I read this today... "Pay attention. It pays. Attention, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery." As musician, it seems that I hear all the time that imitation is the way to go until you are able to "develop your own voice" on your instrument and/or in your art. I can see the value in that. Particularly when you are working on a style or technique that you are not really very good at yet, we need to work on being able to do it in the first place. But after you get good at a certain style or technique, it seems to me that if you continue to only focus on how to do that thing that one way, you will only be able to do it that one way. From there, I think it is important to pay attention to how the artist who originally inspired you incorporates it into their own music or playing. Also, it's so important to pay attention to yourself as you are performing it. Is there something about this technique that you can improve? Is there another way to incorporate that technique/style into another way way of making music that you didn't necessarily consider before? I feel like I'm getting way off topic here and kind of getting a little distracted moving into another area of discussion. I think I need to think of this a little bit more for a while.