Perception Of Perfection

by Will Landrum

I get a lot of emails from my subscribers saying that they
practice a lot but still can't seem to play or execute moves
like their favorite guitarist. Let's take a look at exactly
what you're aiming for here.

You've heard the term "Practice Makes Perfect". I'd like to
discuss this concept with you today and give you some of my
personal thoughts on this subject and how it shapes and
matures your guitar playing.

First of all, "perfection" is subjective. Here's an example
of what I mean.

Let's say I have a new tune that I just finished recording.
I'm really proud of it and I think it sounds great. I know
that the solo in the middle of the tune, even though it sounds
great and I kept it for the final recording, fell short of
what I had in mind for it.

In other words, imperfection from my original idea.

But remember, the solo sounds GREAT! That's why I kept it!

Now, someone else hears the new tune. They really like it!
"What an awesome solo" they say, "It's perfect!"

Now you start to see what I mean by subjective.

What's your point of reference to perfection? My point of
reference was in my mind when I was recording and creating
the solo. The listener's point of reference is his or her
own level of enjoyment that was produced as a result of
hearing the solo.

Which brings me to the point of today's lesson...

For guitarists, and musicians in general, perfection really
doesn't mean playing perfectly like a machine.

What it means is that you reach a level of competence on
your guitar where you can execute the basic rhythms and
timing that are absolutely essential, but not necessarily
be able to play scales and solos exactly like Paul Gilbert
and Yngwie (pronounced ing-vay) Malmsteen.

- Yes, you should know the scales.
- Yes, you should be able to play them in time.
- No, you don't have to pick every single note.
- No, you don't have to pick every single note the exact
same way every single time.

This should come as great news to you! What a relief!

Don't get burdened down by comparing your playing to others.
Strive for their level, yes, but when you achieve that level,
you'll realize that you don't need to sound just like Yngwie
or Paul because what you've cultivated yourself is just as

This is something that I learned myself from my own experience.
I grew up listening to great guitarists, and they set the
standard of competency that I wanted to achieve in my own

Even after imitating those guys to the best of my ability,
I still can't execute moves exactly the way they do because our
styles are different.

Striving to be like those guys cultivated my own individual
style and personality on the guitar which is really what you
want anyway! It was something that happened to me without
me realizing it.

We don't need another Eddie Van Halen or Yngwie Malmsteen anyway
right? We need NEW personalities on guitar!

So getting back to "perfection", if you use Yngwie as your
standard for perfection, and you can blaze up and down the

matters! You are musically exciting! Go with it and enjoy it!

Again what a relief!

Listen folks, maximize your strengths and minimize your

If you have a great hammer-on and pull-off technique
developed with your left hand, use it to your advantage.
I'm not saying to not practice your alternate picking. Just
be proud of what you CAN do right now and show it off!

Beauty in is the ear of the listener.

Music is art.

Music is human.

Humans are imperfect.

Musical perfection performed by an imperfect human being
is called style!

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