One of the great guitarists of all time, Tony Rice, offers advice to artists at the 29:50 mark in the video below. He talks about not being a copycat, be original, play what is in your heart and be who you are called to be. My bold.
“Personally speaking there’s a world of Doc Watson clones out there, there’s a world of tony rice clones, and the unfortunate thing about those clones is no matter how technically proficient they are, and there are some of them out there that are virtual monsters of technical proficiency that could blow me away. But what that does when they do that is they have become a copy of someone else and they haven’t gone beyond that. So the way I look at all this scheme of things is not only am I a musician but I’m a spectator. That’s what gets me off the most. I don’t care about hearing me playing this dam thing near as much as I care about hearing your playing. What can you show me, what can you run by my ears that’s so good, that I love so much that I want to hear it again. And how you create that. Well I tell you what you ain’t gonna create by doing it like I do because I’ve already beat you to it. That’s what this forum is about.
“Its what I’d like to see more of out of aspiring musicians or aspiring artists in general. It’s that ‘give that to me’, give me your heart give me your soul. Show me the uniqueness of yourself. How do you do this? How do you make this chord? What’s the tone you have coming out of this? And you know how you do that? You do it like working a Rubix cube. That’s the way you do it. You do it with trial and error, and mistakes. But then again I’m a product of everything that I’ve ever done, we all are. That would be my advice to you. Play from your heart and soul. Think of every time you pick up an instrument and play it or whatever you do with it, think of that as an extension of yourself, with the goal in mind that you have something to express, to be shared with somebody else and you hope that they dig it.“
From a workshop in 2001. From Chris Walz.