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Session Guitar: How to Overcome Nerves in the Studio

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.

Session Guitar: Demos of Three Common Studio Microphone Varieties — Large Diaphragm Condenser, Dynamic and Ribbon

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.

Session Guitar: Need to Come Up with a Solo? Put Down the Guitar and Visualize — or Sing — a Solo

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.

Session Guitar: How the Line 6 JTV-89 Guitar and HD500 Multi-Effects Processor Changed My Studio Life

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.

Session Guitar: So You Want to Be a Session Guitarist

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!

Session Guitar: A "James Taylor Meets Slash" Project? Just Another Week in the Studio!

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!

Session Guitar: Why You Should Include Yourself on Your List of Favorite Guitarists

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.

Session Guitar: Maintaining Your Identity in the Session World

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.

Session Guitar: Creating Templates to Ease Work Flow

I like to create templates to make work flow as easy and creative as possible! If you are not familiar with the term, the online dictionary offers this definition: "A document or file having a preset format, used as a starting point for a particular application so that the format does not have to be recreated each time it is used."

Session Guitar: Spanish Hassle Magic — a Typical Day in the Studio

We all strive to play our best. In my particular line of studio work, I am called upon to improvise in many styles daily; sometimes many styles in the same song. This particular song was going to be trouble. I knew it. The engineer who sent it to me knew it, and the artist had suspicions. Here's how it went down.