|Ramakrishna had a great _expression_, which I paraphrase as, "All roads lead to God."|
Same is true for music. The Beatles, most of the modern film composers (I learned that from an agent for many of the big ones), Hendrix and Dylan and Robert Johnson and blah blah all have done very well without any training.
Some get highly trained and become piano tuners and play in lounge acts. I know quite a few.
Some go to music school and the match is right and they do very well.
If the stars line up and you put in your 10,000 hours and you're in the right place at the right time you succeed (either financially or by living a life of true love).
Music is a vast continent with billions of hectares of unexplored territory... and trillions of acres of old territory that can be seen anew - and rejuvenated - with new eyes - trained or untrained.
To me, it's all about the heart, the imagination and how your passion for music and work ethic come together.
Besides jazz and the classical composers, it happens that most of my heroes are untrained.
Different strokes work. Those who got to the farther shore by breast stroke are certain that's the only way. Those who dog paddled are convinced dog paddling is the path of wisdom. What's important is to not drown and die in the water.
Disclosure: I did major in music for a semester. That was when rock and roll was still too young to take seriously. I bailed because that was what I wanted, but I enjoyed the one semester of struggle. Long, funny story.
And prostitution? Not bad. But after decades of it, sometimes you just wanna work standing up with your clothes on! And the occasional 'beatings' are horrible. I was lucky that it only happened a couple times and lucky because I've always been good with my fists!
Disclosure #2 - I really loved my years as a prostitute (recording studio for artists and then film / commercial composer). I'm really glad they're over! But I did learn how to turn on the love at will - a handy trick that I still use all the time. I learned tons doing it. Musical boot camp!
Whatever it takes to get to the far shore! However you get there. Arriving is the key.
Sometimes, only you know when you've arrived. But that doesn't matter... because you are there, basking in the sun, enjoying life, plucking your guitar (etc).
That's all that matters!
On Feb 17, 2012, at 4:05 PM, Teddy Kumpel wrote: