The times are changing.
Forty years ago, we didn't have the internet as we know it. There wasn't any YouTube, Ultimate Guitar, Premier Guitar Rig Rundowns or Jam Track Central. If you wanted to learn a song, you had to go to the record store and buy it, take it home and figure it out. If you wanted to learn a style of playing, you better have hoped there was a teacher in your area who knew it well. If you wanted to see what kind of gear someone was using, you had to buy tickets to their concert, wait for the date to arrive, go to the concert, and hope that you could get close enough to see or talk to them.
Now, everything is at our fingertips. Guitar players today have access to a wealth of information more quickly and accurate than they ever have had before. They can communicate faster, easier, and more affordably than before. They can access video footage of stars themselves talking about a variety of common topics, without setting a foot outside of St. Paul. These are the times of the super educated guitar player.
What Does This Mean?
More competition, less excuses.
Guitar players are more skilled at younger ages than before. The only difference really is having more information quicker, and technology to make things easier. The players that will get ahead are going to be the ones that develop effective systems for information management, disciplined practice routines, focused goals, and working smarder. Yes, smarder. Smarter AND harder. If you examine all of these characteristics, you'll notice that they are very A-type traits...historically not often found in artists. But there are some that have it, and they are few and far between.