Do you have dreams of being a session musician in your city? We are going to present to you three keys to making those dreams happen, and these keys are coming directly from Kip Allen, premier session drummer, songwriter, music producer, and beat producer in Nashville. Call Kip Allen when only the best will do for your next gig or project.
And now, according to Kip, here are the three keys to becoming a session player in Chicago, Topeka, Portland, and all points north, south, east, and west.
The three keys to becoming a session musician
Without further delay, the three keys to becoming a studio session musician are:
- Hard work
- Determination/belief in yourself
- Lady Luck
Let’s look at each of these in a bit more detail.
Hard work as a session musician
A session musician is only as good as the amount of work they have put into their craft. You can apply for gigs day and night, week after week, month after month, but if you don’t “have the chops” to play with the big boys and girls, you will forever languish in the shadows, good enough to play birthday parties, but never good enough to play gigs at local venues.
Does that sound harsh? It should! Right this moment, in Nashville, there are easily over ten-thousand musicians looking to be session musicians, ten-thousand, at least, dreaming of being discovered. Most of them are waiting tables or working at Best Buy or stocking shelves at Trader Joes. And, the harsh reality is this: they may still be doing those low-paying jobs two years from now, if they haven’t given up by then and returned to the small towns they came from.
Every spare minute of a musician with big dreams should be spent on their craft, with the goal to be the absolute best at their instrument. Period. End of discussion.
Determination/belief in oneself
As you might suspect, it can get lonely in Nashville, especially when you are unknown. All of your loved ones are back home, going about the business of everyday life, while you pound the pavement, knock on doors, and play at tryouts. You shake hands, you meet a guy who knows a guy, and you visit venues until your arm is tired from opening doors. The only thing that keeps you going, day in, day out, is the belief you have in yourself.
During those early days, it seems like there are no friends in Nashville . . . only competition! And that competition is every bit as hungry as you are, every bit as determined to make it as you are.
And, finally, a hard pill to swallow! You can work your craft until your fingers bleed. You can knock on doors until you are weak from not eating right. And still, you have to rely on Lady Luck to put you in the right place, at the right time, to meet the right person. The stars must align perfectly, you playing at a local bar, and in walks a well-known music producer looking for a session musician, and that producer is struck by your talent and stage presence, and you are told to appear at the studio the next morning.
It happens that way with alarming consistency. Lady Luck smiles upon you, and the world changes in an instant.
A final word about Kip Allen
Kip Allen came to Nashville in 2008, and immediately began practicing his craft and knocking on doors, and knocking down doors. Eventually, fourteen years later, Kip is considered one of the best session musicians in a city filled with session musicians. Call Kip the next time you need the best that Nashville has to offer, Kip Allen, Drum Workshop Artist.