I have been thinking lately, and would like some other's ideas: Lately I feel more compelled to become a student of the instrument rather than a student of playing songs. Yes, I take lessons, and I also play with a group that is looking to play out soon. By 'becoming a student of the instrument' I mean I much rather enjoy learning my own tunes(on my own), becoming REALLY familar with the instrument and music as a whole, and drilling through hard tunes that others are not very interested in. I am getting really sick of my 'bands' obsession with learning tunes that will get gigs and allow us to play bars. I've only been doing 'this band' for a month or two and am bored stiff!! My old goals of just being in a giging band are not my goals anymore. Anyone else go through this kind of phase? I guess it could be considered a 'woodshed' phase. Or the old story of the blues guitarist disappearing, selling his soul to the devil, and returning with more skills than people can imagine. I just feel like locking myself up and drilling on the instrument until I emerge with a 7string strapped to myself, playing in some progressive jazz trio. I guess it would have to be since I saw Anthony Jackson playing, and was like 'now thats what I want to do.' Anyone else have these kinds of aspirations, and how did you go about setting and meeting your goals? Later - Thanks ... K.