10,000+ hours of playing

I’ve heard it said that if you spend 10,000 hours doing something you’ll get real good at it, whether it’s chess, acting, playing a musical instrument, or anything. So I got to wondering how many hours I’ve logged at steel guitar since I started in 1972, 38 years ago

Cal SharpIt’s been said that if you spend 10,000 hours doing something you’ll get real good at it, whether it’s chess, acting, playing a musical instrument, or anything. So I got to wondering how many hours I’ve logged at steel guitar since I started in 1972, 38 years ago.

I’ve played 1,876 gigs since 1997, when I started keeping track, which is an average of 144 gigs a year. So, figuring 4 hours per gig, that’s about 7,500 hours of playing, and that’s not counting rehearsals and practicing, so that’s a pretty conservative figure.

I don’t know how many gigs I played the 25 years (9,125 days, or 1,300 weeks) before that, but I worked steady the whole time, and there were times I’d go several months at a time picking 7 nights a week. Figuring 144 gigs a year, again not counting practice and rehearsals, would be 14,400 hours.

So, that would be a total of 21,900 hours of gigs since 1972, not counting practice and rehearsals.

I used to practice a lot, and figuring 2 hours a day for the first 30 years gives me 21,900 hours of practice time. Adding that to 38 years of gig hours would be grand total of 43,800 hours, but the actual number is probably much higher. Meh, seems like I’d be a better player than I am after all that.

Author: Cal Sharp

Nashville pedal steel guitarist for over 30 years. Credits include Stonewall Jackson, Little Jimmy Dickens, Red Sovine, Faron Young, Ernest Tubb, Ray Price, Johnny Russell, George Fox, Vern Gosdin, Del Reeves, Gilley's, the Palomino Club and a few others. Retired from the road, playing sessions and clubs locally. I also develop websites, like this one and other music-related sites. Contact me if you need a website. Email: cal at caligraphics dot net or fill out the contact form. http://www.caligraphicsdesign.com/contact/

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