Dedicated Technique

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Last night I heard an interview with Al di Meola . He recognized that he had a period when he was studying guitar 8 hours/day in his youth. I thought of Steve Vai . They say Vai was practicing 11 hours/day. It seems a lot but it's enough to practice for 3 hours/day  when you are still a beginner and didn't make your mind yet about a musical career. Then, when you're determined to make a living playing an instrument, you should consider practicing as your job. The more advanced you are, the more enjoyable practicing is. The problem is to make up your mind fast. You can spend your time on an activity that doesn't bring any income only while you are not comitted to another working place or to your own family. So, the best years are when you are 12 - 20 years of age.

Why do you need a good technique? The point is to be able to express yourself. There are musicians that have a lot of feeling and their music would  make a strong impression on anyone listening but their technique is too poor and they can't bring their ideas into life.

Maybe you think the competition is tough and practicing's goal is to enable you to show off. It's true that there are a lot of great guitar players but, in music, you compete only with yourself. Only a bad audience would fall for cheap technical tricks. A good one will appreciate your music. All you have to do is to acquire the ability to make that music.