Jonny02
Break my Body
Join date: Apr 2006
302 IQ
#1
Ever since i started playin ive wanted 2 make a career out of playing the guitar ideally as a session player. Just how hard is this to acheive?
sonixon
title and registration
Join date: Jan 2003
3,160 IQ
#2
Depends on how much you want it.

If you just sit around all day jacking off and playing ACDC for like 10 minutes and tell everyone you practice regularly, then it'll be amazingly hard.

But if you actually put effort into it, practice as often as possible, get to know your theory as well as possible, then you're on the fast-track to success.
Erc
UG's ultimate asshole
Join date: Jun 2005
670 IQ
#3
To be a session player (especially studio work) it would ideal to be able to play multiple insturments and you must be good at sight reading music.
mangablade
UG Spammer
Join date: Apr 2005
863 IQ
#4
for session players, be VERSATILE.

if you go to a session knowing only that Honda wants you to make a jingle for them, and when you bring the SZ, the marshall MG, and your digitech death metal pedal just in case, to find that they want a smooth jazz theme, you're screwed.

This applies even more so for session bassists. Going to a session knowing you can slap, tap, play both electric and upright, play with fingers or pick or bow, you're gonna be a lot more prepared than if you can just do fingerstyle on your p-bass.
psychodelia
Defensive Specialist
Join date: Feb 2004
2,298 IQ
#5
Yes, versatility and sight-reading are key. Being able to come up with parts and solos that fit in. I would also practice recording yourself regularly; you want to be able to record in as few takes as possible. The more takes, the more money you cost to tape, the less someone will want to hire you.

A lot of jazz guys I know who gig often for weddings and stuff have footpedals with all their presets. If they need a specific sound, they can just scroll through and find it. This is necessary for gigging when you need a ton of different sounds for covers, I don't know how helpful it'd be in the studio but it's something to look into.
Dan Steinman
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2006
279 IQ
#6
Also, live where the action is. Demand for session musicians is higher in LA, NYC, and Nashville. Do your homework and find a place where you'd be in demand.
UnderTheGroove
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2005
32 IQ
#7
I agree with the comments about being versatile. Be on time. Be reliable. Be an easy person to work with (be able to take direction well). Know when to make suggestions and when to smile and keep your ideas to yourself. Be on time. Be fast at getting good tones and creating interesting guitar parts. Be reliable. Be good at networtking and promoting yourself. Be on time.
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JetRocks
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2004
160 IQ
#8
I read something that said to be a session player or a studio musician you need a music major in college because competition for those jobs is so high.
psychodelia
Defensive Specialist
Join date: Feb 2004
2,298 IQ
#9
Quote by JetRocks
I read something that said to be a session player or a studio musician you need a music major in college because competition for those jobs is so high.


It might help, but a lot of music majors in college will center around classical music. I think a major from Berklee or a similar place would probably be the most helpful.

In all honesty, a major might help, but it will ultimately come down to your skills in the studio, not if you have a diploma. That's what I think.
notoriousnumber
UG Fightmaster
Join date: Oct 2005
1,744 IQ
#10
i say that if you can play some of malmsteens stuff well, and understand what hes using then youre pretty good
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UtBDan
BA of Music Theory
Join date: May 2004
4,563 IQ
#11
Quote by psychodelia
It might help, but a lot of music majors in college will center around classical music. I think a major from Berklee or a similar place would probably be the most helpful.

In all honesty, a major might help, but it will ultimately come down to your skills in the studio, not if you have a diploma. That's what I think.


thats what you think, but thats not what I think.


I think you're going to need a degree in music to get your foot inside of that studio. Maybe from therei t'll be your skills in the studio, but how are you gonna get in? They're just gonna say Hey look, a bassist, let's hire him!? no. You're gonna call and say I have this diploma and would love to have a job there as a studio musician, if you ever have any openings call me, and after a month or two they'll throw one small thing you're way and depending on how well you do that, you'll get more jobs thrown your way.


Yeah.
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Inazone
UE Guitarist
Join date: Mar 2006
10 IQ
#12
Just like any other career, you need experience to get a job...but you need a job to get experience. If you aren't in a position to go to music school, then you need as much "real world experience" as you can get. Most session gigs will be about learning and playing someone else's material, so joining a cover band might be a good start. You'll need to read music but also play by ear, and knowing as much music theory as possible will only help you.

But ultimately, it requires experience, willingness to follow directions, and dedication...just like any job.
UnderTheGroove
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2005
32 IQ
#13
My experience has been that nobody will care if you have a degree or went to music school. They will only care if you can play what they want you to play or if you can create better parts than they can. I'm not saying that going to school for music is not valuable, I'm saying that no one is going to hire you for a session gig because of it. Of course, music school will most likely help you get to the point where you can handle the gig. Refer to my earlier post for other important qualities...
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kirbyrocknroll
UG's Cannons King
Join date: Dec 2005
2,342 IQ
#14
Quote by UtBDan
thats what you think, but thats not what I think.


I think you're going to need a degree in music to get your foot inside of that studio. Maybe from therei t'll be your skills in the studio, but how are you gonna get in? They're just gonna say Hey look, a bassist, let's hire him!? no. You're gonna call and say I have this diploma and would love to have a job there as a studio musician, if you ever have any openings call me, and after a month or two they'll throw one small thing you're way and depending on how well you do that, you'll get more jobs thrown your way.


Yeah.

I agree. Before you get get into that studio, you are going to need to show them how much experience you have and your skill in playing whatever instrument you are playing. You can't just walk in. So I really think that a diploma would help. It'll show them that you are dedicated.

But once you get into the studio, the diploma won't matter. What will matter in the studio is your ability to play.
psychodelia
Defensive Specialist
Join date: Feb 2004
2,298 IQ
#15
Quote by UtBDan
thats what you think, but thats not what I think.


I think you're going to need a degree in music to get your foot inside of that studio. Maybe from therei t'll be your skills in the studio, but how are you gonna get in? They're just gonna say Hey look, a bassist, let's hire him!? no. You're gonna call and say I have this diploma and would love to have a job there as a studio musician, if you ever have any openings call me, and after a month or two they'll throw one small thing you're way and depending on how well you do that, you'll get more jobs thrown your way.


Yeah.


Bah. Well you got me .

That's why I'm on these forums anyway, to learn more.