Am I a good violin player?

When people start the violin, they aren’t any good. As they slide the bow over the strings, the notes grate on their ears. Most people have musical instruments sitting in their attics because despite weeks of practice, they didn’t sound very good.

The most effective means to learn a musical instrument is to start off by learning the first principles. But trying to sound ‘good’ can get in the way. It pushes you to play a few simple songs rather than drill the basics. It tunnels you on the outcome rather than the inputs.

When you start learning a new skill, asking ‘Is it any good?’ isn’t as helpful as asking ‘Will it serve me?’

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