If I was allowed to give advice to beginning musicians, it would be, “be you”. That’s what we need more in music. Individuality. As the music business continues to spiral into oblivion, it’s like a giant snake feeding on itself. One successful artist begets 1,000,000,000 carbon copies. It’s one thing to be influenced by an artist but it’s a whole ‘nother ball of wax to try and steal the clothes out his (or her) closet! I’ve seen some musicians who have done that and I’m not sure what they feel like they’re contributing. Unless it’s just to be famous. In our culture, fame is a big one. Maybe that’s why music doesn’t seem to have the same cultural significance that it’s had in the past. When Bob Dylan went electric, people were so angry that they became violent! If some popular artist these days changed style that drastically, I doubt if anyone would even care!
If you pick up an instrument or choose to create music (or any other art, for that matter). Remember that you have a responsibility to contribute your soul to the equation. I’m not just talking about being a professional musician, when you pick up an instrument for your own enjoyment, remember to be you. Embrace that part of you that’s different. It’s fine to learn that Gun’s & Roses or John Mayer song, but at some point as you play it you are adding your DNA to it and embracing that aspect is what making music should be about. As a guitar player, I’m very influenced by Jimi Hendrix, but if all I did was try and copy his licks note for note without ever putting “me” into it, I’m disrespecting the most important aspect of his legacy which is his originality! Just remember “be you!” God only made one of those!
My second piece of advice would be to recognize that Guitar Hero is not the same as playing guitar!