Ten Thousand Hours of Playing Ukulele?

jamieThanks to Armelle for her post about Jamie.  After reading her interview with Jamie, I visited his YouTube channel and his Google Sites pages where he posts his arrangements and compositions .  Sometime after I had downloaded his classical arrangements ( a book of 8 pieces of  Sor’s music)  and had marvelled at how much he had been able to write for the ukulele, I began to wonder how he could take the time from his work and write these tabs.  It was when I revisited his YouTube Channel that I read he was 15 years old. Wow — he sells two ebooks and has numerous tabs, videos, and mp3s to share.

Click to see an interview with Gladwell on his book "Outliers"

Click image to see a video interview with Gladwell about "Outliers"

How fortunate that Jamie is willing to share his passion and talent with stringed instruments.  He is already well advanced on his journey of 10,000 hours.   This 10,000 hours comes from Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “Outliers”.   It’s an excellent read, and like Gladwell’s other books “Blink” and  “Tipping Point”  is well worth the time you’d take to listen or read.  (The links are to mp3 files of Gladwell talking about the respective books). The premise is that in order for people to excel, indeed become exceptionally great in an area, they need to put in a certain amount of time and practice.  Roughly ten thousand hours, according to Gladwell.

If you have played the ukulele everyday for an average of an hour a day for the past 3 years, you’d have 1,095 hours toward 10,000 hours.  Now the ukulele, many of us would contend, can make us sound fairly good without as many hours.  But think about  Jake Shimabukuro or James Hill and you see the difference that 10,000 hours can make.

I’m going to increase my playing average to 2 hrs a day.

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7 Responses to Ten Thousand Hours of Playing Ukulele?

  1. Thanks for the mention (By the way, it is Armelle with an m ;)

    Do you reckon time spent on research for blogwriting about the ukulele would count towards the 10 000 hours ? If not I should probably consider writing less and playing more !


    • ukuleleperspective says:

      Isn’t that the truth! It’s a lot of fun, but the hours can just slip away if you’re researching a post. You’re right on, Armelle. Got the “m” in your name now. :-)


  2. Armelle,

    Huge fan of Malcom and that book. I asked Jake about his 10,000 hours when I interviewed him earlier this year, but he and most viewers misunderstood the intention. They looked at the number like a prison sentence or some magical number, but I saw it as proof that the more I practice, the better I will get.

    When I get frustrated with a difficult chord or a lick, I just keep tring it day after day mixed in with things I can do and eventually I get it. Now in my second year of at least one hour a day, I can feel and hear the difference in my abilities, and enjoy the uke more every day.


  3. Ukulele Perspective,

    Sorry – my comment was for you, not Armelle – got my peeps mixed up….



  4. Jeff West says:

    I tried in my humble-bumble way a few of the classical arrangements by Jamie Holding of Fernando Sol. Jamie must have freakishly long fingers in order to make some of those STRETCHES. x018 is quite a stretch. 4×310 is another doozy. I am playing a concert sized uke but those are long strecthes!

    Judy thanks for your concise and extremely thoughtful posts.

    HU / Jeff


  5. ukulelekuhi says:

    I have read “Outliers” and am amazed at some of the findings in this book. I really like the 10,000 hours to master anything…it’s kind of my idea of “Ukevember” which has added a lot of time to those hours, but I’m just beginning. It’s a start of a very long journey. Check it out on my blog. :)


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