There are two types of people who will read this article about session drummer wanted: those who are looking for a good session drummer, and those who are session drummers hoping to be hired.
With that in mind, we will attempt to give you information about both scenarios. This information is based on the knowledge and experience of Kip Allen, session drummer, songwriter, music producer, and Drum Workshop Artist in Nashville, and what follows is information gathered from the experience he has gained since he first came to Nashville in 2008. Call Kip if what you want is the best that Nashville has to offer in session players.
Looking for a session drummer
The best way to find a qualified session drummer, no matter the city, is not through a want ad, but rather by pounding the pavement and doing some sleuthing. Visit local music venues. Visit local music studios. Visit local community colleges. Ask the professionals in your city if they know of a session drummer who can be relied upon to deliver quality work at every gig.
It will not take long for you to accumulate a short list of possible candidates for your gig. The music scene, in any city, is a tight-knit group. Anyone who is anyone in the scene knows the major players. They know the pros and they know the wannabes, and chances are excellent that if you spend a couple days asking around, a very short list of trusted, professional drummers will be gathered. Once you have that short list, you can begin contacting those names, arranging for a meeting, and then find out if you and the drummer can work together.
Looking to be hired as a session drummer
And, if you are a drummer percussionist looking for session work, the traditional way of getting work, and still the only way any of us in the music industry trust, is to pay your dues. Play wherever and whenever you can. Play for free and play for pay. Go to local music venues and ask if you can sit in on gigs. Ask the locals if there is a place in town where you can jam. Go to recording studios, introduce yourself, and tell the management that you are available for anything they might have.
Put together a promotional package of yourself playing the drums. Become an online presence.
Do the footwork!
Talk to any established musician and they will tell you the same thing: you need to struggle, scrape, and shuffle for every gig you can, when first starting out, until you meet the people who know the people who can help you up the ladder of success.
And know this: not everyone climbs that ladder of success. In a city like Nashville, about one out of every one-hundred session musicians manages to make a living as a musician. Most end up waiting tables or working in a warehouse, to make ends meet, and playing gigs on the side to feed their souls.
A final word about Kip Allen
Kip Allen put in his time, and he paid his dues in Nashville. Arriving in 2008, he slowly established himself as a drummer, songwriter, and music producer who could be trusted to deliver quality work time and time again. When you want the best session drummer Nashville has to offer, give Kip Allen a call.