Becoming a Session Musician in London

Chances are, if you are a new artist in London, you won’t be making much from your music. You will be performing for free or a small fee, and your streaming revenue won’t have built up to a significant amount. 


However, talented musicians can find other ways to earn a living from music, often becoming session musicians. A session musician is hired by an artist to play on the instrumentation of a track, and reliable session musicians can gain a constant source of work. Read on to learn our top tips for becoming a session musician in London. As with any aspect of the music industry, patience is a virtue, and remember that it can take a long time to break through and start getting regular work. 


Become a Better Musician


Before you can start marketing yourself as a session musician, you need to have the ability to deliver tight performances. Keep practicing and only start trying to become a session musician once you are confident in your ability.


It is also a great idea to diversify your skills so that you can play well across a range of genres and styles. Session musician work is scarce, so this will make you a potential musician for more clients and expand your earning potential.  


Create a Portfolio


No artist or client will hire you if they can’t be sure that you are a quality musician. Any creative needs a portfolio to showcase how great your work is, and musicians are no different. Get hold of recordings of your best work on your own tracks or others, and upload the demos to a platform like Soundcloud or Bandcamp. Whenever you approach a client, make sure to provide your portfolio and point them towards your most relevant work.


Build a Network


It is a matter of who you know in the music industry. Artists will usually hire musicians they know, trust, and have worked with before, which makes it very difficult for new artists to break through. Attend industry events and speak to artists you work with and meet at gigs or while recording.


Once you have a strong network, it is time to spread the word that you are looking for work. Opportunities could start landing at your door when people in your network mention your name when talking to other people in the music industry. 


Be Professional and Consistent


Once you get hired for the first time, it is crucial to make a great impression so that good word will spread about you. Of course, you must be a good musician that can play to a high standard consistently and help make the recording process as smooth as possible. 


Professionalism is also about coming to the session with the right attitude. Remember that it is not your track. Your responsibility is to play as well as you can and not to disrupt the process by turning up late or losing concentration. 


Recording at All Nighter Studios


While earning money as a session musician, make sure that you don’t lose sight of your own creative pursuits. Book into All Nighter Studios, a 24/7 self-service music studio, for as little as £6/hour and start producing your next great track.