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Learning to play an instrument is not something that happens overnight. Sounds obvious but talk to any musician today, regardless of age, and you’d be surprised how many times they “gave up” before gaining the skill necessary to be where they are right now. For every skilled musician out in the world you can bet there are at least two or three whose attention spans couldn’t keep up with the demand to get the necessary practice in.
Learning an instrument isn’t all about practice. Finding ways to keep yourself immersed in that world is equally important, and it can be harder than it looks. For example, that one guy who always brings a guitar to that college party. Sure, it tends to illicit groans from a large chunk of the audience, but how many people there might get a spark of inspiration even from seeing somebody else play in an open setting? Perhaps one or two people at that party are in the process of learning but have it a wall and being exposed to even a moderately skilled player may help smash through that wall. You simply don’t know, but that’s why it’s important to keep an eye out for any musical inspiration to keep you practicing and enjoying every moment of it.
There’s a deceptively simple reason why people are so enthralled by a great musician: it’s impressive to be able to play an instrument. Anybody who thinks they can pick up a guitar or keyboard and start headlining Bonaroo that year will quickly realize they may need lessons or, at the very least, give into the demanding work it takes to become somebody who can enthrall an audience on stage or at a party. There’s nothing else quite like it, and it’s a skill you can keep with you forever. It’s a kind of creativity most people wish they had but decide not to work towards obtaining. Everybody just needs that spark of inspiration every now and then to keep going.