A small reflection on mastery. I think it is, in part, an obsession.
A while back, last year, I became damn near obsessed with learning how to play Mad World on the piano:
For a while I used something similar to this tutorial to learn how to play. I learn how to do the first verse. It turned out to be simplified and inaccurate. I also did not have enough patience to sit down and play the song over and over. I was distracted by girls too.
Now that I’ve been in Germany for a while, this song has been stuck in my head. Two weeks ago I sat down to practice it for a hour or two hours straight. I learned how to do each part and eventually put it together. At first, it was tough, but I stuck with it because I could not get the song out of my head. I used the video below to learn, and I learned the song within a week, when it took me up to three months to learn a song before.
I would practice each part until I got it down pat and then would learn the next part. Then I would play the song over and over and over, alternating between really fast, really slow, and somewhere in between. At this point, I can play the song almost completely with my eyes closed. If it weren’t for the second verse changing up on me, I could play it blind.
I can’t get the song out of my head. I just have to play it. Every day I play this song. Even old songs I learned, I can remember them in a few play throughs, with muscle memory and sound memory.