playing well out of the comfort zone

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ClarkyClarky Frets: 2996
edited September 18 in Technique
note sure if this is a making music thing or a technique thing..
I'm guessing a bit of both...
so here goes...

we all have our native styles.. places where we are really comfy to play and write
those of you that know me will know that as a guitarist I'm most happy riffing and shredding
rock and metal from the old stuff to the new.. the shreddy Van Halen / Satch / Vai / neo-classical Malmsteeny style..
and of course my main guitar job is prog rock.. 
those of you that know me really well would know that I adore funk and blues too

as a writer composer I'll work in all the styles above plus my other main music job is movie trailer  / media music composition..
this is mostly hybrid orchestral / choral stuff with synths and huge drums..
these guys do occasionally take me away from the orchestral stuff though..
not so long ago I have to do a rock car chase thing [which was a major home game] and also quite recently I did an authentic swamp blues thing for them [which was pure joy for me]

the trailer / media music house I work for called today and threw in a proper curve ball..
Rockabilly.. I have never played this before.. not even for fun..
even better... they want 3 pieces by Nov 19th [which is fkn nuts]

so.. I have to learn a style well enough to compose it and play it pretty convincingly..
and it is seriously out of the ol' comfy zone in every sense
it's a major away game for me

do you guys spend much time out of the comfort zone??

play every note as if it were your first
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  • My main style is rock and pop, and metalcore I'd say. That's what I'm known for. BUT it doesn't mean I can't do blues, funk, jazz or fingerstyle. I wouldn't say I'm a master at some of those styles but I could probably do a job on a session as I know enough about the style, technique and equipment I need. I think its good my time at ACM 10 years back pushed me into different styles and ones I wasn't completely fluent in or would listen to. It forced me to think about what the role of the guitar was within that style as they won't be all the same.
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  • Do it pay well?
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  • Depends who you go with and the gig itself.
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  • blobbblobb Frets: 873
    Yeah, prog stuff for me too but I always try to push myself by developing my folk style. Love the harmony and finger picking side of it but I've just started exploring open folk tunings. Completely out of my depth at the moment but you know, close your eyes and have faith and it's surprising how quickly you get where you want to go. I also bought a violin recently. An electric one. With five strings. I've no idea how it works but it's got flashy lights on it, that's good enough to start with. Life get's boring if all you play is the Om riff. 
    Feelin' Reelin' & Squeelin'
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  • Also playing other instruments will help with the overall understanding of music. I sometimes fill in for a mate's band on bass in a metalcore band, essentially the parts are similar to the rhythm guitar but the actual role is to connect the rhythm and harmony so you just gotta hold the groove and stay tight. I've noticed its not just a "poor man's guitar playing" style its actually a really important instrument in the band!
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  • KitsuneKitsune Frets: 223
    I think I listen to too much Keiji Haino to have developed a comfort zone now. Very inspiring to hear something so different done with the same instrument. Really challenging.
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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2996
    My main style is rock and pop, and metalcore I'd say. That's what I'm known for. BUT it doesn't mean I can't do blues, funk, jazz or fingerstyle. I wouldn't say I'm a master at some of those styles but I could probably do a job on a session as I know enough about the style, technique and equipment I need. I think its good my time at ACM 10 years back pushed me into different styles and ones I wasn't completely fluent in or would listen to. It forced me to think about what the role of the guitar was within that style as they won't be all the same.
    I guess the good thing about the ACM is the exposure to other styles.. and I guess teaching you how to teach yourself by listening and trying things out..

    kinda where I'm at right now with the Rockabilly stuff is listening to lots of reference material and noodling on a guitar..
    I've worked out the tones [amp / cab choices sorted] and config'd them in the Axe-FX
    I'm almost ready to start writing I think
    play every note as if it were your first
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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2996

    blobb said:
    Yeah, prog stuff for me too but I always try to push myself by developing my folk style. Love the harmony and finger picking side of it but I've just started exploring open folk tunings. Completely out of my depth at the moment but you know, close your eyes and have faith and it's surprising how quickly you get where you want to go. I also bought a violin recently. An electric one. With five strings. I've no idea how it works but it's got flashy lights on it, that's good enough to start with. Life get's boring if all you play is the Om riff. 
    one of the great things about prog I think is it's breadth..
    prog tends to borrow hugely from other places and then place this stuff in it's own proggy little world..
    so you'll hear classical [ELP], jazz [Trace], blues [Floyd], metal [loooods of bands including us lot in places], funk [sort of but mostly coming from the drummers], folk [Tull], country [Yes in the 70's], pop [later Genesis] and all sorts more..
    and then it has it's own peculiar ways..

    as a prog player myself I've always though of prog as being a sort of pot that everything else gets bunged into
    and then it's over cooked into something unfashionable.. lol
    play every note as if it were your first
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  • merlinmerlin Frets: 1400
    Lap steel is a recent thing and just about to invest in a pedal steel so yes, I like going out of my comfort zone. Keeps me alive! 
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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2996

    Kitsune said:
    I think I listen to too much Keiji Haino to have developed a comfort zone now. Very inspiring to hear something so different done with the same instrument. Really challenging.
    I've always enjoyed learning pieces on guitar written for other instruments..
    I mostly did this with Baroque and Classical pieces for cello, harpsichord, church organ, violin etc..
    it's like solving a puzzle and forces you to invent new ways of doing things..
    I learned a lot from this
    play every note as if it were your first
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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2996
    merlin said:
    Lap steel is a recent thing and just about to invest in a pedal steel so yes, I like going out of my comfort zone. Keeps me alive! 
    my thing like this was 5-string bluegrass banjo
    soooooo much fun.. and I am absolutely shite at it..
    but it really makes me smile
    play every note as if it were your first
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  • I am a simple guitarist who plays bass in bands because there are too many guitarists out there better than me. I like root notes and fills. I got a gig playing in cover bands and am out of my comfort zone most of the time. But getting more comfortable as I get better.
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  • sweepysweepy Frets: 1857
    I go through Fits and Starts of learning Jazz Standards then get distracted, bloody annoying but as you get older and have kids and a seriously ill Wife, that tends to happen 

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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2996
    sweepy said:
    I go through Fits and Starts of learning Jazz Standards then get distracted, bloody annoying but as you get older and have kids and a seriously ill Wife, that tends to happen 

    ah yes... priorities.. 
    I imagine it makes that bit of guitar time quite valuable..

    hope your wife is ok...
    play every note as if it were your first
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  • DominicDominic Frets: 3692
    Sometimes I play a Tele or a Strat .........totally out of my comfort zone as the clean single coils expose all your bum notes, fret buzz and misses !
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  • DominicDominic Frets: 3692
    ps .........do you wanna buy some slapback ?
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