Sunday, January 08, 2012


I think practice is highly underrated. Practice is not something that receives a lot of press. When you see actors and actresses at the Golden Globes, they don't mention practice. And when you see artists and performers at the hight of their success, few talk about what it took to get there....which is practice. It's not glamorous. 
I read once that the southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd practiced 17 hours a day for well over a year to perfect their performance.
I know talent gets all the press. "Oh, she is soooo talented."  Or, "He is a gifted musician."
But to me, the talent card is misused. "Oh, I could never write, sing, paint, dance, or perform like him/her, because they are so talented."
I know, without a doubt, that there are very talented people in this world. But I also know that study, hard work, and PRACTICE are the stepping stones to accomplishment.
I've heard people say, "oh, he just picked up the guitar and started playing." I can tell you without doubt or hesitation, that is not true.  Yes, someone might have picked up a guitar and plunked out a simple melody on one of the strings. Actually, I did that when I first started playing guitar.
But what people don't see, is that the simple act of playing a melody on those strings gave someone the confidence to say -- hey, I can play this thing. 
They then spend countless hours for the next three months (or years) going through the minutia of learning chords, learning what chords fit together, how to strum, how to hold a pick, building callouses on their fingers so they don't bleed when they play, and all the other things that can only be learned from practice.
Of course no one sees all that stuff. All they see is someone who plays an instrument flawlessly and they lament -- oh, I wish I could do that.
Well here's a newsflash for you -- you can do that....if you're willing to pay the price. Because to have anything worthwhile, you must pay a price.
Practice can be painful. Jilda and I are working on a new set of songs and there are times I'm thankful we aren't into guns. 
"I'm not sure what happened officer, he wanted me to do a harmony part that I didn't like, so I accidentally cut off his head and all his limbs with a chainsaw."
Now where was I -- Oh yes, practice. Most of us harbor hopes and dreams. Here's my advice, if you want to do something, then study, do your homework, associate with people who do what you want to do, and practice. 
Yes there are a lot of talented people in the world, but you can bet those people have learned the value of practice.
(The graphic above was borrowed from


  1. Our school's academic team practices 5-7 hours a week after school and on Saturdays.
    Just last week, I had a parent of a non-team member complain that her kid wasn't being treated fairly because the kids on the academic team always knew more -- and somehow she didn't think it was fair that all their extra practice put them ahead in their classes. Duh.

  2. I used to tell my grandsons. You will become good at that. You just have to practice. They learned I was right.

  3. I had no idea Jilda had a propensity for violence. If she carries out any threats, I guess we'll hear it on the news. And you are absolutely right about the need to work hard. Other kids always told The Hurricane, You don't understand; everything is so easy for you. Yeah, it was so easy she stayed up till 2 a.m. every single night studying.


  4. Too True! Practice is everything!

  5. You're absolutely right, and I think your comments about how the hours of practice are often overlooked are a good reminder to all of us who are working on New Year's goals. nice post!

  6. My daughter comes across this with her art. Apparently, she's 'so lucky'. Yes, she gets luckier the harder she works :-)

  7. What's the saying? 98 percent perspiration, 2 percent inspiration?

    Hard work isn't so glamourous but oh so essential!

    Take care

  8. I've always believed people do exactly what they want with their lives..if they wanted to do something different they would work hard to make it happen. The phrase: Oh you're so lucky...makes me laugh. The harder you work (practice) the luckier you get!

  9. If you got something and didn't work for it you will never respect it.


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