Recording

Pass.of.E.r.a.

Gold Member
Hey everyone, later today I'm going to be off to record my first album as a session drummer. Any tips/experiences you'd like to share?

Oh and also, its lighter alternative music.

thanx for your input!

-Jonathan
 

Trip McNealy

Gold Member
Good stuff there. I had a similar experience very recently within a similar genre of music.

I was basically paid to do 10 tracks for a demo/release album for a local band. I was to record in a "mom and pop" studio that was actually in some engineer's house! It made for a more relaxing experience.

Anyways, probably one or two things I can offer that are most important, are things I learned from clincs with Ndugu Chancler and Todd Sucherman (and his new DVD)..... 1) Be prepared (logistically and musically) and 2) play for the music. Can't stress the second point enough. Your going in as a session drummer to provide your chops to lay down beats to what people are probably hearing in their head.. OR maybe you're going into the session and have to create some or all drum parts from scratch (you didn't elaborate there). That's what I had to do.. Very challenging yet fun.

Play for the music. Don't go overboard with your playing (easy to do!) and listen to the direction of your band mates. Be creative and structure your parts around bringing levity and force behind the song(s). Now, again you didn't tell us if you are playing pre-arranged parts or have to make them up, so if it's the former then what I just said is moot haha.

Logistically, some obvious suggestions:
- Bring extra heads for your snare and kick especially - try to put new heads on everywhere if you have the cash to do so before the sessions.
- Arrive early!
- Listen to the engineer's suggestions on drum dampening, mic placement, etc.. Obviously if you are being forced to arrange your drums in a certain way that you can't play comfortably or something doesn't sound right to you, then work with him/her.
- Play RELAXED and happy :) And for sound checks, play each drum slowly and deliberately or do a nice groove.. don't go apeshit with Derek Roddy fills or any of that LOL... later on when you get more loose and have time to fool around maybe!
- Bring water!! Depending on how long you're being cooped up in the studio, you get awfully thirsty!

That's about it for now... My sessions have been pleasurable and the one band that I did their album for (the ones I mentioned in the beginning) liked my demeanor, professionalism, (and my chops) so much that I am pretty much a member of their band now. (Coincidentally they had no drummer to begin with, so I guess I was lucky there too haha).


GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!
 

Pass.of.E.r.a.

Gold Member
Anyways, probably one or two things I can offer that are most important, are things I learned from clincs with Ndugu Chancler and Todd Sucherman (and his new DVD)..... 1) Be prepared (logistically and musically) and 2) play for the music. Can't stress the second point enough. Your going in as a session drummer to provide your chops to lay down beats to what people are probably hearing in their head.. OR maybe you're going into the session and have to create some or all drum parts from scratch (you didn't elaborate there). That's what I had to do.. Very challenging yet fun.

Play for the music. Don't go overboard with your playing (easy to do!) and listen to the direction of your band mates. Be creative and structure your parts around bringing levity and force behind the song(s). Now, again you didn't tell us if you are playing pre-arranged parts or have to make them up, so if it's the former then what I just said is moot haha.

Logistically, some obvious suggestions:
- Bring extra heads for your snare and kick especially - try to put new heads on everywhere if you have the cash to do so before the sessions.
- Arrive early!
- Listen to the engineer's suggestions on drum dampening, mic placement, etc.. Obviously if you are being forced to arrange your drums in a certain way that you can't play comfortably or something doesn't sound right to you, then work with him/her.
- Play RELAXED and happy :) And for sound checks, play each drum slowly and deliberately or do a nice groove.. don't go apeshit with Derek Roddy fills or any of that LOL... later on when you get more loose and have time to fool around maybe!
- Bring water!! Depending on how long you're being cooped up in the studio, you get awfully thirsty!

That's about it for now... My sessions have been pleasurable and the one band that I did their album for (the ones I mentioned in the beginning) liked my demeanor, professionalism, (and my chops) so much that I am pretty much a member of their band now. (Coincidentally they had no drummer to begin with, so I guess I was lucky there too haha).


GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!
well i have an idea as to what I'm doing with the artist, but most of it is unwritten, which is unfortunate..... but yeah, I play very similar music at the church where i drum, so I have quite a few ideas for laid back/relaxed grooves. as for the new heads and such, i just bought all the new heads I need, so I'm covered in that department. WATER!!! now theres something i wouldn't of thought of, thanx!!

Oh and Guz, I would except that I'm still a minor.....d'oh! jk

-Jonathan
 
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