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becoming a studio musician

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(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 8184
Topic starter  

what on earth do i have to do in order to become a studio musician or in other words a studio bassist ?

especially when yer living in a country like the UAE ?

UAE = United Arab Emirates

thanks  

 :'(


   
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(@nicktorres)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5381
 

Step one, learn to sight read standard notation.  There is no tab in a studio.


   
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(@p_allen)
Estimable Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 83
 

Learn to play everything perfectly. As a session player you've got to be able to sit down (or stand up) and play any style in any key at any speed perfectly every time. It doesn't matter whether your a top nashville session guy or just starting out at you local scene one thing stays constant, quality. It doesn't matter what you can play but what you do play has to be perfect every time. As Nick said you also have to be able to sight read and learning every piece of music theory known to man would definitely help as well.

So basically what I'm saying is you need to be a true musician. You need to be able to take anything you know and change it round ten times over and then play it perfectly.

It will be hard work but if you've got the determination and you really want it then you will get their but it is essential to discipline yourself and structure you practice.

If you want to do studio work then it's today that you become a musician and not just a bassist.

Good luck,

Pete. :)

Why Do Other Peoples Shipbuilding When you Could Go Diving For Pearls Of Your Own?


   
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(@nicktorres)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5381
 

It's a lot of work, (too much for me), but you can make a living playing music that way.


   
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(@p_allen)
Estimable Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 83
 

Just as a side point, some of the top Nashville and LA session players can't read music and don't know much theory. They are amazing players though, and they must have a stunning musical ear. The new breed of session player, however, is very technical so get practicin' and learn the theory.

Pete. :)

Why Do Other Peoples Shipbuilding When you Could Go Diving For Pearls Of Your Own?


   
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(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 8184
Topic starter  

ive been into theory since the day i started playing bass
i like theory

ive managed to teach myself a bit of sight reading

really enjoy sight reading too

now the ear part is the problem

dont think i have an amazing ear
im still working on it

when it comes to playing stuff perfectly
i cant say i play everything perfectly

but eventually i will

 :)

isnt there anything thats easy in this world ?

later


   
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(@p_allen)
Estimable Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 83
 

Something else I remebered is that London's top session Guitarist (I forget his name) can't read music and doesn't know the second thing about theory. He has a great ear though, perfect pitch probably, like Mr Vai. I know your a bassist but it's all applicable, your ear can be trained so I wouldn't worry about it too much, unless your tone deaf that is but I doubt you are.

Pete. :)

Why Do Other Peoples Shipbuilding When you Could Go Diving For Pearls Of Your Own?


   
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(@corbind)
Noble Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 1735
 

RC, take a read of Chris' article and you'll see there is a lot involved.  You can't be mediocre but polished in many facets.  Sounds like much more than I'd care to chew:

http://www.musiccareers.net/article.php?id=236

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


   
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(@forrok_star)
Noble Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 2337
 

I couldn't link directly to my post, but you could read my thoughts on the subject.

http://forums.guitarnoise.com/?board=careers;action=display;num=1058385931

Joe


   
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(@alex_)
Honorable Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 608
 

im going on what i have seen in other forums.. aparently it is very hard to become a studio musician. an there isnt much of a demand down to computers (i never thought it would happen to us music people)

but it did :(


   
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(@noteboat)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921
 

All sound advice on building your chops and whatnot... once you actually get there you'll find that musical ability is taken for granted.  Studio recording is a BUSINESS, and you'll discover that a couple of simple things will help get your second (and third, and...) gig:

1. Be on time!  Somebody is paying a fairly large sum of money for the studio time, and for the wages of everyone involved.  If you're even a minute late, you'll be remembered alright -- but not in a way that will help your career.

2. Be polite!  There are a lot of other guitarists out there they could call... and all things being equal, they'll call the one who's most pleasant to work with.

Good luck!

Tom

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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(@forrok_star)
Noble Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 2337
 

READING is essential unless you are so totally unique at what you do.If you happen to be only a supremely talented individual, or your reading had better be competent. You'll close the door on a lot of work and even more musical knowledge by not being able to read.

You will be confronted with different types of charts:
Totally written ...Play it perfectly, and thats what it means.
Partially written ....This is by far the most common.
Usually you will be given chords or a few riffs. You improvise the rest in the same style.
Only chord changes ...It's totally up to you to create the feel. experimental improvising.

There are always many ways to interpret a piece of music. You'd better be able to offer alternatives.

Remember that less is more...If the Producer wants more, he'll ask for it.
You should have a solid grounding in harmony and theory. Technically, you must be able to handle anything they may throw at you. Rhythmically you must have a library of grooves, licks, musical styles in your head. You must be able to play with a click track or sequencers, or a percussionist from anywhere in the world.

If you are a rhythm section player you'll need a vast library of sounds to fit any style or musical situation. If your a lead player you'd better know how to make it talk. Your equipment must be 100% reliable. You'll need to have top quality instruments and be able to get a variety of expected sounds out of them. No matter what style the song is whether it be rock,blues,folk,etc, they all can have a different sound or tone.

Of course there are sessions which don't require reading, usually for the more Rock'n Roll superstar players. There is a minuscule handful of us guys like myself doing this kind of work, I wouldn't count on walking into this type of arrangement unless your extremely talented. You'd better be able to out play me That surely won't be easy. I've have a very analytical way of improvising from a higher level. I'm not trying to disappoint you with my last couple of statements I'm only telling you the truth.

I highly recommend being able to read,learning all the music and styles you can and adopting them into your own sound and style, becoming a well rounded musician you'll learn how to transform these abilities into expanded directions. Experience new ideas so your musical awareness can flourish.

I think I'll end on that positive note.
Joe


   
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(@slacker)
New Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 3
 

I'm en route to becoming a studio musician as well. I started late but am currently studying in music, and expect to get a batchelor's and hopefully a master's degree in interpretation. Might get several degrees, including arranging and/or composing.

The music industry is an extremely tough and competitive field. If you want to be a rock star, you need the looks and the connections. To be a studio musician, you need the skills. And there is where it's at.

Be versatile and have a strong understanding of theory/sight reading. Versatility is extremely important, so that you can play anything they throw at you. Learn several instruments, but be proficient in at least one. Be confident. You may not know how to play everything, but you're doing everything you can to learn it.

Remember that you may have to start by sweeping floors or alphabetizing cds in a studio before you can get a job there. Be prepared to do that, and jump on every opportunity to get noticed as a player. Bring your instrument with you and play in stairwells, show off your knowledge offhandedly in conversations, ect.

The real world is not American Idol. We have to work to get where we want. Studio musician is an extremely noble profession, opens doors, and requires you to keep your skills finely honed. If you are a session man and "make it" in the fame department, it's respectable. If you're a rock star and try to be a session man, you'll forever be doomed to be "that guy that was in that band".

Don't give up, I'm doing it too!


   
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(@twistedfingers)
Honorable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 596
 

isnt there anything thats easy in this world ?

later

Nothing worth doing is ever easy. Don't remember who said it. But, I've discovered that they were correct. Good luck.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -- "WOW--What a Ride!"


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

Nothing worth doing is ever easy.

Sitting in a local pub ain't that hard :P


   
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