Hi! My name is Travis Darrah. I am an engineering student with a passion for music and guitar. I write and record hooks, parts, and solos for demos and projects!
I have been playing live since 2015 and recording on projects since 2019. My playing background consists of contemporary worship, rock, country, and metal music. I recently started to record and play live with Lucky Mays in Albuquerque New Mexico.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
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Interview with Travis Darrah
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Lucky Mays' song Summer Days. I played the double stops in the bridge section and the lead in the solo section. I am proud of the boldness in the melodic simplicity, all while leaving room for different live interpretations.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: My own music!
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Not at this time; I am relatively new to this platform.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I like both! Analog warmth is unbeatable, but digital convenience is fantastic (and better at emulating analog sounds).
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: To provide great stems without opinions attached.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Playing a variety of music.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Can you make this sound? I usually say, "let's try!"
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: My friends think I am a rockstar; I'm not; I just like to play guitar.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What are you looking for in a guitarist and hook writer? What artist is the inspiration coming from on the track you want me to play on.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Have a conversation with the person, see how they jive with you.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Definitely my Suhr Badger 18, Creamback 65 Loaded VHT 1x12, Strymon Flint, G&L USA Legacy, and my PRS USA Starla.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I am an Electrical Engineering student, but I have played guitar since 2014. in 2019 I played for Lucky Mays until I moved to Central Texas in 2022.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Ian Thornly's ferocity, Mateas Assato's double stops, and Alex Lifeson's Chords. Although I have recently dug into Eric Johnson and Steely Dan, those styles are slowly being incorporated into my playing.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Toto! Toto is severely underrated, and I would love to be able to have recorded with them!
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Less bass on guitar tracks! I hear many of my friend's tracks and can't help but notice the overwhelming mushiness in the tune because EVERYTHING is "fat" I try to have a balanced guitar tone with a little bit of bass content.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Pop-Rock and Country!
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Coming up with simple yet effective guitar parts and melodic solos that you could sing too.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Playing that stands out by blending in. I love beautiful upper chordal extensions in music, but I try to disguise them in a track's mix as if the upper extensions are "subliminal" or "implied" to the listener. I play tasteful leads and solos and can adapt my style reasonably quickly.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I listen to a track a couple of times, chart out the chords, and ask questions if necessary. Then, determine modality, improvise parts based on the information I received and produced, then send some polished ideas back to the songwriter.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My setup is relatively simple, but I get great raw tracks that can be EQ-ed to perfection. One Shure sm-57 and one Fathead ribbon mic allow me to capture my two amps' sounds truly. I also have an MX5 for additional textures!
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: RUSH!! Rush is my most significant influence. Alex Lifeson is an incredible guitarist, songwriter, and soloist; his ability to develop guitar parts that produce a lush soundscape for any tune he plays blows my mind. I am a fan of Tim Pierce and Tom Bukovac, and I try to glean any information about session work and playing from these two to truly add to a piece of music.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I come up with guitar parts that add to the overall sound and vibe of songs I record. I track tasteful solos.