As guitarists, it's all too easy to lose sight of the big musical picture in our preoccupation with our own instrument.
This preoccupation often leads to over-playing and busyness in the guitar parts we create.
Here's the solution: THINK LIKE A PRODUCER.
To put it another way: stop thinking like a guitarist.
The producer is the visionary behind the song. His decisions on groove, instrumentation, arrangement, etc. are all made to best serve the song.
The producer does not care so much about chops, using every effect on your pedalboard, filling up every section of the song with guitars, etc.
If you learn to think like a producer it will inevitably change the way you play guitar. More than likely, you'll play less, but you'll play more thoughtful parts. Each note will carry more weight.
If you're not sure where to start in your journey towards thinking like a producer, start listening to great recordings. Take notes on (or transcribe) the guitar parts. Listen to a wide variety of styles and genres. The guitarist has vastly different roles depending on the style, and what works in one style won't necessarily work in another.
Like anything else worthwhile, this process takes time. Be patient and keep your ears open.
The growth that you'll experience as a musician is more than worth the effort.
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