It has been said that it takes 10,000 hours to become expert at something. But for some it takes longer or shorter for some as shown by the Infographic at expertenough.com. For example, it takes 26,880 hours for an astrophysicist to become expert and the Neurosurgeon just requires 42,240 hours.
There’s one thing that is common to both Neurosurgery and astrophysics. They both require a long time to master their skill. Why is this you ask? Both skills require extensive training and lots of testing before they are awarded their certifications and allowed to work in their respective fields.
On the other hand, in a 2013, Ted Talk, Author Josh Kaufman argued that even though it takes on average 10,000 hours to become expert at something, it really only takes 20 hours to learn and begin to utilize that skill. However there are certain things that you must do in order for this to learn something in 20 hours
- Deconstruct The Skill
- Breakdown the skill into it’s component parts
- Learn Enough To Self Correct
- Learn enough to recognize your mistakes
- Remove Practice Barriers
- Eliminate Distractions
- Concentrate and Focus on learning
- Practice at least 20 hours
- That’s it – Practice at least 20 hours
In his case he was learning to play the Ukulele and he utilized 4 chords to play the same progression that exists in thousands of popular songs. The chords are C Major (1), G Major (5), A Minor (6) and F Major (4). Each number here is the number that the chord represents in the Nashville number system. It is possible to learn this and play by ear in a relatively short space of time. But whether you are aiming for an expert level or just beginning, just know that there are no shortcuts and keep on Playing It By Ear.