Is this how session musicians work?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by waxlabltabler, Sep 28, 2003.

  1. waxlabltabler


    Aug 24, 2002
    I get the idea, especially from Timbaland and manby others, that session musicians come in the studio, play their hearts out, **** around for six hours or whatever and then Tim (or Producer X) grabs the catchiest parts that they played and tries to build a song around it. If this is actually the case I'd love to hear the session tapes in full.
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
  3. actually Trevor Horn did exactly that when he produced Frankie goes to hollywood's "welcome to the pleasuredome" album-

    he booked Ian Dury & The Blockheads' rhythm section, Norman Watt-Roy and Charley Charles, let them jam and sampled their playing- and reassembled the samples to make the backing tracks for the songs.
    (check out Norman Watt-Roy's interviews in Bassist and Bass Player).

    although this was in the early 80's, and the guys were unaware they were being sampled.
  4. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks! In Memoriam

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    Not on any of the sessions I've done........
    Also, let's move on down to Misc.

    Chris A.:rolleyes: :bassist:
  5. waxlabltabler


    Aug 24, 2002
    Guess I forgot to clarify, I meant hip-hop.
  6. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I'm trying to think of the last Hip-Hop song I heard that actually had a bass line played by a bass guitar.

    My understanding of Hip-Hop, R&B, or any form of music that revolves around electronica - most of the parts are pre-programmed, often in smaller home studios, and often by the producer himself. They will call in other musicians as needed but they usually have a good idea of what they want them to play. There's not a lot of jamming on studio time - too expensive.
  7. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Firstly, there is LOADS of hip-hop with some very tasty bass guitar basslines.

    Those that spring to mind immediately are: The Roots, De La Soul, The Herbaliser, the Beastie Boys...
    On top of this there's loads of hip hiop tracks based on samples that use BG basslines - a tribe called quest have a track using a sample of a roy ayers song, for exmaple.

    I'm pretty sure that there are basically no hard and fast rules to how hip-hop is written, composed or produced.
    Some sessions players would play the entire track (I read an interview with a player who said he did such) - even when it could be looped, others might play a whole bunch of ideas and loop them to see which works best. Some might do just as you said and record a short and simple improvised jam over the drum pattern and pick a sample, or two, or three etc, on that basis.

    Very true. When I say "improvised jam" above, I mean that in some cases the producer might give the player the basics - he might sing the key notes of the bassline to the player, then record the players simple improvsing around what he was given over a loop, then sample the parts he wants to keep.
    Thinking about it you could get the basics of a hip-hop backing track done this way in a matter of hours I expect.
  8. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    It's funny that the earliest hip-hop records (like Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight") were done with live players...then everything was the underground trend is back to live instruments again!!! :rolleyes:

    While groups like the Roots do use live players, they are hardly chart-toppers. The stuff you hear on commercial radio is still almost 100% programmed or sampled.
  9. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    "While groups like the Roots do use live players, they are hardly chart-toppers."

    That's cause chart topping music is mass produced - the less individual influences the less they have to pay out and the less chance there is of the music becoming vaguely unique!

    "The stuff you hear on commercial radio is still almost 100% programmed or sampled."

    To be perfect honest, I wouldnt know. Not being a snugglemuffin about it, I just dont listen to the radio.
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think that radio in the US is very different to the UK. So - the most popular stations here are not "commercial" as such - but rather those put out by the BBC.

    The most listened-to station is Radio 2 - which is aimed at older people 30s 40s upwards and plays mostly "oldies" - 60s 70s etc - which are not programmed or sampled!

    I think we also have a changing trend here - most chart singles in the last 10 years or so have been programmed/sampled - but rock or indie music is coming back into popularity...

    Even so - singles are a very small part of the market in the UK - CD albums are much bigger sellers - but these charts are often dominated by older buyers who don't go for programmed music.

    The stange thing is that most clubs that play pre-recorded music are 99.9% dominated by programmed/sampled dance music...:confused:

    So it seems in the UK - people will go out and dance the night away to programmed dance music - but don't actually buy this stuff to listen to at home?

    But we are different to the US from what I am able to discern...?
  11. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001

    Listen to The Roots...
  12. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    The Roots, De La Soul, The Herbaliser, the Beastie Boys... none of them have made an impact in Australia. But I will certainly get a hold of some of their material and have a listen.
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