The non-physical components of virtuosity

September 28th, 2012

In my previous post, I differentiated between the physical and non-physical components of virtuosity.

What are the non-physical components?

I mentioned skill – knowing how to perform the task in the most efficient and effective manner, and knowledge – familiarity with the task. Both of these vital components come from experience.

For example, if you want to play scales on the guitar, you must have knowledge of the scales which includes fingerings etc, and you must also possess the specific skills (or technique) to be able to perform it. Without these basic factors, you wouldn’t get far.

But if these non-physical factors are so important, why did I leave them out of the AOV?

Because they’re not basic fundamental qualities; they’re task-specific – they differ from task to task.

For example, the skills involved in executing a flying kick is quite different from that of playing tremolo on the guitar, even though they both share the same basic underlying physical properties.

And it’s these basic physical properties that I was interested in when I wrote the AOV.

They’re the building blocks of virtuosity.

Lightness, looseness, fluidity… (you can read about the other principles here); these are key elements of virtuosity and absolutely essential if you want to achieve speed, power, and precision.

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