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Duende37: The skill of being skillful

Duende37: The skill of being skillful

Aristotle once wrote that "we become builders by building and we become harpists by playing the harp." He was referring how to become a good person, which you can probably guess comes about by being good.

The underlying point is simple: a verb is only a word if it is being done. Actually being done, not talked about or wished for.

I finished building my straw-bale house in May, 2011. But I did not go on building houses. I learnt a hell-of-a-lot during the process. I'd never owned a power tool before, and now I have lots of various tools collecting spiderwebs in the shed. But because I only wanted to build myself a place to call home, I don't walk around thinking of myself as a builder.

The day my house become lockable 24/02/2011

Which is fine, as I don't want to be a builder. Aristotle's point applies to those skills we wish to master.

It's only recently that I truly discovered The Beatles. Sure, I knew who they were, but I never really appreciated them or their music. The TV series 'The Beatles: Get Back' does a fantastic job of being able to see the band at the peak of their creative powers, and the final days of their collective powers.

'Get Back is an intimate look at four guys (I feel generous including Ringo in the posse of creatives, but who am I to judge) creating an album that has stood the test of time.

And to watch them lazily meander their way into writing a song belies the actual effort involved. Fifty-seven hours of footage was filmed, and in that time they wrote 'Let It Be', 'I've Got A Feeling', 'Two of Us', 'The Long and Winding Road', 'Get Back' among others.

The thing is, these songs didn't take fifty-seven hours to write. They took ten years.

The early days of The Quarrymen/The Silver Beetles/The Beatles tells the true story of how you get to be so good that you can write classics seemingly effortlessly.

In the outskirts of Liverpool, during June & July 1960, Lennon, McCartney, Harrison played sixteen shows with the instructions to play through the fighting. Between August 17 - November 28 1960, The Beatles played 98 consecutive nights in Hamburg, with six to seven sets per night. This intense schedule only ended because the 17-year-old George Harrison was deported because he was working whilst a minor.

Throughout the Winter of 1961, they played 20 shows per month. They return to Hamburg for another stretch of consecutive shows between April 1 and July 1. The intensity doesn't slow down, and somehow, during 1962 they often play more shows in a month than there are days. Amidst the frenetic pass, they record their first album 'Please Please Me.'

It becomes a hit, and in October 1963, the term Beatlemania is coined.

'Let It Be' was written off the back of the formative years when Lennon/McCartney honed their writing skills during endless performing.

It doesn't matter what the skill is, it'll involve the same level of progression, from adhering to pre-defined rules to then having the ability to transcend those rules. And only time and practice, the actual doing, is how one gets from being a novice to a master.