10,000 Hours

In the book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to become a master of something. This is backed up by studies of successful artists and business people.

Elite musicians commonly have more than twice the amount of practice hours under their belt than amateurs by age 20. Bill Gates pulled all-nighters programming in school to get his 10,000 hours before launching Microsoft.

I’m telling you this because if you’re struggling with recording and mixing, I want to give you hope.

Yes, it takes a little bit of talent to succeed. But talent isn’t the thing that separates the legends from the rest of us. Talent is overrated.

It’s a commitment to honing the craft, day in and day out, that will land you among the elite producers and engineers.

That’s why no amount of fancy audio gear will make you an expert mixer, just like the most expensive hammer won’t make you an expert house builder.

If you want to make it, you’ve got to be in it for the long haul – learning, practicing, and growing every single day.

I’ve been recording and mixing full-time since 2008. In the first few years I worked non-stop. It wasn’t unusual to find me in the studio for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.

As a conservative estimate, I worked in the studio for about 2,500 hours per year from 2008 onwards. That means I hit my 10,000 hours roughly around 2012.

Credits screenshot

Check this out…Is it a coincidence that I started landing my most notable projects at the tail end of 2011 and that most of my work for labels came after that? I don’t think so!

Look, I’m not trying to toot my own horn here. Actually, quite the opposite. I’m trying to show you that I’m not special.

No, I just worked. I put in my 10,000 hours and it paid off.

Are you busting your ass every day and not seeing the type of results you want? Don’t worry. Be patient. Put in your hours and stick with it for the long haul. You will get there, and it will pay off!

“The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint. The greats were great because they paint a lot.” -Macklemore

So, are you in this for the long haul? Where are you at in your 10,000 hour journey?

The only way to fast-track this process is by watching and learning from the experts ahead of you. That’s my whole goal with this newsletter, website, and paid courses. If you’re committed to making a career in audio, you’re in the right place!