What is a musical session? How are they conducted and organized? Are there different types of music sessions? We will answer these questions in this article, presented by Kip Allen, outstanding Nashville songwriter, session drummer, music producer, and Drum Workshop Artist. Call Kip the next time only the very best will do for you music project.
What is a musical session
The simplest explanation of a musical session is a gathering of musicians, the purpose of which is to play music together. Musical sessions have been happening on this planet of ours for, literally, thousands of years, and they happen among amateurs and professionals alike.
Informal music sessions
The most common term for an informal music session is a “jam session.” Someone will call a few musicians up, tell them to come over for a jam session, and the next several hours will be spent playing tunes, writing tunes, or just tossing out ideas for new riffs and/or lyrics. There are even online music sessions.
Formal music sessions
Formal music sessions are usually the precursor to actual recording sessions. They are the practice before the main event, so to speak. You get your band together, you schedule in a few hours of playing time, and you work on new arrangements, new songs, and new ideas. Established bands/groups/musicians will have music sessions on a regular basis, honing their craft in a supportive and creative atmosphere.
How to organize a music session
Organizing a music session, or remote music sessions, is as easy as pulling out your cell phone and making a few calls to buddies, or it is as formal as scheduling with band members. If you are new to a music scene, like Nashville, then it becomes a bit more difficult, but not by much. There are always musicians ready and willing to sit in on a music session, and if it is a paying gig, they will be lined up ready to take on the challenge.
Ask around the local music scene. If you are looking for something specific, like session drummers or session bass guitars, the local venues will have some names for you. Similarly, if you want to take part in a jam session, ask at local venues for people you might contact, or simply contact musicians playing at venues, give them your card, and tell them to call you the next time they need someone to sit in. Persistence is the key here, especially for someone new to a city. Keep pounding the pavement until you get that first call. Then, if you have “game,” more calls will follow.
A final word about Kip Allen
That’s how it all started for Kip Allen. Upon arriving in Nashville, in 2008, Kip became that fly on the wall that would not go away, visiting every music scene he could, going to honkey-tonks, visiting local venues, spreading the word in the only way a newcome can, up close and personal.
Fast-forward to today, and Kip Allen is a trusted name in the Nashville music industry. When you want the very best, in session musicians, or songwriters, or music producers, Kip Allen should be on your short list of candidates of session players.