I play piano and guitar (and mandolin, lol), and I’ve been working on Debussy’s Reverie for the piano. It takes me a lot of practice time to learn, and I’m at a point where I just have to play it a lot to smooth out the rough edges.
So I started using different instruments to play with, instead of just keeping it on acoustic piano. I went through a lot of my lead synth, and even experimented with some percussion sounds.
It kept me practicing because it made it much more interesting for me to listen to. In addition, anything I used with a long sustain sounded GREAT because, like I said, there’s rough patches and uneven pauses as my hands learn the piece. It was nice to hear the music sound beautiful, even though I’m still playing it roughly when I play it on acoustic piano.
Music is very forgiving. My guitar teacher used to get exasperated with me because I always over-valued the “hard” way. According to my logic, the hard way must be the better way. He showed me something easy once and I said, “but that’s cheating.”
“THERE’S NO CHEATING IN MUSIC,” he said.
I try to take this attitude into recording– I’m a big fan of melody tracks, for example. Of course, musicians should rehearse and work on their craft, but I believe that I am there to use all my tools to make you sound good.