When I first began to play the guitar, I wanted to be just like Kirk Hammet from Metallica. I set up my amp to sound just like his. I learned half the songs in the Metallica repertoire. Then it was on to Megadeth, and from Megadeth to Slayer, Pantera, Sepultura and original thrash metal music I was beginning to write myself.
Now that I'm 23, my strongest instrument is that acoustic guitar and my strongest technique is fingerstyle jazz.
How did this happen to me? Where did I suddenly jump off the thrash metal bandwagon and begin play ja..ja..jazz of all things. It's unthinkable!
Or is it?
Style is something that takes time to develop, for me it took over a decade. Throughout that time I learned to play a garden variety of riffs, solos and chords, and I even wrote a few songs of my own. Then as I got older and started playing with other musicians I found that my lightning leads and killer licks just weren't cutting it. Was I not fast enough? Did I need a new distortion pedal?
No, the other people I had found to jam with just didn't want to play thrash metal.
So I learned to play blues, and I learned to play jazz, and I learned to play clean and acoustic and folk. I learned to make absolutely dissonant noise. I learned to work with feedback and actually turning the volume DOWN....
And sooner or later I found myself here. You know what? I couldn't be happier.
So don't fret...ha ha, ok that was bad...just keep playing whatever you like. The truth is, it's all connected anyway. Ever listen to Opeth?
Most of all, don't be afraid to learn a new style, like jazz or blues or even country. Yes, even country. In truth, these are all just colors on your pallete. The more colors you've got, the more fun you can have.