Session Musician

When musicians make recordings or put on live performances they often need backup support from other musicians. This is where session musicians who are sometimes “called studio musicians” come in to the picture. Session musicians are not permanent members of a music team. Rather they are called in by producers to work on a circumscribed project or for a set period of time. In fact there is usually some kind of written agreement signed by session musicians stating that they understand they are not regular members of the music group. Session musicians can be instrumental or vocal performers and they may be hired to work with performance artists who specialize in classical rock pop jazz or country music. Session musicians must be good at sight-reading music and learning parts rapidly because they may not have a great deal of notice prior to the start of a job. Session musicians cannot expect any recognition for their own talent because they are hired so that another musician can be highlighted. It is important that session musicians be reliable and that they adhere to whatever the producer and lead musician requires for the duration of the session. They must make sure they keep their instrument in good condition so that they are always ready to take jobs. They are usually paid a certain amount regardless of the financial success or lack thereof of the show or recording. According to the website the earnings for session musicians vary considerably depending on how many jobs they get during the year. They generally earn between approximately $25800 and $83400 annually.

Education Required: High School Diploma
Avg Salary: $54600
High Salary: $83400
Low Salary: $25800
Tasks: Plays music as a non-permanent member of a band or musical ensemble.
Works with others at live performances or recording sessions.
Learns new music quickly.
Serves as a back up musician for recording artists.
Also Called: Studio Musician
Back-Up Musician
Professional Musician
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