I know many great players that just don't have the muse in them. Some can technically play their asses off but couldn't write a great lyric or melody line if their life depended on it. You set a canvas, some paint and brushes in front of 100 people and tell them all to create the coolest picture they can come up with on their own. A small percentage will come up with a cool idea and crank out an awesome creation ...many other not so much.
Just because you can master an instrument does not mean you can write songs.
When I was young I wanted absolutely NOTHING to do with being in a "Top 40" cover band. I wanted to be original or nothing and was lucky enough to be one of those that get mused. Melodies, Lyric lines just show up or accidentally happen. Early on I discovered many just don't get this gift. How do you do that? Hell if I know, I don't do anything they just come.
Truth is I did learn by ear how to somewhat myna bird my favorite song writers. That was the crawling part of the process of developing my songwriting craft. For certain their styles and methods helped me grow my own style.
So though we did "cover" a few songs when I was rocking back in the day 90% was original.
Went at it hard in my 20's and never "made it". Put the rock star dreams to bed and went on with life raising my family. Always kept playing the piano but rarely playing out with a band. Was invited into a church band in my 50's and all of a sudden there I was playing top 40 church music.... HUH? Man it was tough learning all those complicated songs by ear.... Did that for a few years then that band disbanded. Back to my old ways but with a better ear for figuring out tough tunes. Then some old buds from high school hit me up to Join "Back In The Daze". Oh shit do I really wanna playing in a cover band? Well the kids were out of the house by then and all I was doing was playing in my back room, I'll give it a try. Turns out they were all really good players and the leader had some rockin originals...TBH I had a blast..That lasted about 5 years and then just kind of fizzled out... flash forward to today...I"m playing in a country band WTF? Kick ass players, I replaced a prodigy keyboardist that I just do my best to kind of emulate and we play some cool gigs.
Over the last 45 years every once in a while my brother Dave Macias and I get together and jam... The video below is a jam where the guy that put Macias and I together was dying of cancer and asked if we would do a jam for he and his friends...The Drummer and Bass player had played with dave in a...cover band. I had never played this song in my life, no practice, no rehearsal just show up and jam.... He starts this one up tells me what key and off we go...this is about 11 years ago... I am biased because I have been there when the magic happens but getting to work and play with this 6 string gun slinger in my life has been a treat...boy can make some crazy good noise with that stratoblaster at @ 2:50 get an idea of who this crazy cool cat is.......Holy Moses....He just makes this shit up on the fly...