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How important is age and talent?


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Like the saying goes, age is just a number. I think it certainly helps to begin composing at a young age as you will develop faster, as you are not having to provide monetarily for yourself or for someone else, but it isn't a necessity. Plenty of successful film and game composers did not start until their 20s and 30s.

I know the exact feeling you are feeling though as I didn't start writing music until I was 22 (I'm 25 now) and I was thinking the same thing at the beginning of last year when I started freelancing for the first time. I was definitely feeling the burn to start making more money than I am so that I can one day fully support a family, etc. It's hard enough as it is just paying bills and going out with the girlfriend weekly :P. So like others have said though, I wouldn't only rely on writing video game music as a source of income. You need to have some other skills you can go to when the music can't pay the bills ;). Personally I do a lot of sfx work as well as music. Probably something like a 50/50 split.

And like most other people have said, talent is mostly a myth. What it is really about is working really, really hard until you get out of that "holy crap why is everything I'm writing sound like shit" stage and then you enter the "why is everything I'm writing sound like sort-of-shit" stage. You keep working really hard while progressing through all of these stages of why-is-my-music-so-bad-and-why-is-everyone-elses-so-much-better until you eventually come to be able to create something that can maybe be called a decent piece of music. That is a really good feeling when you get there. Once you hit the decent music stage of your career, which I think for most people takes at least a few years, you need to stop comparing yourself to other people & their successes and just try to write your own music. This is incredibly hard to do, but very important. Be highly critical of your own work, your own successes and failures, and don't be satisfied with writing garbage. Learn as much as you possibly can about everything.

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I believe that age and talent do matter to some degree, especially when we're talking about the masters and virtuosos of music (or any other art). To say that everyone could be as great as composer as Mozart is simply not true because then we enter the world of psychophysics. All the greatest performers and composers are unique in the way their brain and bodies are constructed. Their potential has been cultivated through their living environments and hours upon hours of hard work. Of course, the world has seen many fantastic people who have got to their goals through sheer hard work and that is also what I believe in. However, natural talent is usually what sets the greatest apart from others.

What I'm trying to say is don't let things like not being talented enough hold you from doing the things you love. Just enjoy the ride and strive to be best you can be, even when you can't be the greatest.

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To paraphrase Austin Wintory, life is all about choices. If you truly want to become a composer, then do any and everything you can to make it happen, no matter how many steps or how much time it takes. You don't want to end up 90 years old, looking back at your life, wishing that life could have been different if you had tried to become a composer. No one can be Nobuo except Nobuo, just like no one can be you except you. The industry is competitive and always growing, but that's of course not a reason to stop trying.

It CAN be a drag to see youngins here with so much talent, but don't focus on that aspect. Make friends, learn from them, get inspired. Talent takes time to develop, so practice always, take it one day at a time and improvement will come.

Sigh tbh I think I wrote this more for myself than anyone else :/

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