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This is a highly vague question! Don't worry, I'll clear it up a little.

First a story. I have only been playing for 6 years. I know my experience is not very good to start with, but please, realize this question does not deal with absolute progression but relative progression. Because of my experience(or, should I say, the lack thereof), I have not had "everything" click, but I know that in my fourth year of playing I progressed on my instrument far beyond any other year. I began truly listening, and my tone improved. Other aspects of my playing also improved or started existing in the first place. In some since, I discovered something that year, and my abilities progressed exponentially farther than any other year at that point. What this something is I don't quite understand. I wanted to know if anyone else understood or partially understood that something. Do you all understand what I mean? Has the same thing happened for you? I would think this would happen multiple times during the first few years of playing(of course this depends on what you consider few). I would also imagine that effort is the spring from which this "new life" originates. Any thoughts?
 

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Yes. 1980 and 1992.
 

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I think it would be the result of more than one thing. It would hard to break down the phenomenon you explained and come up with a formula for it.

IMO one main aspect of it is the figuring out of what you need to practice in order to progress. It's not always easy to find out exactly what and how to practice in order to yield a significant return. You said "I started truly listening and my tone improved", which I think demonstrate this is exactly what you needed. The 'how' side of it is equally important because you can take lessons with the best teachers, buy all the best method books, if you don't learn how your brain works, how it learns best, you'll have a hard time making any progress.

Another side of it is that for some aspects of your playing to improve, you need to combine several acquired pieces of information. A very basic example of it would be: if you improve your understanding of harmony but haven't quite acquired the "mechanics" to apply it, you'll get the impression that you're not a better player because it won't show up in your playing although you have acquired more knowledge.
 

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yes, there are sequences of positive events which might lead you to think that nothing can go wrong ........until something goes wrong :). Really your personal abilities are much the fruit of a piggy bank activity, the more you put in the more you will find when you need it.

There is a certain element of talent in any of us but talent can only bring you so far, the rest is sweat.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2012
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The late '80s.
 

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Lovely Jubbly!

 
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