Technique and Improvisation are the most important things to me in regards to playing guitar. Without them, i would not be interested in it. It is what drives me to constantly improve as a player because the rewards are priceless. In fact, they are almost spiritual. Like I always say “Nobody can take away what you’ve already done”. If you have those two things as a guitarist then you’re the closest to invincible as ever. It must be genuine…not for the sake of accomplishment “in word dropping” but truly and honestly genuine.
I’m self taught in both technique and theory. My goal was to be able to develop my technique in such a way that I could take on students and help them to become skilled players. Technique starts out mentally utilizing mechanics and knowledge until you slip off into the zen state of mind. It is a complicated way of thinking in fact, it sort of falls out of thinking and thus there really isn’t a word for it. In a nutshell….you must feel that sort of blend otherwise it comes across as forced. There are like-minded players out there. Some players that come to mind are Jimmy Bruno, Al DiMeola, Stanley Jordan and John McLaughlin.
Improvisation is something I’ve worked hard on for the past 5 years. I wanted to be able to play on the spot with anybody without them telling me which key they are in. I still hit a bad note here and there but not as frequently as before. I highly recommend learning improvisation. I have many tricks that can help. The idea is to not be rehearsed or warmed up and to just go for it. Jazz is my primary influence in regards to improvisation due to fluidity, speed, feel, technique, melody and originality.