session/gig work

w/ Pete Mancini and The Hillside Airmen @ Great South Bay Music Fest

Fast, Efficient, Knowledgable, Organized, Tight.  

These are some of the words that come to mind when I think of where we want to get to as a band, and what can want to deliver as a bandmember, session musician, or whatever "hired hand on the ranch" role I am fulfilling.

How can I help you, the artist, get to a point where all of our cylinders are firing, and we're running smoothly? How can you, the artist, help me to show up prepared, with the right gear for the mission, so we can ace the gig at hand?

w/ Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks

There are some common sense things that everyone can think of right off the top of their head, and there are some things that might not be so apparent. Let's start with the easy stuff, and assume that we've already been rehearsing the material, and the band is ready to perform.

Sometimes I just get a text. "Can you do Sept 27th?".

That's the only information given. It's not a lot to go on. The questions immediately pop into my head. Where is the venue? What's the name of the venue? What time do I need to be there? Length of performance? Is there equipment provided? What do I need to bring? Will we car pool? These are all questions that need to be answered in order to make decisions.

Great info to include ASAP would be date, start/finish times, pay, gear needed/provided/shared. For out of town dates, transportation, food, beverage info would be handy.

Learning The Material

THE NUMBER ONE THING WE CAN DO: Have a folder online, in the cloud, for everything we'll be performing. Song files, MP3's, charts, setlists (WITH KEYS INCLUDED PLEASE), cheat sheets, etc. If you have that stuff, put it all in there, send me the link, and I can download what I need. I recommend Google Drive.

Receiving setlists, song samples, recordings via smart-phone text is tough, and actually adds steps to the learning process. I like printing out charts, and setlists. That's often difficult from a cell phone.

I also enjoy listening to material I'm learning on a GOOD sound system here in the recording studio. I do not consider a smart phone to be a good listening device.

So, online setlists, charts, and MP3's, stored in a cloud-folder, are a HUGE plus.

I often make my own spreadsheet for lists of songs written by an artist.

Here's a screen grab of one, showing what I'm making notes of when I'm studying the material. Beginnings, endings, verse/chorus/middle info are all detailed. I can re-order songs according to what the setlist is at any given time, and this certainly helps me master the material in practice and rehearsal. I make them available to the artist, and they can use, modify, or add to them in any way they want. I don't keep these things to myself - the whole band might benefit from my work, so why not share? (Go Team).

I'll see you at the gig! MH
studio 631-909-3432
cell 516-312-1618


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