"You've been practicing right?" Bell said immediately as he arrived at Josh's place. It's been a few days since he started to practice. Really practice. He started to study different kinds of blues songs. Learning the different scale shapes that he could play with his favorite blues pieces. He even started to listen to jazz songs. Josh wanted to widen his range of music. He listened non stop. Song after song. He would hear this song as he went out and he'd search it off the net and practice it. It was as though he was obsessed. He needed to know all the songs he could learn. He needed to become the best. That was what ran through his mind as he picked up Cloud and start playing for hours and hours everyday.
It was of course because of Bell, that he started to appreciate this. Bell would lend him his old guitar books and songs for him to practice. Then they would meet up at the music studio to jam together. Bell plays a song and they both take turns creating a solo or a phrase that would fit the song. He saw that Josh was improving radically. In his career, he never saw someone as motivated as Josh was. It gave him a reason to keep teaching him what he knew.
A few days became a few weeks. Then those few weeks became six months. What would've took a whole year to completely master, Josh did it in that span of time. Nevertheless, Josh would still keep up his routine. Hours of guitar playing as well as listening to different songs. He would always have a new song to learn everyday. Then he plays his whole playlist of songs again and again. He'd create different arrangements of the blues pieces he learned. Josh practiced his techniques everyday. And that routine went on and on.
After that short year playing and learning with Bell, he was able to play toe to toe with Bell. It was really impressive for someone to learn that quickly. Maybe it was his hard work, Bell told himself but he knew it wasn't just that. Josh was a natural musician. "Josh! I want you to meet someone." Bell told Josh as they were about to finish their jam session. "He's my mentor. He taught me everything I know and he's still improving. He even taught me about the Fusion they do at The Cave.". Hearing that got Josh excited. He wanted to learn more. He wanted to know more on how to improve his skill. Little did he know that he was almost at the level of Bell.
They took a bus to the next city. It took four hours just to get there and they kept talking about what more to learn. Bell shared his experiences playing on stage in The Cave. He told Josh that it was an experience like no other. The rush you get when you get up on stage. The eyes of the audience watching your every move. The first note that comes out of your instrument. Everything was a high on that stage. They arrived at this small house. The paint was faded. The grass on the lawn was tall. It wasn't tended well. They went in and Bell saw his mentor fixing up some tea. "So, you still love tea." he told the man. "Bell! My man. Come on in, have a seat. I thought you'd be arriving a bit later so I didn't really have time to fix up. Just make yourself at home.". His name was Al. He used to play a lot in The Cave. He decided to stop and just live a normal life. He stopped because he wanted to travel. Because of his earning at The Cave, he was actually able to do that. He's visited several countries. Played at some live shows. He even got a guitar named after him. Josh had to ask why he lived in a small house. Al just said he didn't want the attention. Sure he had enough money to live and keep traveling but he didn't want to spend it on useless junk he said.
"So I hear you wanna play at The Cave." Al looked at Josh. He gave him a guitar and plugged it in his amplifier. "I'm guessing Bell here taught you some of my tricks. Why don't you show me?". Both of them started to play. Al started with a simple blues progression and Josh followed. He showcased everything he learned from Bell. Techniques. Music Theories. Everything. Then Al played. Josh was blown away. Just that few minutes of listening to his music immediately widened the gap. Josh looked at Al and he saw the years and years of practice he had to do to achieve his level.
Al stopped. He set down his guitar and he said, "Josh right?. You have the skill. I think you're ready to learn more about The Cave. About Fusion."