The progression of performance-based skills

April 28, 2015 by Joshua
in Creativity, Freedom, Habits, Leadership, Models

Any performance-based skill development follows a similar pattern. I’ll describe it for playing guitar, but it follows for leading, acting, sports, any other musical instrument, singing, etc.

The instrument: First you have to learn the instrument. If you don’t know its parts and how it’s assembled, you can’t do anything with it.

Your skill: Next you have to learn how to move your fingers. You can’t play music until you know scales or chords.

The music: Only when you can take for granted how to move your fingers without thinking about them can you play music.

Your feelings: Only when you know the piece you’re playing well enough can you express yourself through it. Until now, you’re playing mechanically. Now you can express yourself. You start to move from craftsman to artist.

Your audience: Only when you can express yourself fluently in the medium of your instrument playing the music can you take for granted that you can perform. Until now, you are a studio musician. Here you become a performer, maybe even a star.

You can’t move to a later stage until you master the one you’re on. I don’t think anyone knows of any shortcuts. Just to practice more.

The early stages are mechanical and the opposite of emotionally expressive. Beginners my complain they aren’t really playing music. Masters know mechanical repetition is the only way to know that stage so well that you can take for granted that you know it and can move to the next stage.

A leader has to go through the same progression. If you think you can skip any, I suggest you may not understand the art.

Or maybe I don’t and you know something I don’t. If so, please let me know.

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