Careers

Session Musician

A session musician works mainly in the recording and broadcast industry recording commercial audio, film soundtracks, music for adverts, jingles, television signature tunes, incidental music and music for radio.

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Also known as:

Recording Musician

Skill Level:

High / Professional

What does a Session Musician do?

A session musician works mainly in the recording and broadcast industry recording commercial audio, film soundtracks, music for adverts, jingles, television signature tunes, incidental music and music for radio.

What’s a Session Musician good at?

Session musicians must be able to perfectly perform the first time they see the music which they are about to record. In most instances this will be without prior rehearsal or sight of the music.

Tools of the trade:

Being brilliant at performing on their instrument
Being a perfect sight reader
Being able to adapt their playing style to suit the genre of music
Working well with a range of colleagues
Being self-motivated, adaptable, reliable, flexible and efficient

Who does a Session Musician work with?

They work within a variety of ensembles and groups from orchestras to big bands to pop bands.
They work with producers, music directors, conductors and solo artistes.
They work with contractors (fixers) and usually a diary service.
They also work with technical teams to ensure their performances are properly reproduced.

How do I become a Session Musician?

Years of practice on instrument
Regular performing with an ensemble (many top session musicians have been principal players in orchestras etc)
Having an impressive track record as a performer
Finding a way into the industry mainly by personal recommendation from an already established session musician
Having a good relationship with a contractor (fixer)

Is the role a skills shortage?

No

For further information about being a musician please go to www.musiciansunion.org.uk

Search for a course of study with trusted UK Music partners here: https://www.ukmusic.org/skills-academy/music-academic-partnership/