How to be a great guitarist, not just a good one.
What is it that makes guitarists stand out from the rest?
I think the music that I find most meaningless is music that sounds like everyone else. My approach has always been unusual; I’ve tried over the years not to copy other players, to the point of avoiding working out their tunes , I’d rather have a brief listen, get an overview of what they are saying and interpret it my own way. It is a bit difficult but it has helped me define my own style(s). What I found was that if I listened too much to another player it was really easy to sound like them, so it has always been important to listen to lots of genres. To a lot of people music from particular genres sound the same, all music falls into some musical style category but obviously, it is possible to have your own musical signature in a particular style. e.g. Hendrix sounds like Hendrix and Steve Vai sounds like Steve Vai, and with one note Carlos Santana will be immediately be recognizable.
I don’t particularly like cover bands, but I admit that for many people it is a valid way of making an income and we need to eat, and there is a market.
The thing that separates players from players is the uniqueness of what they do. If there’s one thing in music worth doing it has to be finding your own musical voice. It’s great to admire other players but very important to find your own style that is not a carbon copy of another player. It’s the way to get the greatest satisfaction from music.
Good players play well, great players are themselves