The Specialist Mindset.

Many career minded, younger musicians ask me about what they should do when playing/getting better on their instrument. One of the pieces of advice is to be honest with what type of player they want to be/are and concentrate their efforts on that ultimate goal.

For example, although other styles of guitar playing do interest me – I choose to practice and get better on what fits and improve my particular style. I concentrate my efforts there.

I always preferred to get really proficient at one thing vs. being pretty good overall at many things, guitar playing wise.

This is the mindset of a specialist.

It does not bother me if someone is a better classical or a jazz player than me. All good. Since I never cared in joining a cover band, being a fill-in guitarist or overall an utility, paint by numbers type player – I am completely fine in being accomplished in what it is that I like. Food for thought. I always felt this outlook helped me progress faster through the ranks than players trying to be great at everything. We only have so much time.

Of course this depends on your goals. If you want to be a studio musician or work in many styles and capacities – then being able extremely well rounded stylisticaly is super important. Different goals and different paths to get where you want to go.