Because I spent many years studying, practicing, and playing music I’ve always compared it to other hobbies and professions on a scale of difficulty. Now that I am a hobby woodworker, I naturally compare woodworking to music. I spent many years playing in working bands, I took many lessons, and many college courses and even with all of my knowledge and experience I know that had I continued on with music I would still have a life time of learning and practicing to go before I could call myself a “master”. I don’t know how good I was honestly. I was good enough to play in bands, to record, and to play at most of the bars and clubs in the Philadelphia area. I was good enough to get paid for what I did, and I was good enough to teach it. Yet, I also know that there were countless thousands who were/are better than I ever was or would be. That fact never bothered me much, as I can say the same about woodworkers.
As far as the poll is concerned, I’m not looking for any one particular answer because I don’t have one myself. I honestly don’t know if music is more difficult than woodworking. This I can say, at my musical height, I practiced nearly every day at least a few hours, I took two lessons per week, and I generally practiced with one band or another two or three times a week. If I woodworked now as much as I practiced and played music then I would be a far, far better woodworker than I ever was a musician. Yet there may be woodworkers out there who are fantastic without having to work at it just like there are some musicians who are so naturally gifted that it comes easily to them without much work. I don’t believe it-music and woodworking both require muscle memory, which is something that requires practice no matter what your natural talents- but it could be true.
So if I had to choose I would say that being a great musician is more difficult than being a great woodworker. The reason I say that is because I know there are thousands of “weekend warrior” woodworkers who make world-class, professional level furniture. I don’t believe there are thousands of hobby musicians who are making world class music in their basements on the weekends. I’m sure there are exceptions to that, but I personally believe the ratio by-far favors hobby woodworkers. Still, that’s just the opinion of one person, and if anybody out there has any feedback I’d appreciate it. Thanks.