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Finding gigs or becoming a session musician... How?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by MirageBass, Apr 9, 2010.


  1. I'm currently "managing" a friend of mine who's trying to become a session musician in LA. He's an incredibly talented drummer, and definitely has the chops to be a session guy. We sometimes sell ourselves as a package deal rhythm section, but for the most part, I spend my time trying to find him regular, paying gigs.

    Most bands and musicians who put up wanted ads nowadays aren't paying (red flags: "No hired guns", "we want someone who will be part of the band", "when we start making money, you start making money"), and, well, there are bills to pay and no time to live the 80's dream of "making it big."

    So, for those of you who actually have to get out there and find paying gigs - how do you go about that? What do you look for, where do you check, and how might you make contact with recording studios to whore yourself out as a go-to session musician for paying artists?
     
  2. MarkMcBass

    MarkMcBass

    Apr 7, 2010
    try www.imgiggin.com send them an audition video and see what happens! you can find work and theyll find you work! im gonna try this soon! i know a drummer thats involved with this company!
     
  3. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    First step.

    Can you please link us to your press/PR/promo materials?
     
  4. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Seattle
    ^--- This. For better or for worse, it's all about who you know. I've gotten a LOT of work in theater pits via word of mouth, and even more sub gigs with a well-crafted (at least IMHO) set of promo materials and by HOUNDING craigslist. Also, learn to become Mr. Versatility (i.e. Ed Friedland). Becoming comfortable in many different styles of music means you'll never have to turn down a paying gig. Ed has a great book called "The Working Bassist's Toolkit" which goes into detail about this, and I highly recommend it.
     
  5. willgroove2

    willgroove2

    Aug 16, 2003
    chicago IL
    Endorsing Artist;Essential sound products,Dunlop, Ergo Instruments
    I have never in 24 yrs of playing professionally witnessed or heard of someone getting gig's like the ones your friend is looking for through a "Manager". Is it that your friend lacks social skills? This is a business built on relationships and no matter how well he can play if he can't do the face to face stuff well he will struggle.Cold calling studio's won't get you work,in fact sending CD's DVD's is a old model that didn't really work back in the day and really won't work now,the best way to make your self known to those people is to get some money together and book some studio time,that way they can hear what he can do and more importantly see HOW he does it and if they dig it he will get some inquiries.
     
  6. I'm a manager only in the sense that I hunt down gigs online for him in my free time, we're friends. He gets his own gigs for the most part - he has a website, cards, etc. We're just not sure where to focus or parlay.

    His site is www.kevinkatich.com, and he mostly networks by word of mouth.

    (He's a drummer, BTW.)
     
  7. Hayseed

    Hayseed

    Feb 18, 2010
    Oregon
    Probably being a member of the union would help. I know that a lot of the good gigs you won't get hired unless you're part of the union. It's unfortunate, but true.
     
  8. FunkMetalBass

    FunkMetalBass

    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    I'd say the biggest issue is that you're in LA.

    It's like being an actress and looking for work in hollywood. Good luck.
     
  9. Trust me, I know. :rollno:

    The city is choked to the rafters with failed dreams and soundalikes. We're trying to get him established as a session musician of all varieties, hopefully on-call for studios. He plays in a few bands, but only one for no pay. Trust me, they're not going anywhere.
     
  10. Hayseed

    Hayseed

    Feb 18, 2010
    Oregon
    The studios go to the union for "on-calls." Or they used to anyway. I can't imagine it has changed over the past 15 years.

    I know most of my friends that do what your friend is hoping to do get the majority of the calls through the union unless the artist actually knows and calls them directly.
     
  11. Is this different in the US?:

    In Canada, if you're part of the union, you can only gig exclusively through the union.
     
  12. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    In some ways, the best way for you to get more work for your friend is to find yourself more work. Lots of bands looking for bassists, also look for drummers, and bands need subs for both.
     
  13. Hayseed

    Hayseed

    Feb 18, 2010
    Oregon
    Being that I'm not a member of the union myself (I'd rather negotiate my own gigs) I can't say for sure. I know in my neck of the woods that all they require (even though they can't enforce it) is that if you're a member - you only accept jobs that will pay you union scale.

    I usually negotiate even more than union scale, so "union gigs" would be a step down. But, I'm not a studio player either. If I was I'd have to go the union thing to get the work I wanted.
     
  14. MarkMcBass

    MarkMcBass

    Apr 7, 2010
    how do you join the union?
     
  15. JohnMCA72

    JohnMCA72

    Feb 4, 2009
  16. Hmm. Interesting. Gonna shoot this by him tomorrow and get him to join, then contact one of their placement agents.
     

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