Building on fundamentals

When we try to learn something new by ourselves, we want to get good at it really quickly.

When I was learning to play the guitar, I’d rather play an entire song badly and strum one chord perfectly, or even worse, learn how the chords were constructed. Later, when I started messing around with design projects, I was more interested in editing an existing picture than to build a new one, pixel by pixel.

Same goes for all kind of manual work, writing, programming, making coffee. We want to know how to do it and not necessarily the why of every step.

Building on fundamentals

In this video, Bill Evans (famous American jazz pianist and composer), Bill shares on learning step by step, building on fundamentals instead of vaguely imitating wholes. He talks about breaking things into pieces and working to understand in-depth each part.

It’s better to do something simple that is real. It’s something you can build on because you know what you’re doing. Whereas, if you try to approximate something very advanced and don’t know what you’re doing, you can’t build on it.

I’ll try to remember that.


p.s. this is a re-post from an archived blog I experimented with a few years ago – as I'm trying to write every day on this one, I like to look back at these archives and think it was just me trying to do what I do now, 3 years too early ;-)