Over the past several years I have done a LOT of reading of musicians biographies. Combined with a LOT of reading of interviews etc. While doing all this reading I look specifically for the little hints at what these great players did practice wise. I also ALWAYS ask every great player I play with/meet/see about this exact thing. After doing all this the pattern is unmistakable. They ALL talk about never putting it down.
IMO The BIGGEST reason most people don't achieve a high level with playing is that they avoid the work. Always looking for tips, patterns and shortcuts.
- They dont want to use their ears - they want tab.
- They dont want to look honestly at their own playing - they want some method book.
- They don't want to find a face-to-face teacher - they want to go to a free online site.
- They don't want to learn theory - instead they talk about being a "feel player"
- They don't go see live performances - they scour YouTube.
- They spend as much if not MORE time on an internet chat type site than playing.
If ANY of this sounds like you, hear me on this - ALL YOU NEED is your music collection, the instrument, some time and a willingness to work hard.
Everyone wants to play like Steve Vai... but few follow his lead. He regularly talks about how much he has to work at it STILL. We've all heard of his legendary 10hr guitar workout.... yet many of us who know of this, have the audacity to refer to him as a natural??? Doesn't sound too "natural" to me! Sounds like he simply did the work. ALL of it! Not just that parts he enjoyed.
The best tip anyone can give you is: stop looking for a shorter path.
Bear down on it -
THAT is the short cut.
Bottom line: EVERY great guitarist didn't put the instrument down.
The rest of us did.