Dec 29 2008
The most memorable theory in Outliers is that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in any field. If you want to see what a genuine guitar expert looks like (and I highly recommend you watch this), look no further than John Butler’s “Ocean.”
I’ve probably watched that Youtube video more than any other — it’s my favorite song. “Ocean” is absolutely amazing to watch and still gives me chills at its crescendo. The coolest thing about it is that no one will ever play it like Butler, though many have tried. While this kid knows how to play it, he doesn’t have the ability to truly play it. And neither do I.
You see Butler’s soul pour out of his body when he plays. The rhythm, emotion, and intensity he performs with will never be reproduced by any other guitar player, simply because he’s played it more times than they ever will. That’s what 10,000 hours does for you. It gives you the ability to do something that people can imitate, but never replicate.