#5
I think the expectation for session guitarists is set pretty high. You are supposed to be very adaptable, being able to play many styles of music, and well. I once heard an interview with a long-time session guitarist for the Stones, and he was saying how the bar is set pretty high for that occupation.
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#7
Really, really good.

If you have to ask, you should probably give up.

or go practice. either way, stoopid thread.
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#8
[quote="'-[NiL"]-']Clever use of a meme.
The guy's a beast, but he uses 8s. So he's shit.
-juckfush on Alex Hutchings.
Last edited by VeilOfMaya at Sep 2, 2010,
#10
I find session musicians to generally be the worst personality type of all musicians. Obviously not all, but if you compare the guy who plays in your local blues pub to a session pub: the session guy reeks of smug and the blues guy will be intensely happy. I've noticed this with many different musicians.
#11
if yngwie malmsteen was in the studio and was having an off day, a session guitarist would have to fill in for him. that's how good you have to be, man. better than yngwie.
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#12
Quote by StewieSwan
Knowing basic English is probably a good start.

Very much this.

Basically:

- You need to be good. You need to have pretty much flawless technical chops, but you also need the emotional content to back it up.

- You need, and I mean need, to keep an open mind, because a session player will only make money so long as artists are willing to hire them. And what kind of artists will hire you, you might ask? Everyone. And I mean everyone. From pop artists like Britney Spears to rappers like Kanye to rock solo artist's bands to jazz-fusion bands to classical guitar ensembles to god-knows-what. And if you turn down a lot of jobs because they're "not your genre", you get a bad reputation and not many artists are likely to hire you. You've gotta accept every job you're offered, no matter how much you hate the genre of music you're playing.

- You need pretty excellent people skills, but this is pretty true of anyone looking to join any band. Needless to say, though, you need it even more as a session musician, considering the fact that you're always going to be paying lip service to a different artist every other month.

- And on that note, don't expect to ever write anything yourself. You're going to basically be playing things that other people, be it the artist themselves or their producer or an outside songwriter, has written. Chances are slim to nil that you're going to get to put on your songwriting cap as a session guitarist, and you've gotta understand and accept that.
Q: Favourite Pink Floyd song?
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#13
Edit: ^Also what he said.

Quote by vIsIbleNoIsE
if yngwie malmsteen was in the studio and was having an off day, a session guitarist would have to fill in for him. that's how good you have to be, man. better than yngwie.


Actually, since his music is mainly guitar-oriented instrumentals, and he's the artist, he'd just come back another day. That'd be like having a session singer fill in for a singer-songwriter.

Anyway, insert philosoraptor +1 here, as well as witty quip about how this same thread was posted yesterday. In the off chance you were serious though, copypasta time;

1. Keep time. Nothing is worse than being out of time.

2. Have a good ear. After being out of time, this is the worst thing that can happen; A session musician asked to come up with something(Yes that happens. If Steve Lukather and Larry Carlton both say it happens, it happens), who can't come up with something on the spot. This means you need to be able to improvise, and by that I don't mean a quick scale run. I mean be able to have someone say "I want a peppy, upbeat reggae riff to this time signature" and you can do it within five minutes.

3. Be a chameleon. A session man has to cover more than one genre. Take Steve Lukather for example. From Jazz to pop to rock to metal to funk and everything in-between, the man's done it. Phil X is another one; He's done pop work, and then he's done Rob Zombie. You have to be able to do everything and do it well. Sure, you can be kind of okay in genres you're not uncomfortable with if they have a better guy for it; if they have Danny Gatton reincarnated, you're not getting the call for a country spot unless asked for specifically unless he's sick, but in the event he comes down with the flu on the day Brad Paisley walks in and wants someone to have some head cutting with someone on a song, you still need to be able to hold your own.

4. Going with #3, have a rig that can do everything. If you have a single humbucker superstrat into a modded Marshall with a boost pedal and nothing else, sure, that's great for rock. Hey, this guy who's a high-profile pop artist with a lot of reggae influence just walked in. You're the only guitarist here, and his band's guitarist broke his hand on their last tour, so he needs you. Everyone else brought their rig home for the day, so you're pretty screwed. You can have some one-ended gear, yes, but you need something to cover the iconic bases, you need your strat sounds, your tele sounds, your Woman Tone, your Brown Sound, your cliche AC/DC rock tone, your wah, your fuzz, your overdrive, your delay, etc.

5. Chops. You can't go into the session business without being able to back up your talk. I'm not talking play Yngwie or Jason Becker to make a point. I'm talking if the artist of the day asks for something like that, you can make it up on the spot and it doesn't invoke copyright infringement.

6. Conversely, humility and simplicity. Nine out of ten sessions aren't going to have you trying to shred your ass off. Usually you'll be playing a nice comfy chord progression, and if you're playing a solo, it's usually not going to be a super technical one, it's going to be one that compliments the song. If you're just wanking away, yeah, you'll be on the record, your track is just going to be mixed at -80 dB.

7. Timing. I just say this again because I can't stress this enough; If you can't lock in and make something swing, if you can't keep with the song, if you can't make it groove, you're worthless to the session. As the saying goes, it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing.

8. Read music at least well enough that you can read something and know it in a few minutes(Less than five at absolute most). It's not a requirement, but I'll tell you now that if the other guy can play good enough, even if you're blazing circles around him, if he can read sheet music, and the professional grammy-winning songwriter the artist brought in who writes all their music out in traditional sheet music can hand them something and say "Play this" and they say "Okay" and they hand you it and say "Play this" and you say "I can't read this", you're out of a gig. It'd be like a public speaker who's main duty is giving speeches not being able to read English.

I'm probably missing a lot, but from what I see, read of, and read from a lot of session musicians since I'd love to be one myself, that's the general gist.
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Last edited by necrosis1193 at Sep 2, 2010,
#14
Our posts complement one another perfectly, Necrosis!

You covered more of the technical aspect, and touched on the personal, while I did the opposite.

But I totally agree with everything you said there. You do need to have not only the chops and confidence and humility to play any piece of music an artist throws in front of you, but you need the equipment to do it too.
Q: Favourite Pink Floyd song?
A: The one where they get wicked high and play Emin and A for an hour.
#15
Quote by travislausch
Our posts complement one another perfectly, Necrosis!

You covered more of the technical aspect, and touched on the personal, while I did the opposite.

But I totally agree with everything you said there. You do need to have not only the chops and confidence and humility to play any piece of music an artist throws in front of you, but you need the equipment to do it too.


Always glad to be of service. And yeah, you posted while I was bringing that up, and when I read your post I wanted to edit mine and add about three or four more things. Either way though, everything got covered, so all's well that ends well.
THE FORUM UPDATE KILLED THE GRADIENT STAR

Baltimore Orioles: 2014 AL Eastern Division Champions, 2017: 73-78
Baltimore Ravens: 2012 World Champions, 2017: 2-0
2017 NFL Pick 'Em: 24-7