The aim of all guitarists seems to be the ultimate hero.
Here’s the deal .
Learn to sight-read, get a copy of The Guitar Grimoire, a thesaurus of all known scales patterns and chords, know how chords and scales relate to each other, know every note on the guitar ”cold”, concentrate, practice every hour on the hour, program your body to perform all the necessary movement without reflection, and:
A new God is born.
Easy right ?
By now you are about as interesting as a any other juggler or conjurer, so let’s move on to what comes after the basics.
Charge your music with what you are.
This is not a static condition, but (hopefully) a state of eternal change, simply because living is changing. You could be a Robert Fripp fan one day and a James Hetfield fan the next day. Remember that all guitarists have something to offer, and can seriously affect your playing if you care to listen. But the starting point is still you, so find out what you are and what you want to be, because it will spill over into the music consiencely or unconsiencely ( If you are an aggressive player you don’t want to be in a mellow laid back band, and the band don’t need you ). Once you have figured out what you want to be right now, keep repeating to yourself :
”I am that”
So how about the practical application ? The most individual traits in guitarists are not their use of different scales and chords, but much like violinist it is in Vibrato, Intonation, Pick attack, muting etc.
Listen to for instance BB King, Yngwie Malmsteen, Angus Young, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jeff Beck ( some of my own vibrato favorites). They are very different in their approach and you may not like their music, but they are instantly recognizable when they play. Pick out your own gurus for the different aspects of playing.
Remember to do one thing at a time and focus entirely on this until mastered ( it is hard to be a BluegrassNeo-Classic when you’re learning) Do not get caught up in mastering ALL techniques or you will be 98 before you start playing for real. Next step:
Once you have reached what you wanted, make a new definition of what you are and want to be, and as a final step forget the definitions and start working on yourself and in your self. Meditate on your techniques one by one by just doing one thing until exhaustion and boredom sets in. Keep it up. At this point you will start coming up with new ways of doing things.
Go down to the crossroads.