With the current mass availability of instruction it’s more difficult than ever to create your own voice. When Frank Zappa auditioned players, he looked them in the eye and said, "What do you do that's fantastic?" When hiring teachers at MATC (Milwaukee Area Technical College), I would ask them that question. Nine out of ten applicants recoiled and couldn't give an answer. I would also ask, "What do you do that no one else can do?" Needless to say, I wound up with an incredible, fully-functioning faculty that turned out fantastic musicians.
Remember that most of the great music legends were self-taught. They didn't have the internet, instruction books, DVDs, teachers, or music schools. Charlie Parker, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Tal Farlow, George Van Eps, Lenny Breau, Johnny Winter, Eddie Van Halen, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Roy Haynes, Gary Peacock, Keith Jarrett, Sonny Stitt, Thelonius Monk, etc. These guys were self taught musicians. They can play one note, and you know exactly who it is. Now ask yourself, what degrees to these guys have or what school did they attend? You don't care and it doesn't matter, it's about the music. - Jack Grassel
( You wont find many jazzers like Jack playing an Explorer for sure! Gibson Explorer for jazz...who knew! - Ed )