This world of music in terms of performance, learning and discovery is incomplete without the great names like Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart, Vivaldi, etc. They have made a mark in the world of music certainly because of their works, but what makes their work so rich? Was it the countless number of notes in one musical bar or just one note that lasted long enough to send you in a deep trance? They are undoubtedly the epitomes of the term “virtuoso”. What makes a musician a virtuoso? There happens to be no standard definition. Everyone has a different version to say but there are certain qualities that we all will agree with.
1. Practice: Some get mesmerised by how they sound and some even get mesmerised by how they look like while playing. This is the product of countless hours for years of consistent practice with not a single excusable day. Then you take a different shape as a performer. Although what you’d play is already established to be a good performance, the effortlessness and finesse that is seen in your playing is a joyful view too.
2. Music theory: How could you possibly be good at something unless you have a knowledge of it? While something as simple as walking took us years to be good at, music theory is an endless ocean of knowledge. The permutations and combinations give rise to something new to learn for each day of your life. Every virtuoso is a highly learned musician with a deep knowledge of such theory and the knowledge increases your range of all the elements that you could use to incorporate while writing music.
3. Thoughtful playing: Every instrument has different ways to play. People playing a certain instrument learned it the same way, but some instrumentalists stole the limelight with their playing. This is definitely related to the first two points. Because unless you don’t have enough knowledge and have not practised enough, it’s quite far from possible to be able to understand the value of every note played at the best time. It takes multiple trials and analysis to at least be personally able to realise it.
4. Playing fast isn’t everything: Many think that a virtuoso musician is a player that plays at impossible speeds all the time. That’s not really the case. John Petrucci is going to dazzle you with his guitar shred skills but that’s not what he always is. His beautiful melodic guitar play then again adds contrast to his profile as a guitar player. So, having the idea to get the maximum flavour out of your composition, irrespective of the speed of your play is important too. Above all of these points, attitude matters. While some are born with a natural talent for music, some aren’t. That never stopped them from being virtuosos. They made their way to the top with sheer hard work.