Practice is key, for sure. The more the better. But when you spent hours trying to learn every note from a song that someone else wrote, what are you learning? Buying sheet music from your favorite artist helps you sound like your favorite artist. If that is your goal in music and you continually practice it, you can acheive that goal. It can also trap you into memorizing those sound patterns long after they are no longer your favorite artist. Influences are a part of music, we all have them from past work in some form or another. There are times that I ask myself "who influenced Kobain"? Obviously he was influenced by others, but why was Nirvana so different and original from anything the world heard before? All of a sudden out with the old and a whole new sound starts. He played the same guitar (upside down) that many had played before, why so different???? Not just one song, but many and influenced others to follow. All forms of Music come from within.