I've given this a lot of thought. It relates to me, because I was always totally fascinated with musical instruments from early childhood.
I took a few months of piano lessons when I was about 6. I learned trumpet in grade school and played through college, but my mother always had a piano and/or organ in the house and I was constantly fooling around with that too.
The breakthrough was when I learned music theory in high school. I could transfer the music from trumpet, organ, bass or whatever, and could hear songs on the radio and realize the structures.
I REALLY learned to play on the bandstand, one song at a time. I listened to it, wrote down the chords and played the notes. It soon became apparent that many riffs or solos or turnarounds and progressions were the same or very similar in many different songs and many different types of music.
It took me years to be really any good, so I don't think there was that much natural talent involved, other than the capacity to learn and the ambition to WANT to learn.
I've learned from playing with many talented musicians, and some even not so talented.
This process is still going on. I've probably learned more in the past 10 years than in the previous 30, even though I was playing all that time. I still record myself every night and I'm my worst critic. This started back with reel-to-reel, then cassettes, VHS, mini-discs and now digital.
I'm good enough now to play right hand with most anybody and to play most any kind of popular music, but I think I got to this point because I wanted to so badly.
Same with singing, I had to LEARN to sing on key, it certainly did not come naturally. Now it would be almost impossible to sing off key, unless I couldn't hear myself.
I'm pretty sure I'm talented now, because enough people hear me that surely someone would tell me the truth if I stink. I'm not sure how it happened though, other than desire and the fear of having to get a real job.
It's strange that I played bass, trumpet, organ, drums and guitar, but other than trumpet was not outstanding on any of them. BUT, all that is invaluable in my specialty now, which is Arranger Keyboard.
One of the last things to come was relating to the audience well. I always tended to hide behind the music and respond to the audience. Now I'm getting better at being more outgoing and making the response a two-way thing.
Oh yeah and I found out early that girls really dig musicians, even so-so ones.
Now I've forgotten the question.
Gotta sleep now to get ready for a three-hour drive to Arkansas tomorrow to play for a 4th of July festival.
Get this: they are going to feed me, let me play music and sing, clap for me, and then after it's over they are going to PAY me! A lot.
I MUST have some talent finally, and now it seems natural but it wasn't always and it wasn't easy. I was lucky enough to not realize how bad I was until I got better.
Hope this makes sense.