I began copying lead-breaks by listening to rock/blues guitarists I was drawn to, back in high school. I played along vinyl recordings over and over again until I got it right. Sometimes I would lift the phonograph needle back to a certain difficult segment and just about wear-out those vinyl grooves, haha. I never gave timing a single thought for some reason. My focus was always on nuance - how melodies or phrases were expressed and the impact that had on how I feel. I wanted to capture the delivery at an emotional level, and didn't think about the notes or the timing as much. When a lead solo in a slow ballad felt so good that it hurt, I would gauge my rendition by judging if it hurt just as bad to listen to. Many years later (having developed my own style) in a recording studio, the technician commented that my 'timing' was all over the place and insisted that I play the notes only ON the beat. The part I was doing was a lead-break, and the end result sounded wooden and sterile - but technically correct. It was then that I realised that many of the great lead-guitar players were masters of 'breaking the rules,' but they did this tastefully without falling off the train tracks. .