How to get into session work?

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How to get into session work? 2017-10-22T20:13:57+00:00

Home Forums General Discussion How to get into session work?

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  • Swiss
    Post count: 3
    #698 |

    Hi y’all. Nice to be back on the new forum.

    Im just a hobby drummer and spent the last few years very off and on in bands made up mates doing covers. All well and good and lots of fun but they inevitably fizzle out and then its on to the next one.

    Moving on I’d like to be able to put myself forward for a bit of session work, a gun for hire. Never done that sort of work before.

    Any advice on how to get myself out there?

    Mike Dolbear
    Post count: 82

    The million dollar question “how do I get into session work” this job doesn’t really exist anymore and there are very few drummers who can survive on session work alone anymore, why do you think Steve Gadd is still touring into his 70s !
    A lot of drummers now have their own home studios and get files sent to them which they record the drums and send them back, eve drummers like JR, Thomas Lang and Ash Saan are doing this now.
    BUT the question is how do you get yourself out there and I will try and answer that with some positives, contact local studios, song writers and producers and offer your services for FREE to start with to get your foot in the door, studio time is expensive and they dont want to take a risk on somebody in case it doesn’t work, hopefully once you have proved yourself you will get a call back.
    You also need videos on YouTube or a website to show others what you can do, like it or not a lot of work comes from there as it’s a quick way to see if you can play and you have what people are looking for.
    Finally and the most important — make sure you have your playing and timing together as once you get the chance you want to make sure you can do the job in hand.

    Post count: 16

    Some great advice from Mike.
    I would also “pimp” yourself on Bandmix and Joinmyband websites, these are free to advertise your services on.

    Good luck.

    Post count: 249


    I think its a shame really that the industry is so money and production fuelled these days with all this digital migration filing electronic commerce etc all the way through to the completed product. Session musicians when in a Studio and you get a Jam going or are looking for say a Guitar player etc who just happens to be there on the day could be the next best thing that ever happens in your career rather than being looked up on the internet to see who’s played with who before and prepared to pay all the odds just to get the job done.

    The skill set of any session player would IMO go way beyond anything like that as people are at there most creative when the music is buzzing or during a Jam you discover a new Hook or Riff and all sorts come out of this.

    My main point is this is where the music is and not everything is as sign sealed and delivered as it can become very mechanical to listen to, which leads to missed musical opportunities sometimes within the scope of music in general.

    As an example I recently purchased an old copy of Cream BBC Sessions and Jack, Eric and especially Ginger were incredible on that compared to what I have heard on the mainstream more polished albums, all be it that’s the final product, but they still had to play and perform them together and the feel and sound was way beyond the scope musically wise that I have heard on the productions, guessing because of edits due to times etc.

    I mean even Ginger Baker used to session and when Chris Goss from Masters of Reality heard him play when in town they turned out an incredible production with an album called Sunrise on the Sufferbus,but they still had to Hire or at least take Ginger on to play what they wanted.

    Post count: 13

    I’m not aware of your skill level but I would think that a lot of work and a high degree of ability are the first things required. If I was looking to hire a drummer and read your thread, a hobby drummer who plays covers with mates until the bands fizzle out doesn’t sound like someone who would be my first call in a studio.
    The only hired guns I know of locally to me are guys who dep in live situations for bands and are in multiple bands either waiting for the break or cannily being paid more than the rest of the band because they are aware that the break will probably never appear or if it does they’ll be the first to get dropped.
    I may well be doing you a disservice, after 11 years playing locally in three bands (one of which is basically a reformation of one of the earlier bands anyway) I consider myself as a good team player, reliable group drummer, but basically a hack. Every now and then I’ll see a pub band with what I call a “proper drummer” in the stool and I’m humbled. If you’re that proper drummer then go for it, if you’re more like me then work is required.
    So if it was me I’d be putting in a couple of hours of directed and targeted practice every day, sitting on a metronome for a lot of that time, and once I was sure that I was as good as the best of the other drummers in my area I’d put the word out over Facebook, local forums etc. that I was available for dep work and recording. I’d invest in a couple of cameras (they’re cheap enough on places like these days) and drum mics and learn to record and edit myself, putting the results on YouTube. Whether that’s drum covers, short lessons, “how to’s”, grooves or gear reviews it all builds an online presence. This might sound counterintuitive, I’ve seen some players on YouTube who I wouldn’t give the time of day to but the fact that they have a channel and a blog does raise their profile and in even a worst case scenario they might well “fool” their way into work!!! Not that I’m advocating that of course, but conversely you have to be in it to win it.

    Post count: 3

    Thanks guys for the advice.

    I’m aware that I need to raise my game but if I do decide to go in that direction then ill set a plan of attack. May take some time but it’s great to have goals and the resulting sense of achievement.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  Swiss.
    Kevin Mooney
    Post count: 40

    My only advice would be to follow and learn from those who have done it before and talk about it. Craig Blundell is a great place to start. He’s very honest and has told his entire story.

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