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Asked to be a Studio Musician!!!

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by RickeyC, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. RickeyC


    Jan 17, 2011
    So the other day I get a phone call from a number I didn't recognize. I answered and to my relief it was a gentleman I met a few years back. Long story short, He asked me to be his studio bassist. He has several (around 25-30) groups of people wanting recordings. I am so excited and my parents are proud that I am already earning some money from my music. (Only being 19)..

    So, my question is this: Is there any advice Y'all can give me? We haven't really talked money (some will be involved) but I don't really know how to go about it all. What is a decent price? I know the guy very well and he knows my skills so I'm not worried about that. However, I am still getting better and making progress daily..

    Sorry if this is kind of long.. I'm just really excited about it.. :hyper::bassist::hyper::bassist::hyper::bassist::hyper::bassist:

    Also, Administrators, I hope I put this in the right place.. Please move it if it is incorrect..
  2. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    That's very cool. Congratulations. Knock 'em out! :cool:

    Now then, regarding advice: There's all kinds of things one might suggest. I'll suggest just a few. Others will come along to supplement my suggestions very shortly... :meh:
    • Contact your local AFM for rate information. Doesn't mean you have to quote AFM rates - at least starting out. And if you want to be competitive. It'll at least give you a ballpark figure from which to negotiate.
    • Invest in a good DI, and learn how to use it.
    • Invest in a good set of headphones.
    • Focus on becoming very competent playing a wide range of music - or at least as wide a range as your studio owner friend requires - rather than becoming expert in only one or two genres.
    • Play what the song requires. The song rules all.
    • In a session, focus on timing, touch & taste.
    • In particular, develop your touch to a high degree, so that you can easily produce a wide dynamic range - with minimal to no compression required.
    • Listen, listen, listen.
    • Always arrive at the studio early, fully prepared, with a constructive, cooperative, "can do" attitude.
    • Relax. Have fun.
    • You might wish to consider investing in a Precision Bass. That, plus the Jazz you already own should cover the vast majority of dates you get.
  3. Jandrews26

    Jandrews26 Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2006
    Orlando Fl
    Endorsing Artist: Warrior Basses, FSP Custom Cables, JH Audio
    Great stuff Mystic! More people need to read/hear this.
  4. RickeyC


    Jan 17, 2011
    Couldn't agree more! Thanks!
  5. Congratulations! At 19 I was dreaming of being a session musician
  6. RickeyC


    Jan 17, 2011
    The owner has a Pedulla 5 string :D (great bass) and I have my Fender J Deluxe 5. A good P definitely would be great thing to have.. Plus, this is a good excuse to go shopping!! I mentioned my SVT-4 and he said that would definitely be great for some of the songs.

    Quick question: I own some Custom mold triple drivers from 1964 Ears. Should I use these or should I go with some headphones? I have a 40 dollar pair from radio shack and they sound amazing.. I mean big bottom and clear highs. Will these work or will he just laugh when he sees them? lol He is a good friend so I'm not too worried about "offending" him or doing something goofy..
  7. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    I'm not so sure about investing in a good DI. What kind of studio doesn't have twenty already? I mean yeah if you want to bring in your A-Designs Reddi, that's one thing, but no sense in adding another countryman to the pile.

    ANYWAY, practice a lot. A friggin lot. Practice reading music and playing by ear. Each skill is useful on it's own, but when combined they are POWERFUL.

    Try not to make the same mistakes over and over again. There's no such thing as a perfect take, but if you botch the same lick more than twice, people gonna get annoyed.

    Overall, though, recording can be tons of fun. Good luck! Oh yeah, and you're definitely going to want to have a solid passive P, and personally I'd put a pair of flats on it.
  8. TheBogart


    Oct 1, 2008
    I have Jazz and a P. So i'm nearly there. Ehehhe.

  9. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Oh here's a good one:
    If you want to keep doing this, bring along a bunch of business cards to every session. Yeah it feels a liiitle strange at first to give them out, but you can't get more calls unless people have your name and number.
  10. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    It doesn't matter. The phones are strictly for your own use. If you like 'em and they work for you, then they work.

    The point is to be personally prepared. Doesn't matter how many DIs the studio may or may not have. It never hurts to own one - or two - of your own, so that you're prepared no matter what.

    Also, since DIs tend to have somewhat different (subtle) characters from one model to another, there may be those occasions when your own DI is better for the job than any of the DIs the studio may have.

    There's no downside to investing in your own. And sooner or later, you will experience an upside. IMHO, it's a no-brainer... :meh:

  11. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Yes, a studio should have a good DI and headphones for you.
    Check in advance, it never hurts.
    Also, if you have a good amp with DI out it will suffice.
    i.e. My Eden WT400 did.
    +1 to business cards. You can get them online cheap.
  12. erock0138


    Feb 4, 2011
    Get used to making chord charts quickly, reading them. Most studios i've been in don't require you to read music, but chord charts or something like that is a must. Get in cool with the producer and you'll have way more opportunity in the studio realm. AND always remember, feel is a lot, perfection is a lot of it too. You can hear soul and good feel in recordings, so make it stand out.
  13. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains

    I recently did some recording and brought my REDDI and JDI (just in case). This "studio" had fluorescent lights in the control room where I was doing the tracking, and they were giving me noise on the REDDI. It could have been dirty power too, I didn;t waste much time to figure it out. I plugged in the JDI and there was no noise, so I used that for the session.

    If this is a legit studio, they should have good equipment that works well in their environment, but it never hurts to have options.
  14. jschwalls


    Sep 4, 2007
    Savannah GA
    Start listening to ALL styles of music as well..

    I did ALOT of session work for SCAD back in late 90's early 2000.

    I would have to play country one day.. blues the next.. then metal.. it changed all the time..

    I also had to suggest styles to the songwriters, so knowing how to play alot of cover tunes helped cause I could use them to reference the songwriter about the feel of the song they had written...

    there will also be times when you will have to re-record a bands bass track.. in secret.. :)

    the biggest thing that helped me was being able to play various styles of music.

    Also, almost forgot, if you don't normally use a pick you may want to start getting your pick chops together.. there were several sessions when I HAD to use a pick.

    GOOD LUCK ...

    have fun.
  15. RickeyC


    Jan 17, 2011
    Thanks so far for the advice! As far as being prepared, I think it never hurts to bring extra stuff. Actually, it can be a plus if the 'man' sees you are serious and responsible. As far as picking goes, it won't be an issue. The guy (about 50's) has played bass and piano his whole life. He doesn't like to use a pick (No offense!) so he won't need me to. Also, he can't read. He does mostly "Nashville Numbers" and that's what I know best.

    About 4 years ago (yes when I was 13-15) we were in a local band. Serious band. Full-sized bus, professional equipment, big gigs, traveled about 6 states. (I was home schooled) and I learned so much and had so much fun. Anyway, he would always record us so we could hear what we sounded like. Once the band broke apart he had people in Nashville record the songs so his family could still sing on the road with them. The people in Nashville said our group was 'tight' and they said they liked the sound and the notes that they literally wrote out our exact notes and duplicated them. I thought that was pretty cool. And for anyone saying I'm lying or stretching the truth, let me assure you I have much better things to do than waste my (and your) time. If you really don't believe me just PM me and Ill prove it haha :D

    Anyway, thanks for the info!

    Also, I am wanting to get some pedals to make my sound a little more definable. Want are some good BASIC pedals for a studio? :)
  16. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Advice? Take a Fender.

    Good luck.
  17. RickeyC


    Jan 17, 2011
    Haha No worries, I'm bringing 2 :)
  18. This is excellent advice, and most of it actually applies to all gigging situations, not just studio.

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