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Getting a job in the music business

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by bassman1185, Apr 12, 2003.

  1. I really want to be a session bassist, but I don't know what I'd need to do to become one. Are there any requirements for education, or is it just an "if you're good we'll hire you" sort of thing? Where would I go to look for a job? I know there are a few pros here, so any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    In Nashville "A list/ first call" studio players were ones who were already very well known in the city with a well established reputation...a very tightly closed circle indeed. Very talented and versatile bassists could not break into that circle without years of trying to build their own reputation or by getting to know decision makers who could call on them if they were really lucky and the A- list were not available.

    Those who wanted to break into studio work often started with demo sessions, not recording the final product. But it isn't all that easy to even get demo sessions. You still have to know someone with the stroke to get you called. You probably can best do that by playing in any and all bands you can find that gig regularly in clubs where you are likely to be seen and heard. You need to have both talent and reliability plus pro equipment.

    My guess is that versatility, the ability to read charts, read the Nashville number system and read standard notation are all essential studio skills, plus being able to pick up a chart and create a suitable bassline fast and perform it cleanly.

    Many Nashville A listers play both electric bass and acoustic upright, plus own a variety of basses to bring to the studio for exactly the right sound for the right song. Bass Player magazine had a lengthy article about this once. But I did live in Nashville five years and learned what a competitive place it was for musicians of every stripe even though there was a wide variety of music being recorded there, Christian contemporary, gospel, country, bluegrass, blues and some pop.

    I can't speak for other recording centers such as L.A. or New York City, but I'm certain that similar conditions apply. Maybe the essential requirements besides good connections, luck and pro equipment would be versatility and competence in a variety of genres of music.

    But definitely go for it if that is your dream. It may take you longer than you may wish to reach the pinnacle of an A list studio musician, but give it your best shot. You might surprise yourself and succeed very fast.
  3. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Hi there,

    This is something that would be better off in Miscellaneous.

    Have a nice day :)
  4. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Your sight reading will have to be extremly proficient in sight reading. If you cant sight read, then you may as well forget about session work.

    Theres a book titled " Career Opportunites in the Music Industry" 4th addition. Go to your local library and read it.

    It tells you what career fields there are in the music industry as well as tips on how to get in them.