I want to applaud Guitar World for their Master Class series
with Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and John Petrucci. Here is a link to the entire Satriani Masterclass: https://www.guitarworld.com/lessons/...self-on-guitar
You should see a wall of text with some musical examples and eventually a YouTube video. Once you get to YouTube, you will find videos from Vai and Petrucci. I assume most of you can manage the internet from there...
These Master Classes are good because they are thorough, well produced (both the text/examples and the videos), and something like this needed to be done. Someone needed to say "if you want to be a musician, learn music." Guitar World did that by getting Vai, Satriani, and Petrucci to essentially say the same thing, at the same time, but from their own point of view. Their job is not to convince people to be musicians, but they do have the power and the responsibility to talk about what a musician is, especially as electric guitar players. What they say will resonate with the right people and hopefully, those people have a supportive environment in which they can make decisions. In short, "the beacons are lit" how people react is their decision to make.
A Musical Education
"If you want to be a musician, learn how to play music." This really is not an outlandish idea.
How? This being a guitar oriented forum, take guitar lessons.
Where and who? Age is important. If you are an older player, I assuming you are not starting from ground zero, which means a music studio with kids is not where you want to be. You want to be in an environment where "real talk" can take place. That might be your home, the teachers home, etc. A place where you can crank a tube amp, ask questions about gear, play different guitars because those are important elements of learning the guitar. A good teacher will not say "Buy gear" but they will say, "You need a new guitar" if you do in fact need a new guitar. Depending on your age, the goal will likely be to enrich your playing, not overhaul everything you have learned up to that point. It's usually pretty fun.
For younger players, more doors are still open to you. This means more practice will be required if you want to go through one or more of those open doors. Take lessons from a jazz player if you want to learn jazz. Take lessons from a country player if you want to learn country. Take lessons from a theory major or composer if you want to learn music theory or composition. Focus on a specific area and find someone who is an expert in that area to teach you. It will be rewarding.
A Music Degree
"If you want to study music in college, study music in college." There is no other method of learning that comes close to that experience. Even better, if you realize music is not what you want to study, you will know within the first month and you can easily switch majors. However, if you realize music is what you want to study, you are in the right place and that "want" becomes a "need."
This actually becomes rather difficult to talk about. Music is inherently abstract and personal preference is inherently subjective. Subconsciously, people perceive this as being true which creates the illusion that anyone's opinion about music is valid. There are objective concepts in music where opinions do not apply, only facts. For example, genre and style are two different concepts, but "genre" has become a catch-all word to define all stylistic differences. Genre refers to the medium, or musical forces being used: string quartet, piano concerto, jazz trio. Style refers to the sound of the music being played: serialism, late romantic, bebop. Another example is the difference between tone(s) and noise. A periodic sound wave is a tone and an aperiodic sound wave is a noise. The two extremes are a sine wave and "white noise." Stockhausen figured this out in the 1950's using measurement equipment in a French electronic studio. The problem is most people are unaware Karlheinz Stockhausen ever existed.
Perhaps the paragraph above illustrates the "need" I mentioned earlier. Studying music in college fuels and expands that "need."