't like about the "talent myth": the idea that if you ain't got it, you may as well give up. If you "ain't got it", it's harder to learn, that's true. But it can still be done if you want it enough.
Once you're an adult, if you lack childhood musical experience, you won't become Beyonce or whoever. But you can still learn to sing, just as you can learn to speak Chinese if you want to. (The only reason you're unlikely to ever sound like native Chinese speakers is that they started a lot younger than you .)

I agree with everything else you say about the importance of experience and dedication - I only disagree with the assumption that "talent" is inborn (because I like to interpret the evidence differently, I guess). And - in the end - it's a very narrow point because, in practice, it makes no difference; except in the conclusions one might draw from that assumption.
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  #39  
Old 10-31-2013, 05:32 AM
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What if I can't sing?
I've talked to my wife, who one of those with the God given gifts to sing effortlessly, about your post. She jokingly responded, if you can't sing than don't.
She said that most amateure vocalists sing with a closed throat, have problems projecting vocally, and therefore have a lack confidence. Basically, meaning that, if you can hold pitch, you need to look into the technique of singing seriously. As with playing any instrument, including singing, confidence is a key here.
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  #40  
Old 10-31-2013, 09:32 AM
Monk of Funk Monk of Funk is offline
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How do you know? In what way do you think it's different for you?
If I noticed that people kept walking into obstacles, or couldn't read writing that was farther away, I'd deduce that they have trouble with vision, even though I've never seen through their eyes. I wouldn't know how they see differently, but I would notice that they have issues doing what seems to me really simple and obvious.

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True - you need both skills.
You said earlier:
- very close to my own experience. At high school our music teacher auditioned us all for the choir (I was about 12), by playing a note on the piano and asking us to sing it back. I had no idea what he meant: how could I make my voice sound like a piano?
The concept of pitching my voice was totally bizarre (let alone the obvious fact that the timbre was so different from a piano note). Nobody had ever asked me to sing before; nobody in my family was musical, none of them played an instrument (or even sang nursery rhymes to us); nobody I knew did either. I heard music on the radio, of course (1950s childhood), but had simply zero experience of music as something ordinary people could do.
But a few years later, when I began teaching myself guitar, I worked out how to do it; I'd hum a note and find it on guitar, or play a note and hum it.
IOW, from zero I trained myself both to hear more clearly, and to pitch my voice. I still can't sing very well - which I put down to (a) childhood musical deprivation, (b) no vocal lessons, and (c) lack of practice.
I'm not saying it doesn't exist. The argument is over exactly what it consists of, and where it comes from.
For me, this came instantly natural. Even listening to the vacuum cleaner would make me feel like singing the main note of it.

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You believe some people are just born with a special skill, and I don't. I've seen no evidence of that.
No, a skill is a skill. I know that people perceive differently. And you should too. I know that some people are slightly colourblind. I know that some people are smarter than others. Right? You could watch someone perform well on an IQ test, but your philosophy would be that they must have practiced those questions, or had a lot of training in that sort of thing, rather than allowing for the possibility that they perceive in such a way that things might be easier for them as compared to others.

Or maybe, you do believe in intelligence, but somehow don't think it affects musical ability, and that for some reasons similar innate aptitudes and ways of perception don't exist in music for some reason.

You will choose, no matter what, to attribute any evidence of better musicianship to more practice, or upbringing, or environment, or what have you. So it is impossible for you to see any such evidence. I have 2 sisters. They lived in the same house as me, got the same treatment, and took more lessons than I did. I am the only musician in my family.

But, I have seen this from the opposite angle. I have known that I have not practiced, or had any special upbringing or treatment, and I have seen things be very easy for me that others have trouble learning. They would ask me, how do you do that? and to me it's like, well it's obvious and easy, how could you not?

As though we were two rats in a maze, one blind and the other with vision, and the blind one wonders how the one that sees completes the maze so easily, and the one that sees can't understand why the blind rat has so much difficulty.

You seem to be to me, like the blind rat that knows that it can train itself to complete mazes more quickly, and no matter what attributes the success of any other rat to training and environmental factors, refusing to believe that such a thing as vision is at all possible.


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Obviously I see people who look as if they were born with it. But to assume that's the case is just lazy thinking. It's drawing conclusions from common sense observation.
If you learn about me, you will discover that there is nothing lazy about my thinking.

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Someone speaking their mother tongue does it naturally and easily - but we know they weren't born with it; they learned it in infancy. What we're born with is some kind of capacity for learning language - any language. The language we end up speaking is the one that surrounds us in infancy, and we pick it up by listening and copying. Later in life, it's a whole lot harder to learn a new language the same way, because that infant skill has diminished - we don't need it any more so it atrophies.
we still have the skill, we just don't use it. the way we teach children language and the way we teach adults language is very different. But the fact that children can learn a language easily at a young age and become proficient at it, is not evidence that people are not born with different aptitudes. that's lazy thinking. That doesn't even follow logically.

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My belief is that we are all born with a capacity for music. That has to be the case, because music is universal, and everyone understands and appreciates music to some level. It seems to be closely connected to spoken language, as a series of sounds in meaningful patterns.
But not everyone has the same childhood experience of it - because, at least in the west, it's not as essential a part of life as speech is. It's regarded as a luxury, an add-on, or the preserve of a professional elite.
A few are deliberately hot-housed from an early age, others just have lucky circumstances - parents who sing, or who have a piano in the house (and don't mind the kids banging around on it). It's not only a matter of hearing it all around you, but of being allowed or encouraged to actually join in - to sing or play; so it becomes as much a part of normal life as talking is.
If that's the case, then you will find music easy, and therefore appear "gifted" later in life.
I know this is your belief. But I promise you, that is not the case. Rhythm is a feeling, not something you train. How sounds relate is a feeling, not something you train. People have perfect pitch, right? it's not something you train.

I can appreciate a beautiful work of art, carefully selected lines. I get the overall feel and appreciation of it. But I do not possess the innate easy talent to produce them. And I've had pencils readily available in my home all my life, and drew from as young an age as is possible for a child to hold a writing utensil.

Quote:
I accept some kind of genetic component is possible - making a few people better disposed towards music than others. But the environment (nurture, upbringing) plays such a huge part - once you look at into it - that it explains almost everything. IMO it usually does explain everything. IOW, while genetics is not out of the question, it's not a necessary hypothesis. Given a universal musical capacity (a kind of readiness for learning, similar to the linguistic one, switched on in infancy), everything else can be explained by a kind of "use it or lose it" scenario.
Sure you can justify everything with upbringing. That doesn't make it so. It might justify everything from your point of view. From my point of view it doesn't explain why I see people walking into obstacles all the time, and hurting themselves, when the obstacles are clearly visible, and all you have to do is walk around them, which everyone could do, if they could see them.

Quote:
Of course, by the time one reaches teenage years (and probably before), the die is cast. Musical skill may as well have been inborn, because if you don't have it by then, it's increasingly hard to learn it as you get older. And if you do have it to some degree, it's going to be easy to develop it.
In teenage years, when the brain is still relatively open and the necessary obsession is easily found, the capacity can be re-awakened and progress made. But once you're into adulthood, set in your ways, it's much harder to begin.
But it's never impossible. This is what I don't like about the "talent myth": the idea that if you ain't got it, you may as well give up. If you "ain't got it", it's harder to learn, that's true. But it can still be done if you want it enough.
If you ain't got it, you cannot be tommy emmanuel. But you can learn to make music. I can learn to draw, and quite well, but I cannot train myself to be the best in the world. Because the best in the world have more talent than me, and have trained as much, or more than I have.

Quote:
Once you're an adult, if you lack childhood musical experience, you won't become Beyonce or whoever. But you can still learn to sing, just as you can learn to speak Chinese if you want to. (The only reason you're unlikely to ever sound like native Chinese speakers is that they started a lot younger than you .)
If you were an identical twin to beyonce, and beyonce learned to sing as a child, and you began when you were 25, you can sing as well as beyonce. It might take you a few years, but your body is the same shape, and your brain and ears are the same.
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  #41  
Old 10-31-2013, 09:33 AM
Monk of Funk Monk of Funk is offline
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I agree with everything else you say about the importance of experience and dedication - I only disagree with the assumption that "talent" is inborn (because I like to interpret the evidence differently, I guess). And - in the end - it's a very narrow point because, in practice, it makes no difference; except in the conclusions one might draw from that assumption.
Well, it makes a difference whether you like to admit it or not. it makes a big difference. That is not to say that people who don't have talent should not make music, or anything like that. Not at all. Hard work goes a long way.

But people who have talent have a huge advantage. But, hard work is still necessary. Nobody is born with the skill of being able to play guitar.

I get annoyed sometimes, if somebody says "you're talented" because I think to myself, "ya, I spent a lot of time practicing to get this good, I wasn't born this way." and I feel like there is no recognition for the effort I put in. That they just think I was born able to do this.

But I also recognize that they are right. I do have talent. I know that the very first day I picked up a set of drum sticks, or a bass, or a guitar, it was easier for me than for other people. I could see that. I could see people struggle, trying to do things that are obviously easy. Teachers trying to teach me to count in order to play music, when it's like "why would anyone count, when the timing is so obvious."

You know what I mean? Maybe you never noticed that, maybe you never noticed people walking into obstacles that they should clearly be seeing. But I have. Trust me, talent is a thing.

It's not the be all end all. It doesn't mean that only people with talent can make music. But it exists, whether you choose to ignore it or not.
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  #42  
Old 10-31-2013, 01:25 PM
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But people who have talent have a huge advantage.
But what does "talent" mean, in your opinion?
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But, hard work is still necessary. Nobody is born with the skill of being able to play guitar.
Right.
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Originally Posted by Monk of Funk View Post
I get annoyed sometimes, if somebody says "you're talented" because I think to myself, "ya, I spent a lot of time practicing to get this good, I wasn't born this way." and I feel like there is no recognition for the effort I put in. That they just think I was born able to do this.
Right. That's where the myth arises. It looks like you don't have to try.
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Originally Posted by Monk of Funk View Post
But I also recognize that they are right. I do have talent. I know that the very first day I picked up a set of drum sticks, or a bass, or a guitar, it was easier for me than for other people.
How old were you? What kind of musical experience (if any) did you have before that?
What other people were you comparing yourself with?
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I could see that. I could see people struggle, trying to do things that are obviously easy. Teachers trying to teach me to count in order to play music, when it's like "why would anyone count, when the timing is so obvious."
Right. I kind of felt the same way about some things. But I never had what most people would call "talent". In music class I was near the bottom. Up to the age of 16, nobody would have recognised any musical talent in me whatsover. But then I understood notation quite easily; and picked up rhythm fairly naturally too.
Is that "talent"?
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Originally Posted by Monk of Funk View Post
You know what I mean? Maybe you never noticed that, maybe you never noticed people walking into obstacles that they should clearly be seeing. But I have. Trust me, talent is a thing.

It's not the be all end all. It doesn't mean that only people with talent can make music. But it exists, whether you choose to ignore it or not.
Just to repeat, again: (this seems to be somehing you're not clearly seeing...) - I'm not saying it doesn't exist; not saying some people don't find it easier than others. It's obvious some do.
But why? I'm OK calling that difference "talent", but it's a hugely misused word, because everyone assumes it's something given, that you're born with. What makes you think people are born like that? Couldn't it be a learned mental skill, an acquired attitude?
Maybe it's just a particular kind of intelligence, that could be adapted to any kind of pursuit? Nothing specifically musical (other then, perhaps, an ability to tune in to a universal musical sense that others have forgotten).
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:07 PM
Monk of Funk Monk of Funk is offline
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But what does "talent" mean, in your opinion?
Right.
Right. That's where the myth arises. It looks like you don't have to try.
How old were you? What kind of musical experience (if any) did you have before that?
What other people were you comparing yourself with?
Right. I kind of felt the same way about some things. But I never had what most people would call "talent". In music class I was near the bottom. Up to the age of 16, nobody would have recognised any musical talent in me whatsover. But then I understood notation quite easily; and picked up rhythm fairly naturally too.
Is that "talent"?
Just to repeat, again: (this seems to be somehing you're not clearly seeing...) - I'm not saying it doesn't exist; not saying some people don't find it easier than others. It's obvious some do.
But why? I'm OK calling that difference "talent", but it's a hugely misused word, because everyone assumes it's something given, that you're born with. What makes you think people are born like that? Couldn't it be a learned mental skill, an acquired attitude?
Maybe it's just a particular kind of intelligence, that could be adapted to any kind of pursuit? Nothing specifically musical (other then, perhaps, an ability to tune in to a universal musical sense that others have forgotten).
Talent is a different sort of perception. I think intelligence is part of it, but not a "sort" of intelligence. I hate it when people say that. Intelligence is intelligence. The word doesn't mean aptitude. I know that psychology likes to say this sort of intelligence and that sort of intelligence, but that's all misuse.

First define me really what intelligence actually is. Then you can tell me this sort of that sort. Using it that way is like using the word intelligence to mean aptitude. But these words are not interchangeable.

Talent is innate natural born properties a person in their physiology that makes them more gifted at performing particular tasks. This can be intelligence. This can be perception. This can be body shape, though for me, personally, I like to separate that one, except in some ways, like the shape of a body in terms of voice I would consider talented. Shaquil O'neal being monstrously huge, I don't find is talent, because it just makes him huge, not necessarily "better at basketball" Like more skilled at the sport, but a huge asset to the sport because he is just huge.

But, I'll admit, that could be debated.

Talent also needs to be an uncommon thing. Having 5 fingers on each hand is not talent, because most people have fingers on each hand, for example. Same as having vision or hearing.

For music, to me, there are 3 major deciding factors of talent. There is ability to hear relative pitch. The innate ability, where it is obvious, without training. explaining it is ambigous, like explaining colour to a blind person. You can't do that. It would sound like "differentiating objects by different properties they have, from a distance." Or something like that. So, don't confuse being able to hear the interaction of notes with the ability of being able to identify the interval between two notes being played.

Like, here. Imagine this. I flash an image before your eyes that has 3 dots on it. You see immediately there are 3 dots. Now I flash 13 dots before your eyes. You cannot tell me how many there are, because you couldn't count them. You'd have to ball park it.

Now, it is conceivable, that another could see and distinguish exactly 13 when the card is flashed. This would be an impressive person, but it is plausible. Now, you would say that person just had training at a young age and can count fast, or something like that. But it is not by virtue of counting that you recognize 3 dots immediately. It is something innate.

but for complex math, it is required that one learns concepts of math. However, the person that can recognize 13 so easily, is different in some way that would probably make math much easier to them, even though work is required.

So there is hearing intervals of pitch, without "learning to count" just hearing it, as a seeing person sees colour.

Then there is rhythm. Not learning to count. Not practicing with a metronome. Just the feel of rhythm. the innate feel of it. Not something you need to practice, just something you know and feel with your body. It is just.. right. easy. without training.

Then there is intelligence/creativity.

These are the 3 basic innate talents of music, as I see it at this point in time. I can think of no more, nor less.

Now, none of these have anything to do with playing guitar. Nor piano, nor drums, nor any other instrument.

The body must work with an instrument to get comfortable with it, to turn it into an extension of their body. To meld the instrument and the mind together. Now, this will take a lot of practice, and learning theory is useful for this also.

But, all of that will be much easier with a person with talent. The creativity will be much better also because they feel it much better.

It's like, if you were a cook, and your tastebuds were not that good, or your memory of flavour was bad, you couldn't imagine flavour well, you might follow some common recipes, or common tricks, or rules, or theory someone devised to help you.

But the greatest cooks, imagine the flavours, and know and command what they want to taste.

Some, in music, look to theory as being information to help them what to play. Like band in a box, or some computer software learning to play music. Computers can improvise. We can program all of what we know about theory in to them. But they are missing something. They will not make great improvisations, or great melodies. They cannot. Some people use theory this way. They might get exceptionally good at the instrument, but that does not mean that they will make great music. It is more than that. more than what a computer can do.

Talent is innate, it is a gift, and it helps tremendously to perform certain tasks. It makes learning them easier and faster, and makes the product once at the same level, as another, still better, because of the decisions they make.

What you're talking about starting at a young age and all that, to me, that is only physical.

Someone with lots of talent does not have a body that learns exceptionally more quickly. They still have to put hours in to train themselves. They still have to know the instrument so well, so that every thought they have transmits straight to it.

Talent doesn't mean you can just pick up a guitar and play like tommy emmanuel.

But, it does mean, that a talented person will pickup an instrument for the first time, and outperform less talented people with it. The first time. It also means that they will progress with it at a much faster pace. The "drive" as you like to call it is more there also because of how they perceive, because of the feel of it.

But this is not magic. These people are perceiving the world differently. the experience of music is different. We cannot see from the perspective of the mind of another, we assume we are the same. But we are not. I promise you.

And that is what talent is. Specifically with music, it is feel. a sensory thing, it cannot be described better. Explain to me a colour I've never seen.


That you have not seen a particular colour, is not to say that it doesn't exist. It may exist in the minds of others.
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Last edited by Monk of Funk; 10-31-2013 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:54 PM
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Sing and your voice will improve. Your ear will develop over time along with your voice.
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by JonPR View Post
But what does "talent" mean, in your opinion?
Here are my 2 cents...
Personally, I believe talent is an innate characteristic we all have. In some cases people go through life not even being aware that they have it, because of their lifestyle nothing has triggered it to become part of them. Others, staying with music right now, discovered at an early age that they do have it by quickly adapting to an instrument, for example.
Talent, if discovered, developed and tweaked, gives one the ability to see right through things without effort and without distraction (for some people this can be burden or a curse, though).
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