I kinda work as my own producer, often cutting bits I previously thought were my best lick/riff etc yet and seeing how the work is without them. Sometimes its a great deal better. To add to that I try changing instruments, like playing the chords on the piano instead of guitar, or trying that melody on the Cello instead of cranking up the gain and blasting it out on my LP. I love orchestras and if I had a synth that kinda sound would certainly contribute.
Another approach I've started to play with is to think of which player(s) I sound like once I've recorded something I've written. Like the other day I came up with a small guitar brake in an instrumental I called 'Arizona Skys' and when I played it back I thought 'Hey, that sounds like Eric Johnson!' (Not that I'm that good, it just made me think of his style) So I played some EJ CDs for a bit and tried to think how he might have developed that little brake I wrote. That approach doesnt always work but it can be fun.
'There's no such thing as bad weather, there's only the wrong clothes...'