Practice-related quotes

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
There are many masters of different fields who have wise things to say about the process of improving or the road to mastery. If you have one please share.

Here's one from Bruce Lee:

"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once; but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times"

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
'An amateur practices until he gets it right. A professional practices until he can't play it wrong" - My high school music teacher.


Senior Member
This one I've carried with me for a while. A bit of wisdom from dear old dad.

-"Never say you can't do something. Can't means you don't want to."


Platinum Member
'An amateur practices until he gets it right. A professional practices until he can't play it wrong" - My high school music teacher.
I like that.

"We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails"
I like that even more.

"Talent is the ability to learn” — Vladimir Kramnik , 6th highest rated chess player in the world.
Look, there're 5 people who are better than Vladimir, so I don't think we ought to be taking him too seriously.


Platinum Member
"If you get into music to make money, you will be disappointed. If you get into music to make music, you will be happy." Cant remember who said this but for 99% of us its true.


Gold Member
An instructor gave me this quote to ponder, when I was very young, which he took from one of his Berklee professors. Most of us have heard this at one time or another..

"Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect."
Vince Lombardi


Platinum Member
Here are a couple of things from the painter Robert Henri, writing >100 years ago:

The real study of an art student is generally missed in the pursuit of a copying technique.

I knew men who were students at the Academie Julian in Paris, where I studied in 1888, thirteen years ago. I visited the Academie this year (1901) and found some of the same students still there, repeating the same exercises, and doing work nearly as good as they did thirteen years ago.

At almost any time in these thirteen years they have had technical ability enough to produce masterpieces. Many of them are more facile in their trade of copying the model, and they make fewer mistakes and imperfection of literal drawing and proportion than do some of the greatest masters of art.

It is useless to study technique in advance of having a motive. Instead of establishing a vast stock of technical tricks, it would be far wiser to develop creative power by constant search for means particular to a motive already in mind, by studying and developing just that technique which you feel the immediate need of, and which alone will serve you for the idea for the emotion which has moved you to expression.
This one is obscurely worded:

An art student must be a master from the beginning; that is, he must be master of such as he has. By being a master of such as he has there is promise that he will be master in the future.
"of such as he has" = whatever technical abilities you have at the moment

"being a master" = being a creative artist
Last edited:
A few that I like ......

Every day you don’t practice, you’re one day further from being good. — Ben Hogan

If practice makes perfect and nobody’s perfect,....then why practice ? - Billy Corgan

To study music we must learn the rules . To make music we must break them .- Nadia Boulanger