It is a strange phenomenon to see guitar instructors and guitar tutors the world over playing exercises of established guitar legends like Paul Gilbert FASTER than Gilbert himself.
Has anyone else noticed this? I have thought about this effect (I call it the ‘limiting phenomenon’) over a very long period of time, I have tossed it over in my mind thousands of times and I have come to one central realization: developing a signature style (whilst it enables a player to stand out from a crowd) actually LIMITS technique and technical growth.
It keeps a player from surpassing current developmental plateaus in their playing. The primary reason for this being that there is no new finger movements or exercises to enable technique expanding and the creation of new neuro-muscular pathways.
New material not only helps a player to forget past learning but in a strange way, they assist to grow additional connections in the brain that are essential for ever increasing levels of speed.
The lesson in all this is this – maintain your own style or niche but (like guitar teachers) remember to be continually practicing new material in new genres for the best results. This allows one to forget prior learning and thereby allowing it to be truly cemented in muscle memory (so as to play it with improved controlled at a later date) and increasing speed by encouraging the growth of new neuro pathways as well as actually providing better conditioning for the muscles in your fingers for improved brain-finger communication.