Have you ever wondered whether famous musicians are born or made? Do you need natural talent to get ahead today, or can you learn the skills you need to earn those superstar paychecks? While there are some celebrities that steal the limelight without any clear skills, most musicians have some foundation of natural talent that pushes them in the musical direction. Many aren’t even in the business for the money or the spotlight. They simply love the music and that passion shows.

When there’s a will to spend enough money on voice lessons and invest enough time in practice, most people have the potential to become decent singers. Yet, most aren’t likely to sing so well that they can lead a band to fame.

The same goes for someone taking guitar lessons. Millions of people spend years of their life learning to play a variety of musical instruments, but few are able to make a living with those skills. Of those that do make a living with their instruments, the majority earn modest wages teaching others rather than playing live in front of thousands of people.

There are many amazing singers and instrumentalists in the world. Watch shows like American Idol and The Voice to see many of them in action. What sets those that make it big apart from those that don’t is often a combination of natural talent, personality and learned talents. They have a natural inclination to excel at music, but it’s what they do with that talent that makes the difference.

One example of this combination of natural and learned talents is Boyd Tinsley. His natural talent emerged while he was a schoolboy playing the violin, but he refused to confine his talents to the classical music industry. He pushed himself to learn other forms of music and ended up being an integral part of one of the biggest bands of the 90’s, The Dave Matthews Band. He still plays the violin as he did in his earlier years, but he learned to package his talents and play on his personality to become more marketable.


Without pushing himself to explore new forms of music, Boyd may have never enjoyed the success that he enjoys today. He could have easily turned into yet another great violinist teaching at a high school where few people know his name. He proves the case that what sets most famous musicians apart from good musicians is that magical combination of natural talent and learned skill.

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