The more I practice the less I suck (once more from the top)

The following post of five years ago has been revisited as its message is timeless. If you want to get better at something, practicing will help, especially when you practice the right things to improve.

The above phrase was uttered by Joe Walsh, the legendary guitarist with The Eagles and as a solo artist. Walsh was a guest on Daryl Hall’s show “Live at Daryl’s House,” where Hall has a studio in his mountain house and the crew and guest jam together, then cook and eat a meal. It is worth the watch (see a link below).

After jamming on Funk 49, Rocky Mountain Way, and Life’s Been Good along with a few of Hall’s songs, the group sat down for a meal which they prepared with a guest chef. As they spoke of how they got started in the music business, Walsh regaled them with his story.

In essence, Walsh spoke of an early band where “we all sucked.” This brought lots of nods and smiles. Then, he said The Beatles came out and they learned to cover The Beatles’ songs. He said if you knew the songs, you could get gigs and they began to play more. But, they also had to practice more beforehand. Eventually, they got closer to Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours of practice, which ironically referenced The Beatles in his book “Outliers.” Gladwell noted The Beatles were sent to Hamburg to learn to play better in front of an audience with seven shows a night, six days a week.

And, he then uttered the above line. The more I practiced, the less I sucked. This succinct lesson applies to far more than playing music or singing. It could be related to golf, tennis, free throws, research, business analysis, teaching, presentations, general medicine, surgery, investing, etc. It could be as basic as driving a car or learning to cook or bake.

If we put in the time, we will suck less. Doing something once, does not make you proficient. It means you did it once. It takes practice to get better at something. Thanks Joe for your music and advice. You no longer suck.

10 thoughts on “The more I practice the less I suck (once more from the top)

  1. And that is why many people fail. They don’t invest enough effort, sweat, and time to become better. As we say here: “No master fell from the sky yet.”

      • Btw. The Power of Habit arrived yesterday. Now I hope on better weather to go after my good habit to sit outside and read… hehe.

      • Erika, very cool. With your vistas and garden, reading outside sounds delightful. We do that often here. Enjoy the book. Keith

  2. Note to Readers: The world famous golfer, Gary Player of South Africa, answered a reporter’s question about a lucky shot that day. Player said, “I find the more I practice, the luckier I get.”

    • Thanks Yvette for stopping by. I love it when quotes like this come when you least expect them. It actually would make a great slogan on a T-shirt. Keith

  3. Note to Readers II: Furthering Gladwell’s story about The Beatles, he noted they had to play seven shows a night for six nights in Hamburg. So, they had to learn new material or they would be bored silly. So, they learned, practiced and got better. A golf instructor echoes this when he says golfers are usually better with any putter they buy. Why? Because they practice with it once they buy it.

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