Over the last few days I have been pondering what exactly makes an artist, not just a musician. No two people are identical carbon copies, yet for some unknown reason we spend countless hours emulating each other. I don’t want to confuse emulating with having influences . Having influences is the starting point for every musician and ultimately defines who we become . I am referring to intentionally copying someone’s sound without building upon or altering it. I know, there are only 12 notes and in some capacity every combination has been performed…It’s all been done. But how do certain musicians use the same scales and phrases and sound different? What makes Stevie Ray Vaughn’s licks sound so different than his predecessors? Is it his interpretation, emotion, or his attitude of not giving a shit? It’s all of the above.
All great artist have this ability to tear down the walls of perception and just be themselves. They have an inner confidence. It’s that simple. They’re not worried about their technique being textbook perfect. They are who they are, make their own rules, and apologize for nothing. When this attitude is combined with focus, drive, and a willingness to continually improve greatness can be achieved. While some are naturally good at things, nobody simply wakes up a master at something. It takes dedication and hard work. You can be the second coming of Joe Satriani or Eric Clapton but you got put the work in.
“Opportunity is often missed by most because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work” – Thomas Edison