Musicians often form bands because it makes composing, recording and performing much
easier if you know your band mates very well. But some musicians find themselves becoming session musicians. How can a bassist make a career without having to be part of a stable ensemble? Let’s find out!
While mediocre singers are a dime a dozen and decent guitarists not that rare, a really good
bassist with both theoretical and practical knowledge is somewhat hard to find. That opensup a lot of doors for you. You will find it rather easy to find bands who need a bassist, but it might be more profitable to not focus on a single group of musicians but on recording and performing with a lot of different people. But there are things that you need to keep in mind if you try to take that route.
First of all, you may want to be a session musician that works in studios. You will most likely be expected to be able to perform songs that are already written and which may be technically very demanding. But you will probably also have to come up with some basslines on your own.
In a studio, you will also need to be prepared. Make sure to always bring at least two basses to the studio, or keep two different bass guitars if the recording is done at your place. Different styles will require you to own different types of basses. While a jazz bass might work very well for softer rock and funk, hard rock and metal may require you to have an active five string bass. We have a few recommendations for best bass guitars!
In a live setting, things are much different. You will still need to have a backup instrument in
case that one of your strings snaps. Some genres are easier for session musicians than others. For example, blues, jazz and some older rock and roll stuff allows you to play along a fixed formula and you can improvise a lot when doing that. You will have to find the right place for fills and fancy stuff, but most of the time you will play a walking bassline. With pop, hard rock, progressive rock and heavy metal, things might become harder in a live setting. You are very likely to play very fixed basslines, riffs and you will need to know the exact order of all verses, choruses, bridges solos, as well as the intro and the outro of the song.
One important thing is reliability. You must make sure to always show up on time, to have
spare strings and basses around, additional cables and maybe even a pedal or two. All the other musicians need to know that you are always well-prepared, that you know all parts of a song and that you are ready to put on a great show!
There are many more factors that need to be considered when becoming a session musicians, but in short – be the person that everyone trusts, know your parts, be reliable and always have a backup plan. We hope you enjoyed our posting! For more information on basses and music in general, visit our website: themusicianlab.com