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#780336 - 06/15/05 11:26 PM How many of you are session drummers?
Jazzman Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 08/15/01
Posts: 1424
Loc: Commerce Twp, MI,USA
Just wanted to find out how many of you play in a studio environment.

I have my own studio, so I guess I am a session drummer too.

What is the going rate these days? $60 session?

Jazzman

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#780337 - 06/16/05 12:56 AM Re: How many of you are session drummers?
sidereal Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 04/20/01
Posts: 692
Loc: San Francisco,CA
What's a session? How much time? How many songs? Where do you live? What's the environment/competition in your town? \:\)

It's impossible to say. Here in SF I get emails from people who say they heard about me from a friend. For that kind of thing I'll do for $75 and a super burrito for 5 hours time. That sort of thing.

Anyone know what it's like in LA these days?
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#780338 - 06/17/05 02:08 AM Re: How many of you are session drummers?
MK1 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/26/05
Posts: 20
Loc: London
i do sessions all the time here in London sometimes i do them for free if its a friend or most of the time i charge 100 a day thats about $180 for the day i will be available for up to 8 hours on the day , have done several Japanese acts who like to record in London, mostly rock/indie bands and the last one i did was for a signed band over here who's drummer just couldn't cut it in the studio!

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#780339 - 07/07/05 06:06 PM Re: How many of you are session drummers?
Funkwave Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/12/03
Posts: 252
Loc: Long Island, New York
I do sessions for $100 an hour, but for that price, I'm expected to read charts and be able to play to a click or midi sync without time deviation.

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#780340 - 07/07/05 07:30 PM Re: How many of you are session drummers?
coyote Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 04/16/01
Posts: 7012
Loc: New York,NY,UNITED STATES
I played some sessions back in the early 80s - various radio/TV commercial things and one Xmas album that sold in the hundreds lol

I don't do it anymore. Even if I could still play at that level, I couldn't stand all the "OK, hit the snare" for what seemed like hours while a producer yelled at an engineer.
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#780341 - 07/08/05 12:02 PM Re: How many of you are session drummers?
Michelle (ggurl) Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/17/03
Posts: 2613
Loc: near San Francisco
Hi Drummers, nice to meet you! \:\) I'm actually a keyboardist but I saw this topic from the main forum page and thought I'd chime in.

Sidereal, you're near me, man. What kind of music do you play? Into Latin or jazz at all?

I've paid (and heard of side guys being paid) quite a range ... if you're a full-time musician and an in-demand session guy who's played with better-known artists (but you're not "famous" yourself, beyond a regional level), perhaps toured with them, etc, expect to get $100 per song minimum, closer to $150. I know one guy who charges $250 per song, but he heads his own group and is fairly well known; session work is not his preference.

You have to take into consideration how much rehearsal with a band is involved. Rehearsal can be anywhere from free to $50.

I think type of music may play into this, too. One session, for example, I played bass. I got about $125 per song, but there was quite a bit more rehearsal (with band) than I would have liked. Other sessions have been even less lucrative. But, I don't go chasing studio work, so I don't find it ... I'm usually on the paying end.

EDIT: Sidereal/Jim B., I think I know you, man! Connection: Digidesign. Right??? PM me.
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#780342 - 07/09/05 02:16 PM Re: How many of you are session drummers?
Eric Beam Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 625
Loc: Santa Monica
my rate changes with the work... if i'm tracking or if i'm going to a outside studio, how many songs, if i like the project. allot of things can make a differnce.. i've cut down on session work and focused more on my own music.. in the end i'd rather have music i'm proud of then the extra cash and the session player label..
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#780343 - 07/10/05 10:25 PM Re: How many of you are session drummers?
Jazzman Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 08/15/01
Posts: 1424
Loc: Commerce Twp, MI,USA
Good point sidereal. One song could take up to a full 8hr day I guess, depends on the studio time required to complete a planned project.

Would you know going into a studio that the session could last an 8hr day? Would they tell you? Does the studio keep you on call for future work? Repeat business.

I guess if one song is required for someone to be a session player on, it could take a lot longer than was planned depending on the retakes if necessary.

Has anyone been the "Problem " at the studio??? In other words you screwed up the session!!! \:D

Jazzman

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#780344 - 07/20/05 01:30 PM Re: How many of you are session drummers?
freelance Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/18/02
Posts: 349
Loc: Oh, I forgot?
I don't do session nearly as much as I did 10-15 years back (many of the studios are gone, there are younger guns in the network and everyone and there cousin uses samples now.

When I do do session work, I normally charge from $70 to $100 per hour (depending on the session, who's hiring me, am I hauling gear or is there a studio kit, etc)I have worked for as little as $50 per hour and have done freebies for friends. Candidly, I don't see many of the $100 sessions anymore.

If it's jingle work with a corporate budget I charge more, if it's a singer/songwriter demo, I normally charge less.

However, since I'm winding down to the end of my "career" (I'm 52) I tend to be selective about what session I accept and overly generous with my billing time on the ones I do accept (unless it's a coporate thing with an a-hole marketing guy hanging around - in which case, I bill for every minute of my time.

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#780345 - 07/20/05 01:36 PM Re: How many of you are session drummers?
freelance Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/18/02
Posts: 349
Loc: Oh, I forgot?
Jazzman,

I have on 2 occasions been the "problem" and have been replaced at a session (an awkward situation for all involved).

In one case, I simply could not cut the session (it demanded better reading chops than I had) and in one case the "producer" and I simply could not effectively communicate to get the job done - so he brought in someone else.

In both cases, I was nt the "right guy" and accordingly, I declined pay, since the session costs obviously increased due to delays.

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#780346 - 07/20/05 07:17 PM Re: How many of you are session drummers?
DrummerCafe Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 836
Loc: Nashville, TN
As already mentioned, rates depend on the session and the project. Demo session to Master session; big rate differences.
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