Learning a new skill can be difficult, frustrating, and sometimes even painful… We all know that.
But it doesn't have to be.
You've probably heard that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something… What does that really mean? Well, we know it doesn’t mean you need 10,000 hours to become good at your new skill.
Listen now to hear us discuss the 20 hour rule showing that you can learn just about anything to a passable level in 20 hours!
What you’ll learn:
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Book: The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything . . . Fast!
Ted Talk: The first 20 hours — how to learn anything | Josh Kaufman | TEDxCSU
#80: Setting Your Goals for Success | Connor Frost of Dizzy Bats
#92: Never Leave Your Bass Player Behind: The Power of Checklists
#93: Why Creating “Perfect” Music Is a Terrible Goal
Tell All Your Friends (Taking Back Sunday album)
“Last Train Home” (Lostprophets song)
Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin song)
PreSonus AudioBox USB (new version: AudioBox USB 96)
Welcome to Episode 96 of the Bandhive Podcast.
It is time for another episode of the Bandhive podcast. My name is James Cross and I'm here with Matt Hoos of Alive in Barcelona. How are you doing today, Matt? I am doing quite stellar James.
How about yourself? That is great to hear. I am also having a wonderful day so far. I mentioned this a couple weeks ago on the podcast, but it's monday, I don't mind Mondays and one of our previous podcast guests, Connor Frost from episode 80. If you want to hear his episode, which was setting your goals for success, you can go to band, I've got rocks slash 80. He actually moved to Vermont about an hour away from me. So we hung out over the weekend, got some pizza, went to the beach and uh just talk music and business and that kind of stuff.
It was great. I gotta say it's really cool to see more and more business minded people making the jump to Vermont from like boston new york, that kind of stuff and I'm just happy to have more music related friends around here. That's always a cool thing. Absolutely, the more the barrier. Absolutely, That was one good thing and then my interface comes back tomorrow from getting sent out for warranty. So fingers crossed, it's working again. And I got to say, my little personas backup interface has been doing quite well.
And if I ever need to buy an interface again, I'm not going to buy focus. Right? This is not sponsored. This is just me saying that I'm not a focus. Right? Fan anymore. That interface that I got has been in the shop twice already. Well, the first time it was a replacement and the second time now they've had to uh repair it because they don't make that model anymore. It's never been perfect there quite frequently have been times where it just randomly disconnect from my computer and I have to restart the whole system to reconnect it.
Yeah, no issues with that on my little personas. Like $100 interface versus the $1100 focus. Right interface. So yeah, that's what, that's my recommendation is. Stay away from focus. Right? I know they're super popular. The two I two is like what everyone uses. But If you're looking to spend some serious money on an interface, like more than $300, don't go with focus, right? Because they're higher end stuff just doesn't seem to really hold up over time. And this personas interface that I have is older. This is like five years old versus the other one being like 2.
5 years old. So yeah, that's my little vent for the day. But the good news is I get my actual interface back tomorrow. And if everything works as expected, you might notice a very tiny minuscule difference in the audio quality for all of those audio files out there who are just absolutely great hearing a little tiny difference become a producer on the podcast that's bounced down 228 K Bps mp three. Good luck finding that difference, y'all. Uh huh. I'm just gonna start going while you talk constantly. Did paris.
Just walk into the, into the room here. Oh, white noise. Oh, good album though. Oh first point in the first three minutes of the show, I'm down with that Anyway, matt, why don't you corral me here and tell the listeners what we're actually going to be talking about today. Aside from how bad focus, right? Is and why you should buy personas or any other brand over focus, right? Not any other brand. Don't go barrenger. Don't go barrenger. You definitely need to be harnessed. Otherwise you'll be, you'll be talking about random stuff for like 10,000 hours.
But speaking of 10,000 hours, I'm an expert and talking about random stuff. I've definitely put in my 10,000 hours and that is what we're talking about today guys, there is a fantastic theory that was developed quite a few years ago called the 10,000 hours theory or the 10,000 hours idea where in order for you to master Anything, it takes you at least 10,000 hours of dedicated practice. Now, initially, when this theory came out, this is like something that can be applied to anything if you're going to be a master musician 10,000 hours, which if you think about it, if you actually do the math out, that that equals to eight hours a day every day for 3.
4 years. So it's a, it's a lot of time. That's a lot of dedication. This is why a lot of Schooling and things like that ends up being four years schooling because over the course of four years you are estimated to put in 10,000 hours in area or a specialty of your choosing. So ideally you are going to go into college, you're going to come out a master later, which is a joke, I've just realized that I wasted 10,000 hours of my life in college. Unfortunately, a lot of people do because college has really turned from being an education center into like a country club for younger kids, instead of retiring to the gulf country club at the end of your life, you go to the drinking country club in the middle of your life depending on how much you drink, maybe maybe closer than the middle of your life.
So The important thing with 10,000 hours and school is to not spend 10,000 hours drinking. I feel like most people that go to college probably become a master at drinking before they become a master at why they actually went to school hey, but that's just me. So the idea of 10,000 hours, this is a long chunk of time. You don't really realize how long of a chunk of time. The only thing that like you can really say that like you've done 10,000 hours for is like probably sleeping and maybe like driving your car if you have a long commute, breathing, breathing, there you go, passive abilities.
If you're only doing one hour a day, you're talking about 26 years of your life, you're talking about a very long period of time, that's a long time and that's an hour that's like and, and, and even as you get older it's even hard to find like an hour of each day to kind of like block off for something and even more than that, let's assume that you want to become like proficient in more than one thing. Imagine if you only have one hour to set aside for making yourself better and you're being told that you need 10,000 hours worth of practice in order to become the point where you're a master.
It's like dang, that's kind of daunting, Imagine starting at 10 years old and not being able to put out your first blockbuster album until you're 37 that's happened for some people and it has absolutely, there are people who have worked their entire life. Colonel Sanders, the guy who invented KFC, he ran businesses his whole life, every single one of them. He ended up getting like totally screwed over on. He started a whole bunch of different businesses, each one that would like that went out of business and most of the time it's pretty crazy anybody who hasn't read stories about him, you should, he started all these businesses through his life.
None of them were ever successful. The closest thing that he had to a successful business was a hotel business, which he had two freestanding units and then one of them burnt down and then the state rerouted the highway around the other one. So in the same year both of his buildings went from being profitable to being useless and He was 65 years old when he developed KFC as any business owner knows it takes quite a few years for you to become profitable too. So he may not, he may have not even become profitable until like closer to 70 retirement. Exactly.
This is this wonderful mantra for never giving up, and and for putting in the time Now with his businesses closing, he had to change what he was focusing on, imagine saying, I'm going to focus 10,000 hours on running this hotel business And then one building burns down and the highway gets rerouted when you're 5000 hours in. Now all that time is quote unquote wasted now in the business world, there's lots of things that can translate over and stuff like that, but it kind of presents a big roadblock for when you're setting out to make yourself grow If in your mind you're saying I have 10,000 hours to go and each day you're sitting and playing for a couple hours and you're marking those hours off on your log Boy.
That is daunting. It's crippling, its its paralysis really. I know if I were to think about when I write a song, I can't even think about the whole song because that will start to get too daunting because there's too many pieces of the puzzle that need to go into place. And so how is it that you can take 10,000 hours and turn that into a practical life practice that allows you for continued growth without feeling like you're over Encumbered by the amount of work that you have to do as the markets change as the music industry evolves.
We are literally seeing much more D. I. Y. Artists, the more D. I. Y. Artists we're seeing the more responsibilities each individual band member has. We've talked about how certain people need to have lists, certain people need to have certain responsibilities like social media, certain people need to have certain responsibilities, like lining up the business management side of things. If you're focusing on two things and you're trying to become a master at those that's 20,000 hours and that's what you have to apply to each, this is for lack of a better term, nearly impossible.
The more of a specialist that you can become, then you can start to dedicate more of those 10,000 hours, but in reality, in the current state of things, you kind of have to be a little bit more of a jack of all trades, you don't have roads when you go out, you don't have emerged people. So when I play a song, I finished my set, I go to the merch table, then when we're all done at the end of the day, we all get together, we all clean up.
We don't have this abundant amount of money that allows us to hire other people, allowing us to focus on our niche of 10,000 hours, whatever it is that we're focusing on, What does this look like in a real world setting. I think today we kind of want to take away the idea of 10,000 hours, 10,000 hours. The idea behind that is this is how long it takes to master something who needs to be a master. How many of you guys think Miley Cyrus is a master songwriter? Any of you think that Justin Bieber is a master performer, even a majority of the people who are really high up in the, on the totem pole right now, I mean, I'm pretty sure drake just released a new album and tons of people are giving it tons of hate right now.
Yeah, Kanye to Exactly, there's another one and you know, these are people who you could argue have put in there 10,000 hours of entertainment and yet they put out a new product and people would still say this is garbage, this is awful. So like your 10,000 hours, it's not that important if you're spending it poorly and arguably that individual might have 10,000 hours, but everybody else working on it because there's so many engineers producers, they've probably got more like 40 or 50,000 hours collectively on that project. Absolutely! That's insane. Imagine being a 10,000 hour songwriter that needs to go and find a 10,000 our producer and then you need to work with a 10,000 our marketing agency or press agency, then they need to work with a 10,000 our distribution agency and they should be making their marketing releases in congruence with whatever the 10,000 our record label says.
The more you get into this, like you're saying James, you're talking about 30, 40, 50,000 hours of people focusing on their craft and it's not just the music industry where people are having to become more of a jack of all trades rather than a specialist. The further that like you get down the rabbit hole, the more you realize it's like, okay, this is why it's really important to choose like really quality producers, this is why it's really important to choose people who really know what they're doing. And ideally if you go to a producer and they have drum tex and they have guitar techs and they have extra audio engineers and stuff like that.
That's awesome. What you're seeing is people who are focusing on whatever their specific niches, Joey Sturgis, mixed and mastered, recorded every single hardcore album between like 2012 and 2000 and 18. He did like every single one of them, literally, you can go and listen to Miss May I Attack Attack the Devil wears Prada bear tooth. Probably literally everybody. I mean, Memphis May fire and you could just like here where you're just like, man, nothing sounds different. And it wasn't until Devil wears Prada released, dead thrown, that they were one of the first hardcore bands in the scene that decided to branch out and try to focus on a little bit more lo fi sample rate than Joey Sturgis was offering.
After Joey Sturgis had been doing this for so long, he said, I don't want to track anymore. I'm done doing this. So then he had other people tracking his stuff right now, Joey Sturgis only mixes and masters, that's what he really wants to do. And now he, I believe he still has a exclusive licensing deal with Rise Records Where he just mixes and masters and he might even have somebody who does his mixing now too. So this guy is literally getting paid like $10,000 to push like command space and run all of these tracks through his outboard gear to do one awesome final master And he has basically honed his business so well that his 10,000 hours, he's become a specialist in the D. I. Y world.
This is really, really hard to do. So instead of starting with 10,000 hours, we want to start with a much, much, much, much more smaller, compartmentalize, double digestible timeframe. Exactly. I just want to throw something out there three episodes ago. Number 93 we're talking about done is better than perfect. The episode was called why creating perfect music is a terrible goal. You can find that ban Hive dot rock slash 93 or whatever podcast after listening in right now. But I'm bringing this up because you could argue that when you have 10,000 hours of practice, you might might achieve, perfection.
But getting something 95% of the way, there is still going to be a better goal than achieving 100% on every song because you're going to play out so much more content if you go to 95 than if you do 200 Now, I'm not saying don't put in 110% effort, put in 110% effort, but you can release things that are not quite done. But to anyone who listens to it, it's gonna sound professional and done. It does not need to be perfect And this ties in because you don't need those 10,000 hours to get 95% of the way there.
You might not be able to achieve perfection as somebody who's put in 100 hours, But you can get 95% of the way there. The difference between, let's say our zero to our 20 is much greater than the difference between our 100 and our 10,100%. I like that you brought up those figures because that is actually what we're going to talk about today. We are going to talk about your 1st 20 hours. I don't want to talk about 10,000 hours because there's a lot of places that you could go in 10,000 hours, remember at eight hours a day, that's almost 3.
5 years of your life. So let's talk about your footing. Your foundation Foundation is the most important part of a house. If you have a bad foundation, then everything you build on top of it will not be good. This is really important. And you'll hear a lot of music teachers talk about this, how really any teacher, anybody that's ever played sports knows that they will talk about fundamentals, anybody that has taken a music lesson, will know that they talk about scales, anybody that has worked at a business will know they compartmentalize these little tiny small things that together maybe make up a task when Nasa is training an astronaut to go into space, it is physically impossible to simulate what spaces like on earth.
So they put people in the neutral buoyancy lab and have them work on a giant underwater international space station. So they can understand their body can learn muscle memory as to what it's like moving in zero gravity resistance. They also put them separately into a vacuum chamber so that they can simulate what it's like potentially dying. If not every single piece of their suit is sealed. They do the parabolic flights or the vomit comet as it's called. Where they go on these wonderful parabolic flights. So they can experience being weightless by way of freefalling.
There's another one that I can't remember off the top of my head. But between these four exercises, your body starts to develop a small sense of muscle memory. And then they kind of all come together. And then when they go to space, the muscle memory takes over and they're able to function without experiencing weird senses of vertigo. And basically they had this small little compartmentalization. They focus on the importance of each individual. Our that is going into the time. So josh kaufman, Excellent, excellent speaker. You should all go watch his ted talk Because this is what we're talking about.
We are talking about becoming competent with just 20 hours of practice because it's not about the number of hours, it is about the quality of those hours. I can spend 1000 hours doing anything. But if I sit here with my phone in my hand the entire time, my attention is divided. Broken attention leads to broken results. So in order to do this, you need consistency, determination, perseverance and as few distractions as humanly possible for me. I can tell everybody personally that the most advancing I ever did musically Was before I had a car.
I did not have a car. I was like 16 years old and I had a bass guitar and I lived out in the middle of nowhere. Like we were talking about earlier and I had a computer with an internet connection and I had a very extensive music discography. My library was quite expansive. So when I was born I would sit there and I would learn tabs while listening to the song slowly but surely over hours and hours and hours of doing these things, I got better and I got better.
Now I could go back and I could analyze some of those first hours. The hours where I was distracted where I was like looking at videos where I had my phone next to me and I was sending text messages about things. Those were worthless hours. I would never consider those an hour towards my 1000 hours and not even towards my 1st 20 hours because they're stepping stones that you kind of have to to work across. We love to talk about breaking things down in compartmentalizing things and making sure each person has their own responsibility, do this for yourself too.
So with practice, if you have distractions, you have to throw all those out. We talked about lists just a couple weeks ago and this is no different. You can sit down and make a personal list for yourself. You can visualize your goals. Visualising goals is like one of the most powerful things that you can do. This is why businesses have the giant thermometer sometimes in the back and you're like, oh, here's our goal. And if we hit this goal, we're gonna fill in this little mark. And once we get up to here, if we do that, there's going to be a pizza party or whatever, whatever small incentives that businesses create, you should create those same incentives as well.
It's not gonna be things like a pizza party, it's a pop punk band. Pizza party. Yeah, that's right, invite all your friends, take the last train out of town because you hate everybody. You got it wrong, Tell all your friends, Oh, we'll take the last train home. No one's flying over my head, lost profits. Oh gotcha. I never really got into them and now I'm glad I didn't, I was the only song that was ever worth listening to and then we found out afterwards that it wasn't.
But basically if you start to break down a skill into its components, you can really decide what's important to learn, then you can set steps for yourself and these can be small bite sized milestones. So for example, if you are going to be learning a new instrument, you might say first and foremost you need to learn what not to do. So how do you find information like this about Youtube? Youtube is an absolutely fantastic place where you can get all sorts of information from professional professional, anybody literally there, there is a professional, anything and everything on Youtube and you can find people that are willing to teach you by way of my digital video that exists there forever.
You can go on and find some of the oldest videos out there and there's still worth their salt. The only time that Youtube videos end up tending to obsolete themselves is when you have a software that has patches and things like that. So like for instance pro tools constantly like feels like every 10 days they have new bullshit to add for lack of a better term, it breaks more things than it fixes every time I'll just tell everybody avid is a pretty hardcore industry standard and it is also like the greatest downfall of the music industry I love and hate avid.
So if you're sitting out to learn how to play an instrument, you might need to know how you put your hands on the fretboard, what a proper fingering position, anybody that's ever played piano or taking a lesson from a pianist knows that they say when you sit here, just pretend you're holding a tennis ball in your hand, because that's proper form. Now, holding a tennis ball in your hand, they say, oh, this this works really well, Why does this work really well? Well, because when you're working up the scales, you need to bring your thumb underneath your middle finger as you start to work up.
Well, when your hand is arched, it works much easier for that. It develops a good form and a good foundation for you to then build your skill on. So if you don't even know where to start when setting out on a new instrument, you need to start by gaining resources. You need to learn enough to where you know when you're making a mistake, if you don't know enough, that when you're pushing the fred in and it makes a buzz noise means you're not pushing your friend hard enough, and if you don't know that you're not going to perfect the areas that you are making mistakes in an amateur practices until they get it right, a professional practices until they cannot get it wrong.
And that's kind of like a difference between the 20 hours and in the 10,000 hours is that when you're going from an amateur to a professional, you're using those 10,000 hours to perfect these little tiny things. But as josh Kaufman talks about in this ted talk about using your time in a quantitative manner to each individual. Our is worth its weight in gold. If you're setting out and doing that, then the 1st 20 hours you can really, really, really develop a quality product or a quality experience for people and you can really learn the areas that you need to pour your heart and soul into in order to give the best possible experience to the consumer or to the viewer or to your fan or even to yourself because that might be a personal goal.
My favorite thing about Josh's talk is that he started playing music for himself. How many of you at home have a dusty instrument or a hobby that you wanted to pick up? But you never actually set out to do it because you thought about the 10,000 hours, how long is this going to take me? How many hours they were going to have to put into kicking this soccer ball to get. So good to where I could play on a national level. When you think about that, that is exhausting.
It's crippling makes you stop before you start right James. When you set out for aviation, did you think about your flight log and how many hours that you needed to chart before you could get your pilot's license or did you focus on what's step one? What should I not do? Well both because there are regulatory minimums that come into it. So right now I have . 4 hours of flight time. Not much at all because the legal minimum is 40 hours and most people who get their private pilot's license are somewhere between 60 to 70 hours when they passed the test.
But for somebody who wants to fly for the airlines you need 1500 hours. I think like 2 50 you can get commercial point being they say okay, you know If you have 40 hours and you pass the test you can fly yourself around, you've passed the bare minimums to you know have this responsibility and hopefully not kill yourself or anyone else in mass. But if you want to fly around 100 or 200 or 300 passengers you need 1500 hours of experience because you have a lot more lives in your hands at this point. So you need to practice more and become more proficient at what you do.
So of course I I looked into what I need for the PPL which is the 40 hours for 60 to 70 more realistically. But I also looked at okay what do you do first? You take a discovery flight or an eagle flight if there's one available near you. And then that kind of starts the process where the instructors or the people in the community. I was lucky to find a flying club near me tell you hey this is what you should do next. So for example, one thing I have to get my FAA.
Medical which basically says I'm healthy and fit to fly and some people don't think of that and they spend 1000 $2000 on their first five or 10 lessons and then they're like, oh medical okay. Oh I don't qualify. I'm diabetic which I'm not diabetic. That's just an example. You know, in case the FAA. Is listening in. But that's why the people told me get the medical first because that way if there's an issue and you can't fly, you know that before you've wasted a bunch of money on lessons that in the long run aren't going to be beneficial to you.
It's perfect. I love that you mentioned there's the end goal and then you mentioned your compartmentalized goals first you have to do flight X. Then you have to do flight y. And how did you know that? You had to do that? Well first you have to gather resources, maybe a mentor. So you started by finding some resources. You learned enough before ever getting into a cockpit of a plane. You learned enough to know when you were making mistake, you learn what not to do. Now in your particular example it's a lot more grievous if you make a mistake because you have other people's lives in your hands potentially.
And that's a little bit different with music. You know, maybe you just have people's ears at your disposal, which don't get me wrong, bad music and definitely ruin your day too. But definitely not as bad as say, a plane crash. So Step One, you found out what the skill that you were trying to acquire was. You broke it down into smaller steps, you gathered information so you could learn when you're making a mistake and really what you were doing was trying to figure out where to put your best foot.
I want to put my best foot forward. Alright, well how do I do that? I start by gaining knowledge. You do this with checklists. Like we talked about an episode number 92. Never leave your bass player behind the power of checklists. If you haven't listened to that episode, you should definitely go check it out because nobody wants to leave a bass player behind. Nobody wants to leave a bass player behind. I thought everyone wants to leave the bass player behind. Sorry, bassists, maybe they do. I don't know, I never got left behind.
That makes me feel good. Well, you're a singer now. I mean you're no longer the bassist. That's true, that's true. I can't claim that title proud. Mean proudly there's pride in being a bass player. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm going to shut up now. Only if you're good. Only if you're good. I guess. Maybe if you're good, you should flee the scene before they leave you behind. Oh gosh, you are absolutely terrible. That was the worst, best base. Just joke I've ever heard by the way everybody flees.
The greatest basis to have ever touched the instrument. So fight me. So you know we've talked about gathering some resources so that you can know what not to do. You don't need all the resources, gather a couple resources from trusted sources. The more information you get, you get into the situation of like oversaturation paralysis where you're like oh my gosh I have to do this. I have to do this perfectly. You know know what you have to do perfectly is get off your butt and practice. Start done is better than perfect, Perfect is the enemy of done.
There's a million ways to say this. If you do not start your project, you will not finish it. One of my favorite lines. In Indiana jones, the series Indiana jones. Indiana is running away from some bad guys and comes crashing into a school library. He's a professor. So he comes crashing into the library and lands right next to a student and he says, oh professor, what do you think about this person's work and this person's work. And he gets up off the ground, he says well when it comes to archaeology, if you want to learn something, you've got to get out of the library. Really?
What he's saying is that until your theory hits the practice of the hypothesis like where you're testing things until this theory hits the point where you are actively testing things with case studies or with core samples and you're trying to run tests and figure out examples. You need to be able to start, you need to you need to be where those experiments take place, you're never going to know what people think of your music playing. If you never play for people, if you lock yourself in your room, you're going to be lonely, you might write the world's best songs, but a world's best song not played for anybody is worthless.
So music is designed to be heard. And so if you are not actually ever taking your product to market, it's the equivalent of purchasing a cow letting that cow sit on your land until it dies and it never does anything. It just exists as a family friend. Yeah, that's right. As I say, and and maybe that's what you set out for. But if you say, let's say, the idea is for you to purchase a cow so that you could sell the meat at the market, right? But then you just purchase that cow and then you just let it sit and it sits and nobody even knows that this cow exists.
How are you ever going to take it to market? How are you going to become the cow farmer that you set out to be? You're not. So and I know that these are kind of like childlike overkill Hyperbole examples, what does this look like in music? Well it looks like sitting down practicing your scales, reading a couple of books analyzing what are you setting out to do? Are you setting out to be machine head where you want 12 minute long songs with seven minute guitar solos, Then you might need to know how to do a guitar solo basically when you're setting out to like do your scales and to like learn your fingering positions or learn good practices on like how to play guitar things like sliding your fingers down, if you're playing the fifth fret, you should be playing that with your first finger.
These are little systems that you need to make sure that you're actively doing. You need to compartmentalize those goals and this takes a lot of introspection. This takes a lot of like true saying I'm not good at this, This is humility humility is very, very, very hard in a realm where you're trying to develop competence, Those two things really like to butt heads. So when you're sitting down to become proficient, put your phone away and this is a compartmentalization of a broader idea, eliminate your distractions. It doesn't have to be your phone, maybe you have a pretty picture on the wall that you like to stare at and think, but maybe that picture is a distraction and this is where introspection is really important because you're gonna have to take some time realize your strength and weaknesses, which is that's a hard thing to do in and of itself realizing like where you fall short and then trying really, really hard to work on those particular areas.
Sometimes this takes a mentor for me, most of what I learned about music came from some child prodigy and he literally was so so good that like his sheer talent, they say there's auditory learning and there's visual learning, I'm a firm believer that we learned by way of osmosis and essentially just simply being in the room. This is why they say it's always good to be the dumbest guy in the smartest room because simply existing in that network, the amount of information that you just can naturally capture just from them having conversations that you don't understand or for them looking at things that you don't notice, these are like your your strongest strengthening tools and if you can have either a mentor that says like oh you should focus on scales because you have a really good ear.
So you naturally understand a lot of things about music but what you really need is some basic core fundamentals, you need more muscle memory in your fingers, You need just to warm up more because maybe at a certain time you're like oh I noticed that your pinky doesn't like to stay in complete perfect time with your index finger and maybe you just need to spend a little bit more time on that. So put away your distractions, turn off the television, turn your phone over or on silent mode, get rid of your items if you need a computer up to look at tabs.
If you want to watch some Youtube videos to gather your resources, these are all good things. But make sure that the most important thing you can do after gathering resources is putting the distractions away. You get the resource, you learn from the resource and then you shelve the resource and then when you need that resource again you go back to it. Absolutely. And this is one of the things that bring up pro tools again. I'm a big pro tools user, that's my go to work station and I had one pro tools class in college for one semester.
So I don't know like maybe 20 to 30 hours. Not a lot of time but enough that I knew the basics, I knew how to you know, set it up, select my inputs and record and how plug ins and inserts and that kind of stuff worked. Some people would have gone and then watched hundreds of hours of tutorials with all the little nitty gritty details of what you can do in pro tools. A better example. There's this thing called Pro tools certification. You can get certified as a pro tools user and a lot of people think, oh yeah, like let me do this, this will get me hired.
Nobody cares if you're certified in pro tools? I've heard plenty of people who are certified in pro tools yet cannot mix. What I do is if I run into something in pro tools that I need to do and I don't know how I google it and okay, maybe it takes me five or 10 minutes to find a good article or video on how to do that, but that's five or 10 minutes in that moment vs. Who knows how many hours of just cramming information that I probably would have forgotten by the time I actually got to it and I spent that time practicing mixing instead.
That's the kind of distraction to avoid. Like learning is good, but over learning when you don't need that information is bad. You want to learn just the things that you need, the basic essentials and then you can refer back to google or whatever book you're eating or anything, any resource when you need to know that information. Otherwise it's like trying to drink from a fire hose out a Matt fire hoos. I realized how appropriate that is too because you're a ginger, so you have fire hair Matt, firehoos. Yeah.
Oh that's the worst. Can name one of my kids garden, fire, and pimpsen for all you smart people, you can put two and two together. What you're kind of touching on is is really awesome because something like pro tools or even something like guitar like can you ever really master an instrument? Like what does that actually mean? You know, how many hours do you think eric Clapton has put in playing guitar? And then I'm sure if you were to ask him, if you think he's mastered the instrument, he would tell, you know, because eric Clapton also has somebody that he idolizes and he probably still can't do what they do.
Eric Clapton in his mind. I'm sure that ERic Clapton does not think that the greatest song ever written was written by him. That would be an incredible amount of pride, which in my experience, the people who are the most successful, you can be successful and proud, but the most successful people have not an ounce of pride in their entire body, Dave girl and honestly, I mean, Dave goal was on Sesame street a couple weeks ago. The amount of humility that you have to have to say, like I have succeeded in multiple industries across multiple decades, I've recorded platinum albums on eight track and I'm gonna go like seeing this little kid song on sesame street that takes humility.
Now, he could say like, oh no, I'm, I'm above that, He could Ronnie Radke it and say like kids screw you guys, these kids are, you exist to give me money be a popular monster, right? These are, these are people who they realize that they are not the greatest, that there is always more proficiency to be acquired, there's, there's always another step, always another step up the stairway to heaven, since we're talking about Clapton, you get one in there. It's hard, it's hard when you're becoming a master, when you want to become so proficient at something, there's like a workload is daunting and so you get these like temptations to not do it.
You think how hard it's gonna be, you become over encumbered mentally and you have these wonderful shackles of self doubt that prevents you from ever starting. But instead of focusing on the 10,000 hours and you focus on the 1st 20 you compartmentalize those 10,000 hours and you say, oh, these 1st 20 what's the end goal for the end of these 20 hours? How can I best use my time? So that way, each and every decision that I make is actively contributing towards my goal. And if you're able to say, you know, if you say how my 10 year plan, is this my five year plan?
Is this, well, what's your one week plan? What's your one day plan? What's your this session plan? Now for me as a songwriter, some of the time I don't set out to write a whole song, I set out to write an intro or I set out to write a chorus. Sometimes it's even simpler than that. Sometimes I'll say, I want to find a good chord structure that will fit with this emotion. And then I find that court structure and sometimes by the time I found that and I've added a couple little leads over the top, then the creative juices start going and then I'm like, oh, then I get excited about it.
Then I don't want to stop. Inversely if I start by saying, I have to get a whole song written today, that means I gotta write drum parts and bass parts and guitar parts and lead parts and then I got to write lyrics. I got to make sure that the lyrics kind of a cohesive with the feel of the song, I gotta make sure the tempos right. And then you start doing this. You're like, I cannot do this. I'm not going to be able to accomplish this today.
So I have what I, what I call The five minute theory and that's if you take five minutes to sit down and work on something creative. Then after those five minutes, if you're feeling creative juices, then you will fall in love because you feel that creativity flowing Some of the time you get to the end of that five minutes and you still, you feel like butter scraped over too much bread and you know what, stop working. That's totally cool. It's totally fine for you to stop and back away from what you're doing.
Maybe that particular our is not going to be an hour, that's going to contribute to your 1st 20 and that's humble. That's something saying, hey, I realized that in this current state of mind, I'm not going to be able to achieve the goal that I'm setting out to do. So maybe you focus on something else. Maybe creativity is not clicking. All right, well, I'm gonna work on networking with graphic designers. I'm gonna work on networking with producers. I'm gonna listen to other people's music so I can get ideas.
There's still plenty of ways that you can grow and that these first hours can be really meaningful. So when things are really hard like this, you have multiple factors or it's like, I really want to write music, but I don't want to like midi drums, like Midian drum sounds terrible. Well, maybe you focus on compartmentalizing these two things in together. You bundle your temptations, you are tempted to create music, but you are tempted to not do the midi. So these temptations kind of work against each other. Right?
Well, this kind of puts you at a nice neutral ground. So when you focus on something, say like I want to write a chorus and I want to make sure I get drums done and maybe that's how you compartmentalize the things that you really hate doing with the things you really enjoy doing because those are like kind of the small hurdles that as you tackle each one, it brings you to a new height, it brings you to a new perspective, it might get those creative juices flowing, but most importantly, you are making active progress towards your 20 our goal Josh argues that you don't need 10,000 hours to become proficient.
You need 20 meaningful hours. What does that look like? 10,000 is eight hours a day for 3. 4 years, one hours a day for 27 years. How about 20 hours? That looks a little bit closer to 45 minutes a day For one month. That's a lot more digestible. Even the individual timed a constraint is more digestible because one hour is a little bit harder to do than 45 minutes. Even the idea of an hour can start to get mentally taxing. You're saying like I have to practice music for an hour today, instead of sitting down and saying, I'm going to start with five minutes of creativity.
If things get going, then awesome. If they don't then that's fine, I'll back burner this for right now and we'll come back to it when you sit down with an instrument and you know beyond the shadow of a doubt, all of the teachers of that instrument are going to tell you fundamentals scales. Practice form start with your warm ups, get your fingers warm, how many of you have ever woken up and tried singing a song before. Your vocal cords are not warm yet, it hurts, this is the equivalent of, I mean stretching for athletes, that's all it is.
These are stretches, This is reinforcing your muscle memory. So you start with warm ups then if you have a small catalogue of things that are like familiar to you, For me with base, I used to sit down and every new chili peppers song I would learn, I would add that to my practice schedule. So when I was young I learned almost the entire discography for all the chili pepper songs because I was so in love with fully as a bassist and whenever I was feeling like, oh, this song is like easy, then I would try to go and listen for songs where it's like I practiced the same song Monday, then Tuesday got better.
And then by Wednesday, it was like, hey man, I've got this down. Well, maybe I should try to focus on songs that are a little bit more difficult fundamentally. I still remember the song so much, I buy chili peppers off of Stadium Arcadium. The baseline is just like bob bob bob bob bob bob bob bob bob bob bob bob. But the spread is like, he's all over all four strings constantly and it's just walking and it never slows down. That's what I call lead bass dude. And that's exactly what it is.
And it was just, he has parts where he plays faster, he has licks that are more impressive turnarounds that are to die for. But this particular baseline and actually there's also around the world is another one, those two songs in particular, what you're doing with your fingers does not feel normal at all. And so it just sends you out of this period, you know, like you're not comfortable when you're playing it and so sitting down and just like kind of struggling over these things, it's demoralizing its conquering.
But then when you finally get it, you're like, this is so good. I learned enough fundamentals from my first guitarist who was a child prodigy that I was really blessed. But I can't say that even a lot of those hours of practice were meaningful. What I can say is that when I was sitting down to learn those tabs and I was pushing myself to try the hardest songs and I was kicking myself every time I get fret buzz or I'd have a dead note or anything that went wrong, it would just really start to bug me because not only did I know that I was getting more proficient, but also you are your own greatest critic.
You know, when you're messing up, you cannot lie to yourself, it is physically impossible, challenge anybody to try and lie to themselves to over encumber the power of the brain. It does not happen. Your brain knows what's true, your brain knows when you make a mistake and then it's you, this is where it gets hard because it's you that sets the standard. So you need to be your own best critic, your best critic, your worst critic, your worst critic is your best critic, that's the person who's going to make you grow the most.
So you warm up, you move to something familiar, then you move to something foreign. This is where you challenge yourself, this is where the real growth comes in first, it's all about warmups, it's about developing muscle memory, reinforcing what you already know. You're building on the foundation, you started with the foundation, then you built the first layer, then you reinforce the first layer. Now the first layer is there you go on to growth. You grow by moving on to something foreign. Now this can be a whole plethora of things, this could be a new artist that plays a different style for me, I loved flea and I love him jumping around and playing jazz scales and being absolutely insane to the base.
Also, my very first concert was blink 1 82. I enjoyed liquidity to his music all growing up. But Mark Hoppus, his baselines are pretty generic, there's a couple of times throughout their discography where there's like a pretty impressive part for the most part, it's eight notes or quarter notes. And so like even though that was technically foreign, just playing simple forecourt notes, a lot of the time that was really beneficial and even though I had started with all this really difficult, you know, like I started playing slap bass, I started learning basic chords, plucking, you know, all these weird fingering positions.
I was watching victor Wooten, anybody who doesn't know who victor Wooten is, go watch victor Wooten, amazing grace. It'll blow your mind. But he was playing bass for his brothers When he was four years old and they were opening for Curtis Mayfield when he was six years old, but he couldn't keep time and as a basis that was a problem. And so when he was young he would rock himself back and forth and develop an upstroke on his thumb. And now if you watch victor Wooten play, he plays like he has his little grandma claw, but he uses the side of his thumb as a pick while still being able to simultaneously used his four other fingers to play.
And it's insanity what this guy does with a base because he still maintains his like musical roots, his jet. I mean it's phenomenal. I highly recommend anybody that's listening to this to check out victor Wooten, Same with Jaco Pastorius, they are unquestionably the greatest basis to have ever touched the instrument. And he had to develop this special trick in order for him to actually make progress. He at six years old realized that his weakness was keeping time. And so he had to simulate something that would help him do it and now because of it, he has a gnarly callous on the top of his thumb, which allows him to literally play the craziest based things you've ever heard in your life.
He had to force himself to do something foreign in order to grow. This is something that is universally used by professionals. The better you get, the more you use these tools and the smaller you can break things down, the easier it is for him. He realized at such a young age that it wasn't like, oh man, I can't get this timing on, I'm bad at base. Oh, I can't get this timing down. I'm bad at music. No, he compartmentalized it. He got, got it so slow. The point he says like there's an issue with my thumb keeping time.
It wasn't an issue with him being a good musician, it wasn't an issue with his teaching. It wasn't an issue with any external force. He realized that his personal problem that he needed to work on was the timing of his thumb. And so he developed a system that worked for him. This allowed him to learn something foreign and to become one of the greatest musicians to have ever walked the planet. Now, you have all these little systems now is the application, you can apply this in many ways, but the most important way is going to be getting with your band mates, getting with your mentor.
If that's somebody that you have and testing it in the fire. The test is the best part. You practice all you want, run your scales every day, you play your favorite songs every day. You challenge yourself new every day and you do this. Each and every day. I challenge anybody listening to this podcast right now to practice for 45 minutes a day for 30 straight days using this formula using this system. And after 30 days I challenge anyone of you to tell me it wasn't worth it because it won't happen.
And you really have to maintain like a high level of integrity and honesty with yourself here. Your weaknesses don't run from them. Don't hide them. Don't sweep them under the rug, isolate them and then destroy them. Face the problem head on. If I'm bad at scales, guess what? The best way to get better at scales is by practicing them. If I can't do a drum roll, the best way to learn is to do a drum roll over and over and over again and you know what that takes.
You know why? That's hard humiliation. Everybody wants to be proficient at everything just like when you, when you're setting out to to start a project, you have these ideas in your mind, these dreams of grandeur like this is gonna be perfect. I have a paper due for school, I'm gonna write about this and this and this and this outline is gonna be wonderful and then you said it and things kind of fall short, isolate the problem, attack it head on if you can do this, it shows leaps and bounds about your ability to make minor adjustments.
Minor adjustments is a term that's used a lot of time when it comes to sports, especially golf where you're doing the same thing almost every single time. But you might need to be banking just a little tiny adjustment. Maybe it's just that you need to push the fret a little bit harder. You need to curl your wrist a little bit more so that you can make the slide that you need to make. Maybe instead of doing that slide with your ring finger, you need to do it with your pinky.
And maybe that's just some technique that you have to develop in order to get more strengthen your pinky. Maybe you have to down an upstroke with your thumb on the base in order to keep time. All of these things literally walk hand in hand. The more you practice, the more you practice what you're familiar with, the more you practice what you're not familiar with, the more you grow, the more you grow, the more knowledge you have and the more you have to apply in a real world setting, You can get out of the library and you can get into the field.
This is where true growth happens. A sword is not sharpened by anything but iron and fire and guess what? It has to be broken down first. This is where the humiliation comes in, be humiliated. There's nothing wrong with that. It sucks, you don't like it, it's miserable. Nobody likes to be humiliated. But I tell you what, there has never been a stronger incentive in history than being humiliated. People don't want to appear incompetent, They don't want to appear foolish or immature. They want to come out with their best foot forward.
It's the hair that loses the race. Okay, you can sit down and say I'm gonna practice for eight hours because I have this show tomorrow. Well, congratulations, chances are you still suck Bruce lee said, I do not fear the man who practices 1000 kicks for one day. I fear the man who practices one kick for 1000 days and that is the absolute truth. It's slow and steady wins the race. It's the tortoise, it's the minor adjustments, it's the learning fundamentals. It's the simulating small things in each aspect of your life so that when you get to space, you know how to function in zero gravity.
These small compartmentalization are really help you achieve growth. They really help you home things introspectively, they help you make minor adjustments and then on top of that, once you learn those things, that's when you have a meaningful our And if you can get 20 of those all wrapped up into one tight little bundle, That's it. From 20 hours to 10,000 hours is immaterial. You need 20 hours to become proficient at what you love and hopefully everybody goes and watches this TED talk with Josh because Josh actually talks about what he does.
He wanted to learn songwriting. And so he set out to write a song and when he gets to the end of his Ted talk, he plays this song. It's a great song, you should listen to it. It's powerful. He does an absolutely fantastic job of conveying his point to me. This Ted talk is inspirational. It's so simple And then he gets to the end and he actually plays his song. I highly recommend all of our listeners to go and check that out because it's definitely inspirational. I think it's a 20 minute video.
Not very long, but it's definitely worth hearing because his perspective is one that can really take you from being paralyzed by your obligations to spreading your wings and creating the art that you were destined to create. Yeah, absolutely. For anyone who wants to go watch that, which like you said, I hope everyone goes to watch that. We'll have the link in our show notes at Bandhive dot rocks slash 96. That's the number 96 as well as everything else. We mentioned their songs, other products, other articles, all that kind of stuff will be at band.
I've got rocks slash 96 including especially this Ted talk and the article that we've been referring to throughout this episode. And I just want to throw out one last recommendation because I think you have a mic drop moment right there. But there's one key point I want to add and that is when you are practicing, write down what you learned every single day because I've had this happened so many times where I learned something new and I looked back and like oh I didn't really actually learn that much But I've started writing things down and now that I've been doing that I look back and I'm like Wow, I learned a lot.
I remembered learning 10% of what I learned the other 90% I just forgot about. Even though I still have the knowledge, I forgot that I learned it. So. write down every single thing you learn. It doesn't have to be incredible detail but just write down what you worked on for that day. And you will be surprised at the end of 30 days by how much you've learned because chances are you forgot what you've learned even though you still retain that knowledge. Absolute. The power of the list cannot be overstated.
It's very easy. You know, like I was saying earlier, we learn audio lee, we learn visually And I think we learned by way of osmosis. Well when you have those visual charts, this is the ruler. If you want to measure your growth, you need the ruler. So make your list, right? You're things down, measure your growth by the time you get to the end of the 30 days you will be blown away at what you have the ability to accomplish. Absolutely. And if you're trying to learn the piano, maybe practice some list franz list mhm, mhm mm Yeah, that does it for this episode of the band, I've podcast, thank you so much for tuning in and listening.
We really appreciate it and I hope that this episode gives you some ideas of things that you might have thought were unachievable before, but you're going to go ahead and give them a try now and put in those 20 hours, 45 minutes a day for one month, that's all it takes to at least see if it's something that you can get behind and most likely it is if you sincerely put in that time without getting distractions, you know, put your phone away, put your computer on, do not disturb, shut off the internet on it if you have to and if you can, for what you're doing that will be so helpful in the long run for you.
Speaking of things that you can get better at submit hub. I see so many artists messing things up on submit hub and it definitely has a learning curve to it. I'm not gonna lie, there is a big learning curve to submit hub, but once you know the platform, there are still things you can do that could potentially make or break your success as an artist submitting their own music on submit hub. And there are a lot of artists that I see make those mistakes and 14 they run into pitfalls headfirst and don't get an approval rate, even though their music might actually be good enough to get approved, but they mess something up.
So if you want to learn how to avoid those pitfalls, I've put together a free email course, you can get it at band, I've dot rocks slash submit hub. It will walk you through setting up a submit hub campaign to put you on the road to a high approval rating. If you're wondering why I'm talking about this, I've put campaigns out there with approval rates in the 80% range. That is like four times the average rating on submit. Um Usually I think the average is 21 22 it changes a little bit, but it's usually in the low twenties and I've hit the eighties again.
If you want to check that out, just head on over to Bandhive dot rocks slash submit hub to get access to that free email course, we'll be back with another new episode next Tuesday at six a.m. Eastern right here in your favorite podcast app or at Bandhive got rocks slash podcast. Until then. I hope you have an awesome week. Stay safe. And of course, as always keep rocket
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