Are You Willing To Put In Your 10,000 Hours?

By Eileen Tilson

There has been many blogs, dinner conversations, talk of the Intelligentsia of the enlightening author Malcolm Gladwell, and his bodies of work, The Tipping Point, Outliers, and Blink; however, how many of Gladwell’s allegiance are actually following his ideas? It recently has struck me that in the wonderfully magical world of music, there is an extreme lack of patience. We are now recognizing, signing, and promoting those who are some sort of overnight sensations, but does that make them great?  According to Gladwell, in order to master a series of cognitively complex activities, it is impossible to become an expert without practicing for at least 10,000 hours, or around 10 years.

Ironically, if you put a thermometer into the flow of up-and-coming artists these days, I would gauge that most of these musicians are not that excited about having to play for 10,000 hours before reaching any level of success, but the greats all do. Let’s all remember that even our Atlanta darlings, such as the Zac Brown Band, Butch Walker, OutKast, were playing for a very long time before they achieved any Billboard-topping success. According to Bandzoogle Blogger in Residence, Dave Cool, here are the 5 characteristics of Full Time Musicians:

1. They work (very) hard.

2. They love what they are doing

3. It’s not about the money

4. They have support

5. They don’t give up

Do you feel like you and your band have what it takes to put in your 10,000 hours? Let’s not forget that  The Beatles spent years performing eight-hour sets, seven days a week in Germany before breaking into the American market.


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