Sometimes I am really the last one to know just how far and wide my influence has spread around this world, and it really at times makes me have to “take stock” of just what this all really means.
I know many of us have had similar experiences in terms of having a musical or otherwise influence on others, and there are many variations as well as “takes” on this process. I for one, having been someone who has spread his guitar knowledge all around the world, have never really been worried that I would create “another” Arlen Roth. Of course, it depends on the learner, the one I am influencing in terms of how far this influence goes, but most of the time for me it’s in the “safety” zone! There are times, however that I must admit it can get just a wee bit disturbing, especially when I feel that someone is again using my licks, sound or ideas to make substantial gains in the world of music. Then again, this dissemination of knowledge has been something I’ve long been committed to so I really have learned to take even the heaviest of imitators with a grain of salt. Some of the harder situations for me have been when I have privately taught someone for a long time, and then they show that they were really only in it for the licks and tricks, and then they go off and take some of the very gigs I would’ve loved to have had myself!
I hear my licks and influence all the time on the radio and on recordings, and I just hope that someday all these players will eventually “tip their hats” to me, and cite me as an influence. It seems to be happening certainly more and more these days, and for that I am surely grateful! The Gibson lessons have certainly helped, as well as all my books, columns and Hot Licks videos and DVDs, but the main influence I want to have is through my actual recorded and performed music. It’s in these realms that any musician would most prefer to have a widespread influence, for sure, but the act of “passing on” your knowledge is also something that your fans never forget, and are eternally grateful to you for!
This is something that I hope you will strive for in your life; to be the biggest and best influence you can be over others, especially in the musical and artistic departments. Somehow, it just always seems to mean the most to others when you really “touch” them, especially in their souls!