The primary takeaway from this conversation are creative ways for how guitar players can get out of a rut. Whether you are lacking creativity or have become overly dependent on muscle memory in your playing, Steve Lukather and Steve Morse offer some creative ways to get out of a rut.
For young musicians, know where your money is going, know how to manage the “business” side of music. Be aware of what things cost. Learn this lesson early.
Breaking out of a rut: get creative
Apply mechanical restrictions. For example, if you have a backing track, don’t just solo over it using muscle memory scales. Try to restrict yourself to only playing on the G or D strings, or the E and A strings. Your objective is to escape muscle memory and activate your creativity.
Try changing your tuning. Jump on to acoustic guitar. Play the bass. Play only octaves.
Goal is to play something different, to surprise yourself. Challenge yourself by restricting yourself in creative ways.
Return to being your 2-year old self when you could imagine anything, but fuse it with your adult skills.
Restricting exercise: Play phrases – force yourself to take a pause (like a breath) after every 2 bar phrases.
Listen to different styles of music (especially styles you don’t play). Try to add insights from these styles to your musical vocabulary.