I notice you said you have never felt stuck in a rut with your playing. I agree that great teachers are the fastest most accurate method to learn any instrument. Perhaps Ive just not had great! teachers over the years? Im curious as to how you rehearse? Do you have a certain rehearsal method that you have stuck with that you feel kept you learning and full of ideas over the years?? Ive never spent time learning others songs with exception to Jazz Standards to make a living before my band got anywhere. And pieces of this and that. As you said when we spoke the other day. Learning someone elses song no matter how technical is still just repeating and in no way an indicator of their skill. I opposite you. Feel Ive been in a rut for 2-3 years. Sure I can play. But I dont feel Im getting any better! than I was last year. Or the year before. Im very bored with my playing these days. Perhaps a change of rehearsal style? Of course you cant judge my playing through text. I do understand. All I can say to inform you of my skill level is that yes I can groove and I wouldnt be where I am now if I couldn't. So Im confident Im above average. But I cant seem to get past that pocket groove much. My playing is like old school R&B. Groovin all day! And sounds great! but very basic...Where I feel at this point I should have no problems going beyond that pocket groove into a whole new world. As guys like yourself,Marcus and Vic for example,are able to do.