About a year ago, I spent an evening Jamming with a friend. It’s a time that I look forward too because our sessions are usually great; the kind that give you chills. No chills that night. I sucked it up, big time. I was devastated by the thought that I didn’t play up to my ability and practiced even more to make sure that this didn’t happen again.
About a month ago, I met again with my friend and we broke out the guitars and played. Success!!! We both got into that zone where you couldn’t make out whose guitar was whose and the melodies and chords filled the room. This is one of the reason why I play, for moments like this.
I spent many days thinking about what was different between the two sessions. What I came to realize was the success came from me staying true to my ability as a guitarist instead of trying to match my friends style. He and I have played together for 20+ years and know each others ways very well. We can anticipate each others progressions and ideas in while playing. It’s a beautiful ting. As guitarists, we are two sides of a coin when it comes to our style. I’m a fingerstyle acoustic player and he’s an progressive electric guitarist/shredder.
In the past, my problem has always been that I try to play in they style of my friend instead of mine. I grab a pick and attempt to play fast and even though, I’m not bad with a pick, I’m much better using my fingernails. I struggled in past jams because I was featuring my weakness instead of my strengths. Our last successful jam, I utilized my strengths and funny thing happened; I played pretty damn well.
It’s a great thing to be flexible and well-rounded as a guitar/player musician. I try to expand my boundaries as a guitarist everyday and will continue to do so. I have become a better player not because I practiced more, I became a better musician because I learned to embrace and be true to my style.