Get to Know: Baris Benice
JTC is a bit of an exclusive club. Our artists set very, very high standards and it is a hard roster to get onto. The even more exclusive club is made up of those who have contacted us in order to get onto that roster. Baris Benice is its latest member.
His JTC debut, 20 Uncaged Rock Licks, is a fantastic tool for anyone looking to break out of restrictive shapes, and is also just a small snapshot into his crazy melodic talents.
So to tell you more, here’s the man himself.
How would you describe yourself as a player?
I call my playing “unpredictable”. In the past, I tried to push myself into the opposite direction of what my fingers tend to do. So, my playing evolved in this way.
I love the catchy melodies. So, you can hear that kind of melodic focus in my solos or improvisations. When I write a solo I don’t try to write the hardest thing. Yes, I know that we all practice a lot to be able to play advanced techniques but I always know that I don’t have to use all of them. I prefer to use these techniques to make my expressions stronger.
And I’m not easily satisfied with my melodies when I create them. I always think about what I can do differently.
You are our first Turkish artist! Has your heritage inspired you as a player at all?
Well, Not so much. But yeah! There are many people from different cultures in my country. So, it evolves our musicians' taste. But I grew up listening to western music mostly and Turkish culture didn't affect my playing style so much. I don't know if it is a good thing or not actually! Sometimes I can hear some melodies in my head which do not belong to western culture, but it's just a feeling.
How did the idea for this release come about?
In the early days, I was having a lot of trouble playing in only one shape. It was one of my biggest problems when I was trying to improvise. I had only one way to create each melody that I built. I mean, I got stuck with the box shapes. So, I decided to develop my own approaches to break out of those boxes. At first, I tried to play basic pentatonic shapes diagonally instead of vertically. Then I played those phrases with different rhythmic variations. And it started to turn into more aesthetic expressions. With some music theory, I applied this approach to different musical scenarios and it became more fluent and unpredictable.. So, I thought that it would be great to share these ideas with a lick package.
What for you is the biggest takeaway from the pack?
I want people to start thinking about how important moving around the guitar neck is to create some unpredictable melodies. We all focus on music theory to develop our phrases. Of course, it’s necessary to know what you can do to express your musicality. But besides this, we have to know there are how many ways to play that same melody on the fretboard. In this way, we can build different futures for our improvisations.
Many players still don’t notice that our brain knows what our fingers cannot do. So, if we can install some new ways to our muscle memory our brain will notice that update. With this approach, we will be able to play what we exactly feel or think.
What was your set up for this release?
It’s my Schecter Silver Mountain guitar. Actually, it’s a new one but I loved how it sounds. And I used my Schecter Apocalypse Red Reign seven-string guitar for slow demonstrations.
They’re directly going into Neural DSP Archetype: Nolly plugin. Aside from that I’m using a wah-wah pedal. That’s pretty much it.
Who is your favorite JTC artist?
It’s really hard to choose only one, there are so many great players at JTC. Guthrie Govan, Andy James, Kiko Loureiro, Alex Hutchings, Martin Miller, Roy Ziv, Claudio Pietronik, and so on. Each one has a unique playing style and I really enjoy listening to their works.
Any ideas for the next JTC release?
I love to use the whammy bar to create melodies. So maybe it would be a great concept. Besides that, I’m recording my debut album these days. So, it would be great to share any of my songs with the “Learn to Play” concept.
And it would be great to do something with other players at JTC!
Check out the release
Huge thanks to Baris for taking the time to talk to us. Make sure you check out his JTC debut. More info below!