Most of us focus on playing songs when we start playing guitar. Learning the chords or the riffs of our favorite songs seem to be a good place to begin for most people.
The Player never deviates much from this path. He moves from song to song – from open chords to bar chords – from simple strumming to more advanced strumming. But it is the individual song that guides his development.
At some point The Player wants to move on to single note playing. And, again this is guided by the songs he listens to and plays. He moves towards the themes and solos that inspire him to learn and play new things.
His path is guided by the songs he likes.
His path creates song playing skills
The Craftsman starts out by learning songs like anyone else, but then relatively early on he begins to wonder about how these songs where put together. He finds himself interested in the mechanics of music – how chords are built and how you learn all of them.
Instead of merely replicating other people’s themes and solos, he seems more interested in learning the tools of soloing: The scales, the sequences, the licks and the techniques of playing – so he can understand and master soloing in general.
His path is guided by the love of music.
His path leads to becoming a musician and a master of his instrument
What does your actions tell you?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with either of these personalities, but the question is this:
From looking at what you have done in the past, would you say your actions mostly resemble those of The Player or The Craftsman?
And is that behavior taking you in the direction you want to go? Are you headed in the direction of becoming a fully developed musician or a song playing music box? (Music boxes are great if you want one)
This is not about “getting serious” or “learning the boring stuff” It’s just about getting clear on what you like and what you want and adjusting your behavior so that it takes you in the direction you want to go.