After recording a second album, you listen to it, and you realize it's indistinguishable from your first. The songs sound too similar for comfort. This can be a frustrating spot to be in for any songwriter as well as for the rest of the band.
Having a unique sound is important. Your sound is what defines you as a musician. But let's face it! Your sound can get boring after an album or two. That's why it's a good idea to reinvent your sound from time to time.
Here are a few ways you can do this:
01. Change your tone. Tone is a large part of your sound. It's almost as important as your technique. A good guitar tone can really improve a song. If you find that your songs sound too similar, try a different tone. Change the settings on the amp both for your clean tones and for your overdrive tones. Customize your guitar. Change the pickups. Or if you have some money to burn, why not buy new gear altogether? It could be a very worthwile investment.
02. Add to your pedalboard. If you are the kind of a guitarist who likes to mess around with effects, then this is a must! Getting new stompboxes can add more new dimensions to your sound. If you don't have the cash, then experiment with the pedals you have. Adjust the settings on them. Chances are you'll discover new, ingenious ways to use those little boxes.
03. Work on your musical approach. Was your last album driven on distortion? Then maybe you should try working on clean riffs for the second album. If you didn't have put any solo's in your old songs, then add some in your newer material. Learn new techniques and integrate them into your playing. As a matter of fact, taking up lessons before writing a new album is not a bad idea! Just make sure you're learning new things and not just reviewing what you already know.
04. Shift to a different genre. Now you shouldn't force yourself to do this. If you hear a new band on the radio and you're really into it, inside you might be longing to shift to a certain genre. There's a really big band in my country who shifted to emo once they got really into Glassjaw. Their new album is a far cry from their first two, but it's just as successful.
Work on these dimensions of your music, and you're sure to come up with a spanking new sound and a whole bunch of songs to show for it! Good luck!