Session Work

You may not be in a regular band/ensemble but available for one-off recording or gigging/performance opportunities, in other words as a session musician. To succeed as a session musician or backing singer you must excel in three areas:

  • musicianship
  • networking and people skills
  • business nous

Primarily you must be an excellent musician so focus on honing your craft through vocal training, instrument proficiency, and studio experience. Perform live frequently to build confidence and versatility, and maintain a strong online presence with professional demos and videos. Network actively by joining music communities, attending industry events, and building relationships with fixers, producers and other musicians. Always be professional, punctual, and open to feedback, while taking care of your voice and health. Stay informed about industry trends, understand music contracts, and manage your finances well to ensure long-term success.

The Musicians Union has useful advice here https://musiciansunion.org.uk/working-performing/recording-and-broadcasting/working-as-a-recording-session-musician

To get work as a session musician, follow these steps:

 

 

 

And below find the profiles of three of our most successful session musicians who are incredible role-models for women and gender diverse musicians.

Clare Kenny

Bass Player

Clare started off in reggae band Amazulu having several top 10 hits before recording and touring extensively with Sinead O'Connor, Edwyn Collins, Indigo Girls, Shakespears Sister, and Aztec Camera.

Carol Kenyon

Singer

Carol is best known for her vocals on the Heaven 17 hit song "Temptation" but she has also sung with Duran Duran, Kylie Minogue, Mike Oldfield, Vangelis, Pet Shop Boys, Tears for Fears, Ultravox, Van Morrison and more!

Anne Dudley

Keyboard Player

Trained as a classical performer, Anne started out as a session musician, where her professional relationship with Trevor Horn's The Art of Noise began. She is now an award winning tv composer.