I started playing guitar for two reasons:
Reason 1: To meet girls.
Reason 2: It's awesome.
I loved the way certain guitar players made me feel when I listened to them, and I wanted to be a part of it.
My favorite guitar players always have this combination of talent and passion, technical skill and emotional abandon. They are fluent with the instrument and the theory so they can use it to take me somewhere.
Guys like George Harrison, the Edge, David Gilmour, Mark Knopfler, Jack White, Clapton, Daniel Lanois, Mike Campbell and the dude from the Cardigans.
Some of these guys have 800 guitars and a crew for their pedals, others have two guitars and an old amp. But they're distinct not for their gear, but for the way they play, how you can hear their personality in each phrase and melody.
It's brave to put yourself out there like that, and it makes a compelling reason to listen.
A great melody, played with passion ends up leading the listener to a place that feels both universal and intimate.
At the end of the day, I want it to feel, to the listener and to me, like I'm plugging my heart into my guitar, my guitar into my amp, and turning the whole thing to 11.