Topic: Any Professional Session Musicians: A Few Questions  (Read 1281 times)

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Offline Drum Slave Jack

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Any Professional Session Musicians: A Few Questions
« on: November 23, 2008, 10:33 AM »
Hi everyone. I'm currently doing a graded assignment on my music course for my industry lesson. The long and short of it is I have to produce a supplement on some jobs in the industry. I have chosen live session playing as one of my topics. I'd very much appreciate anybody who does such a job as a pro to answer any of the following questions for me. Also, I feel I should make it known that your answers will be featured on my assignment so if you don't want your name or anything put on it just let me know and I'll accommodate.

What would you say the most vital skills are for being successful in this capacity?

How did you first get into live session work?

What are the best and worst things about live session work?

Thanks very much in advance. I can't wait to hear the rich and interesting input some of you may have.
Jack

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Offline Tony

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Re: Any Professional Session Musicians: A Few Questions
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2008, 05:46 PM »
What would you say the most vital skills are for being successful in this capacity?

Good people skills, the ability to read music, the ability to know and understand your place in the produciton (leave your ego at the door), a good understanding of various music styles, good communication skills. Just to name a few.
 
How did you first get into live session work?

I got my first session gig through school in college.

What are the best and worst things about live session work?

Making music, developing a good reputation, varied musical experiences, exposure to new players, equipment, environment, etc.
The techniques, though they play an important role in the early stage, should not be too restrictive, complex or mechanical. If we cling to them, we will become bound by their limitation.  Any technique, however worthy and desirable, becomes a disease when the mind is obsessed with it.

Offline Chris Whitten

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Re: Any Professional Session Musicians: A Few Questions
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2008, 09:20 PM »
Sorry, I don't understand 'live session work'.
There are freelance musicians who specialise in touring = 'live'
And freelance musicians who specialise in recording = 'studio'.
Of course some do both.
But your use of the word 'live' is confusing me, unless you want to know about tours and gigs.

Offline Drum Slave Jack

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Re: Any Professional Session Musicians: A Few Questions
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2008, 01:31 AM »
Yeah I basically mean for doing gigs and tours. I would have done just general session work but it's got to be in keeping with a live theme. Sorry, I see how it would be confusing.
Thanks for your answers Tony, anymore answers from anyone would be terrific.
Jack
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Offline Chip Donaho

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Re: Any Professional Session Musicians: A Few Questions
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2008, 11:50 AM »
What would you say the most vital skills are for being successful in this capacity?

How did you first get into live session work?

What are the best and worst things about live session work?
The most vital is knowing what your doing and how to play. In any capacity being a professional is knowing the trade. Knowing the people you are dealing with. Knowing if they are reliable and trust worthy in every way.

I first got into doing session work purely by accident. Meeting people, being the right place at the right time. There are both good and bad studios all around the world. Just as there are good and bad musicians. Experience, your eyes and ears are going to tell you. Above all, don't ignore your brain. It will tell you if things are right. Any bad feelings at all, ask questions, get answers, and research if you are capable of being a session musician.

The best is the feeling that you get when you hear it back and it's right. The entire group is happy with what they have accomplished together as a team.
The worst for me was getting into a car accident and realizing I may never play again.
That's when you you learn what's in your heart. If I have the love of music it's something I will never loose. There's something inside of me that says, "I've got to do this."

Chip Donaho


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Offline David Crigger

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Re: Any Professional Session Musicians: A Few Questions
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2008, 03:16 PM »
Yeah I basically mean for doing gigs and tours. I would have done just general session work but it's got to be in keeping with a live theme. Sorry, I see how it would be confusing.
Thanks for your answers Tony, anymore answers from anyone would be terrific.
Jack

I think I'm sharing Chris' confusion... most of us I think of sessions, tours, in-town live gigs as three different things. It seems you are using the term "session" as an umbrella term covering all three (like in a sense, the term "gig" could be - as in "gig"="a job for money")

So when you ask about "session work", are you just talking about recording?  Or???

David

Offline Chris Whitten

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Re: Any Professional Session Musicians: A Few Questions
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2008, 11:30 PM »
It would seem 'live' is the operative word (gigs and tours).
The word session almost exclusively pertains to recording, which does confuse matters.
It would be good to be clear though.....
Freelance gigs and tours?
Or, studio sessions?

Offline Dave Sharma

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Re: Any Professional Session Musicians: A Few Questions
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2008, 04:12 PM »
for live gigs (and yeah, the 'live studio work' moniker is really odd)
What would you say the most vital skills are for being successful in this capacity?

being able to deal with... anything.  maintaining a positive attitude against all odds.  being able to play like a badass at the drop of a hat, and giving whoever hired you exactly what they want-- and more, since they hired YOU and not someone else.

Quote
How did you first get into live session work?

i first started touring w/ a band in college.

Quote
What are the best and worst things about live session work?

that's a really broad question because 'touring' can encompass anything from playing to no one in columbus, OH on a tuesday night, or playing to 60,000 people at a festival in belgium.  the best part-- playing really good gigs with really good musicians at great venues in awesome places and meeting really cool people.

the worst-- exactly the same but with negative words instead of positive.





Offline Drum Slave Jack

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Re: Any Professional Session Musicians: A Few Questions
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2008, 06:26 PM »
I think I'm sharing Chris' confusion... most of us I think of sessions, tours, in-town live gigs as three different things. It seems you are using the term "session" as an umbrella term covering all three (like in a sense, the term "gig" could be - as in "gig"="a job for money")

So when you ask about "session work", are you just talking about recording?  Or???

David

Once again sorry about that, I have since corrected that part of my project to be more precise.

My entire project is on the music business. It is split into four sections, one of these being a live concert situation. I have selected being a session performer at a concert as one of my jobs to research. So it is only really the corcert performing side of session drumming that I need for my project.

However i'm very interested by all aspects so feel free to provide any information you like about this subject, it will all be read with intrigue by myself.

Thanks to Chip and Terekete
Apologies to Chris and David  ;D

Jack

Also, a quick PS. Apologies for the length of time it has taken me to respond. I've been weighed down with tons of projects, then christmas etc etc etc ooooh and a little game called 'football manager' it's a time killer for sure. I would still really appreciate any answers you have to give. Believe me this isn't just a project for college, this is something I wholeheartedly consider as a possible career path so i'm looking for any insight I can get really.
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