Many of todayīs young guitarists look at guitar playing like a kind of sport. If you train long enough and know the right tricks, you can make it to the top. But what is there to gain? One thing is for shure: There will always be someone who plays slower than you, and someone that plays faster. If not today, then tomorrow.
Half of the audience is female. Most of them donīt get turned on by someone who performs guitar -aerobic.
Rather think of yourself as a singer than a guitar player. Treat each single note with love, and it will turn into a powerful tool. There are a million ways to play a single note. Play with that note. Feel the string and your fingers on it. Touch your guitar like a lady. Make her moan. Start to feel good.
Nothing to prove. Forget about all you scales. Start to listen to this moment - itīs the only one that exists.
Relax..... and suddenly you have something to say. Talk to your audience with your guitar. Adress each single note and you will feel the response immediately. Play sensually! Watch the girls. You can see it in their eyes..
If you look in this direction, you will be able to develope your own, unique, personal tone. It takes time and more courage than to perform some speedlicks, but itīs worth it. And you will be miles ahead of the armada of Malmsteen and Satriani clones.
A good way to learn how to make your guitar speak, is to play the vocal part of a song.
Take i.e Aretha Franklinīs "I say a little prayer" (or any other love song) and play the vocal part on the guitar. Now, that you have no words, you have to add all those little nuances that gives each note a vocal-like quality.
At first it may sound stupid, and you realize, how simple good melodies can be. Now itīs up to you, the artist, to fill them with meaning and expression. Thatīs when noise turns into music.
More "lessons" : http://www.maui.net/~zen_gtr/lessons.html