I get a lot of emails from my
subscribers saying that they practice a
lot but still can't seem to play or
execute moves like their favorite
guitarist. Let's take a look at exactly
what you're aiming for here.
You've heard the term "Practice Makes
Perfect". I'd like to discuss this
concept with you today and give you some
of my personal thoughts on this subject
and how it shapes and matures your
First of all, "perfection" is
subjective. Here's an example of what I
Let's say I have a new tune that I just
I'm really proud of it and I think it
sounds great. I know that the solo in
the middle of the tune, even though it
sounds great and I kept it for the final
recording, fell short of what I had in
mind for it.
In other words, imperfection from my
But remember, the solo sounds GREAT!
That's why I kept it!
Now, someone else hears the new tune.
They really like it! "What an awesome
solo" they say, "It's perfect!"
Now you start to see what I mean by
What's your point of reference to
perfection? My point of reference was in
my mind when I was recording and
creating the solo. The listener's point
of reference is his or her own level of
enjoyment that was produced as a result
of hearing the solo.
Which brings me to the point of today's
For guitarists, and musicians in
general, perfection really doesn't mean
playing perfectly like a machine.
What it means is that you reach a level
of competence on your guitar where you
can execute the basic rhythms and timing
that are absolutely essential, but not
necessarily be able to play scales and
solos exactly like Paul Gilbert and
Yngwie (pronounced ing-vay) Malmsteen.
- Yes, you should know the scales.
- Yes, you should be able to play them
- No, you don't have to pick every
- No, you don't have to pick every
single note the exact same way every
This should come as great news to you!
What a relief!
Don't get burdened down by comparing
your playing to others. Strive for their
level, yes, but when you achieve that
level, you'll realize that you don't
need to sound just like Yngwie or Paul
because what you've cultivated yourself
is just as exciting!
This is something that I learned myself
from my own experience. I grew up
listening to great guitarists, and they
set the standard of competency that I
wanted to achieve in my own playing.
Even after imitating those guys to the
best of my ability, I still can't
execute moves exactly the way they do
because our styles are different.
Striving to be like those guys
cultivated my own individual style and
personality on the guitar which is
really what you want anyway! It was
something that happened to me without me
We don't need another Eddie Van Halen or
Yngwie Malmsteen anyway right? We need
NEW personalities on guitar!
So getting back to "perfection", if you
use Yngwie as your standard for
perfection, and you can blaze up and
down the fretboard BUT NOT EXACTLY LIKE
YNGWIE, DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT!!!
YOU CAN BLAZE UP AND DOWN THE FRETBOARD!!!
That's all that matters! You are
musically exciting! Go with it and enjoy
Again what a relief!
Listen, maximize your strengths and
minimize your weaknesses.
If you have a great hammer-on and
pull-off technique developed with your
left hand, use it to your advantage. I'm
not saying to not practice your
alternate picking. Just be proud of what
you CAN do right now and show it off!
Beauty in is the ear of the listener.
Music is art.
Music is human.
Humans are imperfect.
Musical perfection performed by an
imperfect human being is called style!