Home Forums General General 20 hours of serious practice to be good at something?

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  • #159273
    Thomaston
    Participant

    This TED talk caught my attention today.
    The First 20 Hours: Mastering the Toughest Part of Learning Anything.

    TLDW:
    20 hours of the learning is mostly all thats needed to learn something new to a proficient level.
    Method:
    -Breakdown the skills involves, practice the most important first.
    -Learn enough to self correct.
    -Remove distractions to doing the practice.
    -Practice for at least 20 hours.

    What do you all think? Anyone want to take a challenge to learn something new to prove/disprove this?

    Tired is enough.

    #159279
    Tony S
    Participant

    Perhaps that would depend on the “something”.   Learning to play guitar in 20 hours?  I don’t think so, beyond perhaps learning some simple songs.  But that might be what the speaker regards as “proficient”.

    I have observed though, that teaching someone something technical can often been rather easy – but it’s when things go wrong that the experience necessary to troubleshoot comes into play.  Like computer programming.  Relatively easy to learn, clear “rules” to follow, but when those bugs appear… that’s when experience often plays a huge role!

    Or to bring it to wargaming, learning DBA to a proficient level I think would be easy in 20 hours Heck; you could learn to play AND paint a whole army in 20 hours!

    But learning to play ASL; that’s a work of a lifetime!

    #159281
    Etranger
    Participant

    20,000 hours training perhaps. At least that’s what they reckon for surgeons, pianists, commercial first pilots & other professionals.

    20 hours is barely enough to get to first principles. For a single skill, eg painting a figure, cutting basic woodwork, that’s probably enough to have a basic understanding. As with most things, practice is the key to improvement.

    #159282
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    TED Talk Definitely Proves Importance of TED Talks

    #159283

    Learn the techniques of miniature painting and the practice for 20 hours.  If someone paints for 3 hours a day for a week, that would be enough to become a proficient miniatures painter.

    John

    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

    --Abraham Lincoln

    #159284
    ian pillay
    Participant

    Depends on what you are trying to learn. Tying shoes laces, easy. Learning to fly a plane maybe not. I agree with the method, especially not getting distracted. As relating back to wargaming, I guess you can learn a set of rules in 20 hours but would you be proficient on all the nuisance and deeper strategy. I think it would take more than 20 hours to become a chess champion but learning the rules can be a few minutes.
    Totally not related to this TEDx but my favourite TEDx is on the 4th phase of water. That’s worth checking out.

    Tally-Ho! Check out my blog at…..
    http://steelcitywargaming.wordpress.com/

    #159287
    Steve Johnson
    Participant

    I’d have to say No, based upon my experience of teaching modelmakers and designers how to make simple shapes etc with handtools. 20 hours equates to 2 1/2 days work, which is not enough time. It might allow you to feel confident with one tool and one material, but say changing from foam to wood would be a whole new ball game.

    #159312

    I think it would take more than 20 hours to become a chess champion but learning the rules can be a few minutes.

    The speaker agrees with you.  A chess champion has mastered his skills at playing chess.  The speaker said that in order to get to master level at anything, you have to put in 10,000+ hours.  In 20 hours, you could play a solid game of chess.  You might not be the best strategist but you would be OK and would know every rule.  If you (or anyone) have not looked at the video, I encourage you to do so.   The form your opinion.

    John

    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

    --Abraham Lincoln

    #159319
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    The benchmark used to be 10,000 hours, to become proficient in any art, craft or skill. That’s about 3 hours a day for 10 years.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26384712

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/aug/21/practice-does-not-always-make-perfect-violinists-10000-hour-rule

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outliers_(book)

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get in another 5000 hours of guitar practice…

     

     

     

    Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.

    #159322

    The benchmark used to be 10,000 hours, to become proficient in any art, craft or skill. That’s about 3 hours a day for 10 years.

    That’s to become an “expert”.  You are half way to expert, sir!  I expect to hear your version of EVH’s “Eruption” in 10 years!  Proficient, or maybe semi-proficient, is a mere 20 hours.  The gent in the video played the ukulele in a very entertaining fashion after 20 hours of practice!

    John

    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

    --Abraham Lincoln

    #159323
    John D Salt
    Participant

    Perhaps that would depend on the “something”. Learning to play guitar in 20 hours? I don’t think so, beyond perhaps learning some simple songs. But that might be what the speaker regards as “proficient”.

    Doesn’t everybody remember Bert Weedon’s “Play in a Day”, possibly one of the English-speaking world’s main causes of guitarists?

    “We are normal and we dig Bert Weedon”, as it said on the Doughnut in Granny’s Greenhouse.

    Depends on what you are trying to learn. Tying shoes laces, easy. Learning to fly a plane maybe not.

    Worth remembering that many, if not most, WW1 combat pilots started with less than 20 hours flying time (total, never mind “on type”).

    From the point of view of wargames rules, it would be interesting to know what sort of quantities of accumulated experience rules writers have in mind when they assign training or troop quality levels (though these are often conflated with “morale”, a foggier topic yet).

    All the best,

    John.

    #159330

    That settles it — I’m buying a shamisen.

    #159331
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Doesn’t everybody remember Bert Weedon’s “Play in a Day”, possibly one of the English-speaking world’s main causes of guitarists? “We are normal and we dig Bert Weedon”, as it said on the Doughnut in Granny’s Greenhouse.

    Yeah. Five bob from Stanton’s music shop in Dudlaaaaaaaaaay in 1968, to go with the second hand acoustic guitar with an action you could drive a double decker under.

    One day I’ll find a hobby that isn’t guitars, wargaming or motorbikes, and then I’ll be rich. Rich! Richer than Bezos, mwahhhhaaaaaa.

    Erm…

    Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.

    #159332
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Proficient, or maybe semi-proficient, is a mere 20 hours. The gent in the video played the ukulele in a very entertaining fashion after 20 hours of practice!

     

    I’ve been at it for 53 years. I’m still getting to grips with ‘Smoke on the Water’ 🙂

    Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.

    #159339

    I’ve been at it for 53 years. I’m still getting to grips with ‘Smoke on the Water’

    I took a guitar class in college.  By the end I could play the very first few cords of “Back in Black.”  Never mastered “Smoke on the Water.”  Far too advanced.  😀

    John

    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

    --Abraham Lincoln

    #159356
    McLaddie
    Participant

    I was cruising threads, saw this and cringed.  Josh, with his personal book and on-line research, skewed it to cover a wide range of learning and tasks requiring many skills, when his research targeted learning a skill.

    Even ‘deconstructing’, ‘removing distractions’ or ‘self-correcting’ a single skill are skills.  [That is what teachers are doing for students with a lesson]  He has just enough information to be dangerous, and then goes on to prove it.  There is a vast world of learning between 10,000 hours practice to gain world-class expertise in playing an instrument and simply becoming proficient at a craft or SET of skills, let alone just a single skill.

    The learning research is very clear, which he smears over a whole raft of issues. For instance, to learn to play a musical instrument, you must have some concept of music. How long does it take a person to learn a new concept [‘Music’, ‘Democracy’, ‘baseball’ or ‘be considerate’] from introduction of the new idea, through practice to applying it in the real world by themselves?  Learning research says on average, 10 hours.

    Alone, it takes a person about 20 hours on average to learn how to juggle three balls efficiently–a set of several skills. With a good teacher: 15-30 minutes, because the teacher has done all the ‘deconstructing’, etc. etc. etc.

    It took Josh 20 ours of research and ‘deconstructing’ the skills along with practice, to learn to play one song on a ukulele with four cords. He implies that you can be proficient in speaking a language in the same amount of time at the beginning of the talk, even when putting the words ‘LEARNING A SKILL’ on the overhead.  Having taught learning research for over 30 years, as well as teaching and coaching myself, I just cringed at the kind of sloppy ‘pop’ science, misrepresentation and ‘happy thoughts’ he was selling.

     

    #159357
    Ian Marsh
    Participant

    My stock reply to people claiming to have years of experience doing a job is: “That’s all very well, but are you any good?” Bitter and repeated experience of people who’ve been doing something for years, but not actually doing it very well, from sub-editors to figure painters, gardeners, garage mechanics and builders.

    Ian
    Fighting 15s
    www.fighting15s.com

    #159358
    Steve Johnson
    Participant

    Very true Ian. I’ve seen very experienced modelmakers and designers who frankly weren’t that good.

    #159362
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    To foll0w on from what McLaddie wrote, if anyone’s curious about playing guitar in 20 hours

    Learn three chords; A,D and E (they’re the easiest three open chords to play)

    Play a song with those three chords – Three Little Birds is a simple one. This blokes a good teacher, I wish it been around in about 1970

    That will probably take you 20 hours, and at the end of that time you won’t be a ‘guitarist’, you won’t even be ‘proficient’.

    You’ll be a bloke with a guitar who can play one simple song on it. Well done.

    If playing guitar was easy we’d be knee deep in Bonnamassas…

    Now, anyone who’s never tried up for learning to ride a motorbike ‘proficiently’ in 20 hours? 🙂

     

     

     

     

    Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.

    #159363
    Thomaston
    Participant

    I’ve seen people whose worked in a job all their career without knowing how to do the job.


    @McLaddie

    That sounds interesting but kind of vague. I agree with the optimistic claim regarding language learning, but can’t definitively say its true or false. My first thought after watchign teh video was how do I self-correct if I don’t even know how to do the thing? I might know when I did it wrong but I probably wouldn’t know why. A recent example is me learning to run. In the first 20 hours I had no idea about form. Self correcting is a problem since I can’t see my form and I can’t see my footstrike from the optimal angle, and then there’s probably other stuff I don’t know about.

    Tired is enough.

    #159381
    John D Salt
    Participant

    My stock reply to people claiming to have years of experience doing a job is: “That’s all very well, but are you any good?” Bitter and repeated experience of people who’ve been doing something for years, but not actually doing it very well, from sub-editors to figure painters, gardeners, garage mechanics and builders.

    Indeed. As Fred the Great said:
    “A mule who has carried a pack for ten campaigns under Prince Eugene will be no better tactician for it, and it must be confessed, to the disgrace of humanity, that many men grow old in an otherwise respectable profession without making any greater progress than this mule.”

    All the best,

    John.

    #159420
    McLaddie
    Participant

    My stock reply to people claiming to have years of experience doing a job is: “That’s all very well, but are you any good?”

    Ian and John:

    I appreciate your skepticism, very healthy, but I would have thought you’d ask about the research I spoke of, reference to which was called ‘vague.’ [Which it was]  I gave my experience to simply establish why I would ‘cringe’ and question Josh’s conclusions at all.

    Am I any good?  I taught for 15 years, at a correctional facility, then Social Science in high school and Community College. On the side during that time, I was training other teachers and Professors (UCBerkely among them) in using simulations in the class room. I designed and had several published by Simulation Games. That was the 1980s.  I then was a teacher trainer and regional executive for a national training corporation. In 1992, I formed my own company, Insights and Innovations. For the next 22 years I personally presented, designed programs, taught and trained over 600 school facilities in 20 states and Canada,  in 12 universities, 7 DOEs, with several training companies and presented at every major educational conference in the U.S. I worked with several educational labs, several teacher associations with both the AFT and NEA, as well as the Parent-Teacher Association. This is not counting those who worked with me.

    Was I any good?  A value judgement to be sure, but important to me, which is why I always had end of program evaluations.  I was obviously competent enough to stay in business for more than two decades until I retired.

    Best Regards,

    Bill

    #159430
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Careers are entirely different, there’s hours of on job experience. If you’re putting in 40 hours a week, then 10000 hours is going to happen in half the time. If it’s noticed that you’re failing (if) you’re going to be offered alternative choices to remedy that.

    Plus, people stay in jobs they’re unsuited to for all sorts of reasons. If you discover you have little aptitude for strumming a uke, you ain’t going to stick with it for five years.

    You can bet that world class musicians/athletes/other performers passed that magic 10,000 well before they were out of their teens. The OP is built on a false premise, you can’t become ‘proficient’ in anything in 20 hours.

    Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.

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