This is an important issue for any developing player, as the act of making music with others will spur you onto greater heights faster than just about anything else you will do! I always loved playing with others in my developing years, but it was very hard to find the right level of player, who would help me elevate my own abilities. These days, there are certainly many more good musicians than back then, and the lines of communication, such as the internet are also faster and broader than ever.
I used to get together with friends from school, after school, to jam on guitar, and those were some of the most rewarding “learning” times ever for me. I recently had the pleasure of getting together to jam with one of them, 41 years later, and what a thrill that was! We also talked about how much those early jamming days taught us, and we were able to compare notes these 41 years later all about our teaching, our playing careers, and all the experiences we have had since. It was also interesting since I have always been such a public figure, to see that he had really followed me and my career since those High School days. Needless to say, he was very proud of my accomplishments, and though he had not done so much professionally, I was still very proud of what a great player he had become. I guess the real reward is in knowing we each had something to do with each other’s development then, and later!
During this time for you, try to find players who make the guitar and music experience as rewarding as possible. This means to try and steer clear of people with bad attitudes, folks who are bossy, people who give you no respect, and well, you get the idea! No matter what your level of ability is, it’s critical that you feel respected, and that your ideas are heard. If someone just treats you like some “kid” who’s hanging around (which of course, even happened to me!) you can still take away something positive from the experience. Just be sure to concentrate on the music, and to make it count! These are very critically important times for you and your development as a player and person, and all of your experiences, good, bad or neutral will play an important role in your future. Make the most of them!