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Session Guitar: The 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Being a Session Guitarist

What do you do if you are having an off day? Just not feeling it? We all have off days. However, I am a professional. That means I'm expected to perform. So even if I'm having an off day, my playing can only get so bad. I can always call upon experience. And being well practiced helps give a good performance. It may not be magic, but it will be damn good.

Session Guitar: To Mic or Use Amplifier Emulation in the Studio?

Hello, fellow guitar freaks! This week I'm going to discuss a topic that has been on my mind a lot lately: Is it better to mic an amp on a track or use an emulator? (By emulator, I'm talking about either an external box like a Line 6 Pod or an internal software based amp simulator like Amplitude.)

Session Guitar: Top 10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Decide to Become a Session Guitarist

Hi, gang! This week I am going to challenge all you aspiring session guitarists with a series of questions. Allow me to preface this by telling you that we are all session guitarists today. If you record at home or in a professional studio, you're already one. But I am speaking about session guitar as a career. Here goes!

Session Guitar: Play!

When you were young, you played. There was no thought process to speak of. If you wanted to dance, you danced. If you wanted to build a fort, you built a fort. Your imagination had no limitations. Your heart had no limitations. Feelings were expressed freely and without reservation. It was an instantaneous world.

Session Guitar: How to Create Different Effects Chains

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.

Session Guitar: How Much Theory Do I Really Need to Know to Be a Session Player?

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?

Session Guitar: 10 Essential Pieces of Gear for the Studio Guitarist

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.

Session Guitar: 10 Life-Saving Soloing Tips

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.

Session Guitar: What Makes the Guitar So Special

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.

Session Guitar: Shredding is Great, But Know How to Play Melodies

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.