As promised, this week I'd like to move onto a continuation of last week's blog on effects. Previously I discussed some of the most commonly used FX in the studio. This week we are going to look at combining these into what we call a chain.
Hi, gang! Been busy these past few weeks. One session after another. This week I'd thought you'd like to hear about what I've been doing because it may help answer a question I often get asked. The question is: How much theory do I really need to know to be a session player?
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.