Eventually, as you move through your career as an artist, the inspiration you must find to push you onward will have to come from many different sources. In your early days, and sometimes much later on, it can come from your teacher or even your fellow players. In my case, so much of this inspiration came from artists and guitarists whom I truly admired, and whose sound turn my head around and made me really adjust my style so I could absorb what they were all about. For me, I was listening to, and inspired by many players of different styles at the same time, so it made for a great mixture of techniques and sounds that eventually added up to giving me a style, technique and sound that is all mu own!
In those days, I was so amazed by players such as Mike Bloomfield, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Zal Yanovsky, Clarence White, Son House, Elmore James, Otis Rush, Merle Travis and many more. I was so consumed by this pursuit that I couldn’t help but want to dig deeper and deeper within all the styles, always trying to get to the source and the roots of these particular players and genres.
I have seen that these days, many players, often folks who are “coming back” to the guitar after many years, look to me and my lessons to give them that new “spark” they are looking for to help ignite some new ideas and new inspirations within their own playing. It always amazes me how much there is to learn and to be inspired by on a continuous basis, and I find this also a time of inspirational new sources for me! I now get turned on by the sounds of Jazz players such as Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheney, Charlie Christian, Tal Farlow, George Benson and more, always looking for something that can be a new addition to my playing arsenal, and a new “spark” for myself. Sometimes it’s just a simple lick or phrase that you can “hang your hat on” that can really help you get re-inspired, and that can have a very profound effect on your playing and approach towards music in general!
I love being a source of inspiration at any time for other players, and barely a day goes by where I don’t get thanked by someone for what I have contributed to either their playing, or to the guitar in general. I hope I can continue to inspire you, my friends and students, and that someday you’ll be playing something so new and fresh that it will inspire others as well, forging your own new territory within the world of the guitar! Best of everything to you!