In 1954, English Athlete Roger Bannister achieved a feat that no one believed possible up to that point in history when we ran a mile in less than four minutes. Today this record has since been broken several times and is now the standard marker for all male runners in middle distance running.
Is this feat now commonplace due to better running shoes and training available, or is it because Mr. Bannister has proven it can be done and has removed the doubt from the minds of today’s young runners?

We live in an amazing time. This is the information age. We can find out anything we want on any subject we want. We can click, drag and drop information from anyone who’s come before us and we can study, watch videos and read blogs or memoirs of anyone we want to learn from, past or present.

I live in a world of music, mostly Bass Guitar, and I can hardly fathom the changes that I’ve seen in (what I believe to be) a short time of being a professional musician.

I’m a huge Beatles fan. I remember seeing a documentary on the Beatles where Paul McCartney and George Harrison tell of a day trip they took when they were young, aspiring musicians. Their journey requiring several buses and trains to see another young player they had heard of who knew a chord on guitar that they hadn’t yet learned.
Nowadays, you can type: “How do I play a B7 chord” into a search engine and you will find about 400 000 results in less than a second. Literally… I just checked.

I can remember just a few short years ago, downloading… well, stealing… songs from Napster and Limewire and similar sites so that I could learn tunes for gigs. A few years before that, I remember taking buses and trains (not unlike The Beatles) to meet band-mates and exchange mixed CD’s of tunes to learn for upcoming gigs. Before that it was cassette tapes!

Today we have huge advantages over those who have come before us. In the time it takes me to drive to some agreed upon location to meet a guy and get a CD and bring it home… and so on, and so on… I can learn a whole set of songs by listening to them on YouTube.

I remember buying a cheap metronome for $40. Now there’s an app for that. $0.99!
Gear is getting better. Bass amps are getting lighter! It used to be that you would have to search and search for rare recordings of great musicians. Now everything is available online. Most is cheap and lots of it is free.

You can get inspired by thousands of great players by watching their concerts online. You can take online lessons and also watch instructional videos and tips from your favorite players for free on YouTube.

Friends! Take advantage of these amazing resources. Think of your musical heroes and then say to yourself:
“I have thousands of more books, lessons, gear and recordings available to me than anyone before me has ever had access to! I will respect this as a considerable head start and I will take advantage of these amazing resources!”

Would the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt be who he was if it wasn’t for Roger Bannister?
Would Victor Wooten be the player that he is without guys like Jaco Pastorius who came before him?
We’ll never know the answers to these questions, but one thing is for certain; the great achievers who have come before us have provided huge advantages for us. We can freely study and learn from their successes and failures, find inspiration in their abilities and start where they left off.

Think about it and ‘take advantage’!