My recording schedule has been all over the map for the past few months, so sorry for my absence here on GuitarWorld.com! I've been doing marathon sessions to try and complete all of my current and past obligations. I'm cutting back on my studio work to make time for my own musical projects. I still love session work, but it's good to re-evaluate priorities every once in a while.
When you've "been there" for a person for 100-plus songs spread out over various incarnations of solo and band projects, well, let's just say friendships are born. The session world isn't really about making money through music. It's mainly about relationships — how well can you understand the needs of the artist and help fill the vision they have of their art.
If you're like me, you get nervous before a session. I still do. I've even sought help from professionals. I'm not ashamed of my nerves. We all get them. It's how you use them and deal with them that's important. I don't drink or take drugs. I get by with a few basic skills I've picked up throughout my career. Maybe this will help you relax a bit.
For this demo I chose a Shure SM57. This is a dynamic mic and very common in the music world. I also chose a large diaphragm condenser mic; one of my favorites is the Neumann TLM193. Finally, I went with a ribbon mic, the Royer R-121. I mic'd up a Marshall 1960B cabinet. The head used is a Line 6 DT25. The guitar is a JTV-89.
Many of us are guilty of playing the same pentatonic licks all the time. They might have a certain amount of emotion but very little in terms of creativity. Hear me out. When we just play, we are able to put a ton of feeling in that typical whole step bend from a G to an A on the B string, but how much thought goes into it? None.
I often get asked about what gear I use in the studio. I have addressed this topic in my column in the past. However, a new guitar has been added to the bunch, Combined with my somewhat-new Line 6 Pod HD500 multi-effects processor, it has made my studio life happier than ever! I'm talking about the Line 6 JTV-89 modeling guitar combined with the HD500.
First you will need a time machine! The days of running from studio to studio and doing sessions are not completely over, but they are in the rear-view mirror. And getting further behind. Sure there are guys who still do it, but it is a job that no longer really exists and is as probable to create as becoming a very famous rock star. Fuhgedaboudit!
As a session guy, I never really know what to expect. I have to be prepared to play as many styles as possible. And this week I will definitely have to call upon my experience to make this happen! Here are my thoughts on gear and how to tackle this week in heaven or hell! We'll have to wait and see how it turns out!
Greetings! This week, I pose a question: Who are your favorite guitarists? It's a tricky subject, but since this is a session guitarist blog, and so many people ask me questions about what they need to do, know and own to become a session guitarist, I'm going out on a dangerous limb here. Hopefully, I will not be misunderstood.
This week, I'd like to speak a bit on how we can maintain a sense of self while fulfilling the constant need to make others happy. Every day, I am asked to impersonate another guitarist. This is not as difficult as it sounds. I only have to do it for a few brief measures. However, this daily job requirement can often confuse the session player when it comes time to showcase who you really are. We are not a normal breed.