As an aspiring or beginning guitar player there’s no doubt that you already have a good deal that has inspired you to get to this point. The truth is however, that we all need some more to inspire us from time to time, and this can be at any time of our guitar playing careers! I, for example, was very inspired to play the guitar in my early years by Flamenco and Classical guitarists, but when the Beatles and the British invasion happened, the inspiration for me to play a lot more guitar was certainly kicked into high gear! This also was especially true in terms of going from strictly acoustic playing to more electric guitar.
We all love to emulate our guitar heroes, and this has always proved to be a great training ground. I know that for myself, even though there were times when I wanted to sound like B.B., or Chuck, or Buddy or Clarence, I would focus on them for added inspiration. The only thing was, I always made sure to keep my “inspirers” spread out, and therefore, my influences would be of a broader nature.
This is something to really keep in mind as you develop into a more complete player; the fact that you should be widely and deeply influenced by many guitar heroes. I know for example, when I found out all about The Beatles and Stones, or Jimi Hendrix, Mike Bloomfield or Eric Clapton in the early days, I right away wanted to be inspired by those who inspired them. So, almost immediately, listening Stones meant I was listening to Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, which in turn meant I was suddenly listening Muddy Waters, T-Bone Walker and even earlier players. Son House and Robert Johnson were suddenly the real inspirations for me as the result of listening to some Elmore James!
As I was also falling in love with Country guitar playing thanks to Country rockers such as Zal Yanovsky of The Lovin’ Spoonful and Clarence White of The Byrds, so too was I loving their influences, such as Doc Watson, Merle Travis and Chet Atkins. So, be sure, as I did, to always go for the inspiration that keeps going further and further back in time, as you keep searching for the true roots of what is inspiring you! There is really no end to what might suddenly deeply affect your particular style and makeup as a musician, and this is the true beauty of how we can shape our own guitar-playing destiny!