This is actually pretty simple and something I’ve been doing a lot lately.
Let me explain.
What I mean is do something that breaks your norms or usual habits. For example, I play with a pick some times.
Not a lot, but I’d say on some gigs as much as 20%.
Now, I’m not crazy proficient at it, but good enough to do it effectively. So what I did on the last few gigs, was use a pick better than 75% of the night.
It pulled me out of normal habits and “go to” licks and lines I would be very comfortable pulling off finger style, and made me, work more and “play” less ( don’t get me started on the “Less is more” way of thinking…..that’s another topic).
If you gig affords you to be able to switch up, then do so.
If you have a few tunes where you would slap on, try playing those exact rhythms finger style. Or with a pick.
Conversely, and only if it fits in the context of the song, use you thumb. Or use it in a muting style by resting your palm on the bridge slightly muting the strings.
A great song example I’ve been focusing my pick sound off of is “Lunch With Gina” by Steely Dan.
Great groove and killer tone.
Lunch With Gina – Steely Dan
The idea is to make you think differently, because you can’t fall back on the stuff that is comfortable.
There are tons of ways to do this and I suggest doing one for at least a week. And when you do return to your normal way of playing, for a little bit those norms are going to be a bit difficult. Which makes you again, rethink how you approach your playing.
And sorry for not keeping up with posts!