Every musician/band needs to find a niche sound that brands them. Some of that sound comes naturally – there is only so much you can do with your voice to change it, and the way each individual plays guitar is as unique as a fingerprint. There is a lot, however, that waits to be discovered.
First, is identifying which sounds you like. A lot of this is done by taking a look at your favorite artists. Some of it is done by experimentation. Some of it is influence by friends who are other musicians. Whatever your source of inspiration is for this remember – the key is to find something that is uniquely you, not to copy what someone else has already done. That being said, looking to others is a great place to start identifying styles you like.
Working in the studio for my EP has expanded my sound a lot. I’ve discovered guitar effects and other instruments I like. Recently, I’ve been a fan of tremolo and reverb on certain parts of songs. I also discovered the cinematic nature of a melatron, and the effect it can have on songs. Working with a producer has been flat out key for me to expand my sound. I can show him what I like, what I don’t, and he’s able to provide me with a lot of instantaneous knowledge about what I’m looking for.
What I’m currently in the works of (while still developing my EP) is figuring how I want my live music to sound. I know I can’t replicate exactly what I do in the studio, but I would love for my live music to at least have the same vibe. I’m about to buy my first guitar pedal (eek!) to start experimenting with this more.
What’s your story as to how you discovered your sound? I’d love to hear your thoughts.