If you are serious about your playing, and you are serious about your gear, you will be taken seriously in the studio. When a producer or client sees a guitarist walk in with top gear, an immediate message is sent out. That message is, "I take myself seriously, I take my playing seriously." But shouldn't the studio have everything I need? MAYBE. I wouldn't count on it! Be a hero and be prepared! (Thank you, Boy Scouts of America!) Some of these will be obvious. Others not so much.
Hi, gang! Seventy percent of my time as a session guitarist is spent soloing and/or coming up with parts. These can also be considered mini solos or licks. Or, as we call them from a songwriting POV, hooks. A memorable little snippet that repeats through the song. Or maybe just a part to wake listeners up during the second verse.
Here's something many guitarists are unaware of: We are a special breed these days. And I'm going to tell you why. Guitar is one of the only instruments that keyboard companies and sample library companies have a hard time duplicating in a way that can be played in a believable manner on keyboard.
I've been noticing a trend amongst younger guitarists on YouTube and elsewhere; it's a distinct lack of melody. Speed, blazing technique, sweeps and taps are all fine and incredible and have my deepest respect. I know the hours of practice and dedication it takes to acquire these techniques. But in the studio world, the place where people hire you to play the way THEY want, these styles are rarely used.
This week, I'd like to say a few words about the most commonly used effects in the studio for guitarists. I'd also like to preface this blog with a word of advice: When the idea comes to mind as to which effects should you buy first, or which brand is best, I will answer those immediately: You will need as many effects as you can carry, so buy them when you can.
A while ago, I was asked if I were interested in writing an article, possibly monthly, on technology. I declined. Technology can certainly influence the sound of music. It also can influence the creation of music. But we have choices to make in our lives. A simple left or right turn can alter your future forever.
Have you ever picked up a guitar, plugged it in, and the magic just wasn't there? Maybe it's because the combination wasn't there! A basic rule: Buy the best gear you can afford. Buy the best guitars, the best amps. Then plug them into each other in different combinations and listen. Listen hard. Sometimes I like to believe that when we buy a new guitar, we should also buy an amp it sounds great through! Here's something I've discovered: A Fender Guitar ALWAYS sounds good through a Fender amp.
This week I would like to thank everyone so much for all the emails. It really helps me to understand what I can say here to help you become a better player and become a session player. And remember, you can leave comments right here about this topic or any future topic you have any questions about.
I often get asked what is the best way to train for session work. Of course, you have to be able to sight read, know how to read chord charts, have your gear together, and finally be able to play in various styles. Of course, we can and will go into great details in other blogs, but for now I am going to give you some advice I learned some time ago. Learn cover tunes!
Hi, gang! I'm often asked how much I charge for sessions. I am not going to talk actual dollars and cents; however, I can give you the guidelines I use to earn a FAIR wage. These days, home studios are commonplace. That being said, we all must learn how to negotiate a fee. I do not believe in making the quick buck and charging everyone the same. Why? The economy. I would rather make less than make nothing at all. And there are many varying reasons why we can, and maybe should, use a sliding scale when speaking of payment.