#1
Hi. I want to be a studio musician. I'm 16 years old play guitar, piano, and violin, and dabbled in cello, saxaphone, and clarinet. For now we'll focus on guitar since this is a guitar site. I've played for almost 3 years now and decided that I want to be a musician for a living. What do I need to do? Any advice for working towards becoming a musician would be great. I would like a bit more advice than practice your ass off though. Also, any resources, books, websites, or lessons, on anything music would be great. Theory, composition, playing, technique, everthing. Thanks.
#3
Some sort of musical education, like Berklee's College of Music, maybe?
#5
Take guitar lessons to brush up on your technique

Learns loads of songs

Learn to read music

Start a band

Play Gigs

Write/record your own songs

Train your ear until you can all chromatic intervals, ascending and descending
#6
Many more years of playing bro, I play all of those and then some (only 15 suck it) and I've been playing for longer and I know I need a lot more.
Quote by JD Close
Piano dick had some good parts, but should have said "As the business man slowly gets boned", would have accented the whole dick feeling of the album
#7
So, you want to be a studio musician? I'll give you some solid advice without the attitude.

You need to be the jack of all trades with the guitar. You need to be able to play all styles and play them very well. You also need to be able to read standard notation. You need to be able to get the feel of a song and produce results in one or two takes. In other words, you need to be at the top of your game. Studio musicians are some of the best of the best.

A musical degree/education isn't a bad thing here and will help quite a bit.
#8
This is a field that I would like to get into aswell and Ill share what Ive learned from lurking in these forums and reading magazines;

It was recommended by someone on this forum (sean) that someone wanting to learn about becoming a session guitarist should read everything this guy has written;

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tommy-Tedesco-Confessions-Guitar-Player/dp/0931759714/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I713ODNMFIY1Q&colid=2NESOGSW5NWQL

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tommy-Tedesco-Guitar-Players-Only/dp/0739053817/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2FVVHYERA8FDJ&colid=2NESOGSW5NWQL

I havent bought any of those yet so cant recommend them, but Im gonna get them. It couldnt hurt to look at the styles of and get advice and lessons from other really big names in the session business. Look for DVDs, articles and biographies of guys like Steve Lukather, Carl Verheyen, Steve Cropper etc.

Learn how to play in time really well and learn how to read music really well. Be willing to play music that you wouldnt listen to (eg Justin Bieber Pop music). Learn to play lots of songs live - being in a covers/function/wedding band should get you used to playing lots of popular tunes in different styles, and Im sure that in your fantasy of being a session musician you play gigs at night.

Learn how to convincingly play in many styles (jack of all trades) OR specialise in one specific style and try to become the go-to guy for your chosen style.

edit; found this http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/general_music/being_a_session_guitarist.html
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
Last edited by Hydra150 at Oct 11, 2011,
#9
Okay. Thanks for all the advice, it's all great. Does anyone have any links to help me with guitar techniques and styles? I take lessons but that's only once a week. And yes, I know this website is a good resource, so please don't recommend it; I am already very aware of this website. I'm mostly into playing blues and classic rock so I don't have much experience playing styles such as country or hip hop. And I don't really know where to start to learn how to play those. Free and inexpensive resources are good, my parents don't suppor this career path so I doubt they'd be willing to buy a couple hundred dollar guitar lesson program/book.
#10
Scour the youtubes for free guitar lessons.

Find out the names of DVDs and tapes (from hotlicks, lick library, that kinda thing) and see if you can find torrents for them (thepiratebay could prove useful).

If you could spend money this would be easier, the website truefire would be worth a look if you had some money. And Amazon, I get most of my books off there, often second hand and for cheap.

Work out what specific style or technique you wanna learn (dont set vaugue goals, be specific about what you want to learn) and do some research into pioneers of that technique/genre and find out if there are any videos by that person or based on the style of that person.

But really the most important advice here is to research and find out who is best to learn off of and study that person.

For example, if you wanna get the 60s memphis soul sound then you should buy a Stax records compilation CD and get the sound into your head. Then you should work out what the guitarist (Steve Cropper btw) is doing by ear - work out the chord progression and what kinda voicing/position he is playing and how he is attacking the notes to get that sound. Work out his solos and intros by ear and pay attention to things he will do often as part of that style (eg harmonising melodies in 6ths). Use videos of him playing to see more clearly and find software to slow down audio if you have to.


And ask your teacher for help, thats why you are paying him.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
Last edited by Hydra150 at Oct 12, 2011,
#11
I think one thing that is overlooked by users on this board seeking "session musician" advice is that you need an open mind to music to start with.

What this means is that if you would refuse to learn Justin Bieber or Katy Perry now, you're better off looking at some other career.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#12
Quote by KG6_Steven
You need to be able to get the feel of a song and produce results in one or two takes.

TS, you get one rehearsal....and that's the performance. If you can afford to spend a little, buy Music Reading for Guitar by David Oaks.
Last edited by mdc at Oct 12, 2011,
#13
Thats excellent that you want to be a professional musician

Here are my suggestions:

Step 1 - Know exactly what you want.

Step 2 - Buy, read and study Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

Step3 - Find a mentor. Someone who is doing what you want to become

Step 4 - Do not take advice from well-meaning friends or relatives who have not been, or are not in the music industry.

Step 5 - Take, persistent, consistent focused action everyday toward the attainment of your goal.

Step 6 - Always keep, and have, an unwaivering belief and faith in your talents and abilities

Step 7 - Never rely on or believe "luck" will get you there - NEVER!

These will help you to start in the right direction. At the end of the day its not about being the fastest player or what have you, its all about being the right person.
Commit to Mastery!


Allen Hopgood
#14
Way too much "studying" has been mentioned here. Get practicing man, dont imitate other guitarists there is no point - they'll just book the guy who can already do it.
Play along to a load of records, what i do is put spotify radio on and select all the genres from all the eras - that way each song is different and you pick up styles very quickly.
But yeah, you'll waste pointless hours "watching" and "studying", pick the guitar up and jam all day to stuff.

However, you will need the very best sight reading ability of standard notation which will require lots of "study" good luck.
Always waiting for that bit of inspiration.
#15
studio musician may mean different things to different people...

find all you can about: howard roberts, tommy tedesco, larry carlton, george benson

much of the success in the studio is in your head..an attitude and confidence..your also a businessperson on top of all else..yes the study of all styles of music and how to sightread is a must.sight reading study is intense..reading a piece in the key of C but playing it in G etc..(this is extream but it happened on one session i did..they changed the key on the spot)

also learn as many fretboard instruments as you can .. banjo, lute etc..(tune them like a guitar makes it easier to transition)

play as many TV ad jingles as you can..then play it in all keys in all positions on the neck..
this should keep you busy for a few months,,,

there are many other aspects that go into it...but you are developing a craft onto itself..its like the olympics of musicians...

one thing beyond all else...be likeable...you can be the best player..but if your attitude preceeds you..your phone wont ring,,,

play well

wolf
#16
To be honest, you'd be wise to get some sort of performance degree. Most of the things people are telling you to do would be forced upon you in music school, which would help you not to leave anything out. For example, you might end up learning to sight read if you practiced a lot, but you likely wouldn't get really good at it unless you went to school and were forced to sight read countless pieces of increasing difficulty with an instructor breathing down your neck. Plus, although I admit I don't know the actual process of getting hired with a studio, I'm quite sure that being able to pull out a degree and show it to your potential employer would be of some help. Nobody assumes anyone's good at anything these days unless they have a little piece of paper proving they are. It's ridiculous, but that's the way the world works.
#17
Late studio ace Tommy Tedesco wrote a monthly studio-musician column in Guitar Player magazine for years. If you can find these back issues in your library, they all have lots of invaluable information and musical examples from each recording date.
He also has a book:
http://www.amazon.com/Tommy-Tedesco-Confessions-Guitar-Player/dp/0931759714/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1318433933&sr=8-1
which is mostly an autobiography but according to Amazon contains plenty of information on the business of being a studio guitarist.
#18
Quote by Hydra150
Be willing to play music that you wouldnt listen to (eg Justin Bieber Pop music).


Quote by AlanHB
I think one thing that is overlooked by users on this board seeking "session musician" advice is that you need an open mind to music to start with.

What this means is that if you would refuse to learn Justin Bieber or Katy Perry now, you're better off looking at some other career.


Quote by Hydra150
It was recommended by someone on this forum (sean) that someone wanting to learn about becoming a session guitarist should read everything this guy has written; http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tommy-Tedesco-Confessions-Guitar-Player/dp/0931759714/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I713ODNMFIY1Q&colid=2NESOGSW5NWQL


Quote by Bikewer
Late studio ace Tommy Tedesco wrote a monthly studio-musician column in Guitar Player magazine for years. If you can find these back issues in your library, they all have lots of invaluable information and musical examples from each recording date.
He also has a book:
http://www.amazon.com/Tommy-Tedesco-Confessions-Guitar-Player/dp/0931759714/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1318433933&sr=8-1



But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
#20
well you have found the correct forum. you will learn the most on this one. be humble and it will keep people from acting like elitest assholes. a lot of patrons to this forum know their stuff when it comes to theory. look into any forum that involves theory questions and read all the threads on the music theory archive forum.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=74

http://www.musictheory.net/

these are two great resources to get you started.

just start taking the lessons on the site. they are free^^
Blues, classical, metal. Who says you cant love all 3?
Last edited by ThatDarnDavid at Oct 12, 2011,
#21
Quote by Hydra150


All praise hydra, the smartest of us all!

^^^^
There ya go mate, feeling better now little man?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#22
A wee bit

Perhaps I should stick that in my sig to keep my self esteem up
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
Last edited by Hydra150 at Oct 12, 2011,
#24
Then it shall be done
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
#25
Quote by Hydra150
Then it shall be done


I knew we could sort out our differences with minimal bloodshed.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#26
You didn't have to get rid of the rest of your sig, did you? You had another quote of praise and your gear, shouldn't have been over 250 characters.

On a serious note, to be a session musician you have to be open to playing and analyzing any and every style of music. Your versatility is the reason they would hire you, so if you have a narrow mindset of what you will play and learn, your not going to be able to find work.

You also need to be able to sightread something almost instantly, and you should be able to look at any chord name and find a reasonable voicing just as quickly.
#27
Nah, but nobody cares about what guitars I have and having praise in my sig is slightly less narcissistic if it was said sarcastically.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
Last edited by Hydra150 at Oct 12, 2011,
#28
Okay. I think I'll try to get Tommy Tedesco's autobiography, sounds like an interesting book. Should I just focus on guitar? I play piano and violin too. Is being amazing at one thing better than good at 3 things?