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Simple question - how much do Session Musicians get per song?

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  • Simple question - how much do Session Musicians get per song?

    A VERY simple question...

    How much does a session musician get? For a song, assuming thats how it's done.

    I understand its a flat rate.... is it much the same across the industry, from top names to lesser known ones?

  • #2
    I usually charge 100 bucks a track if it's someone I know. $300 is a figure I hear a lot.
    <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://www.patcoast.com" target="_blank">http://www.patcoast.com</a><br><br><br><br><font size="1">&quot;The guy would be strumming along, singing the verse to “Margarittavile” and then he would hit his harmonizer pedal for the chorus. It went from sounding like a guy singing and playing guitar to sounding like the Stephen Hawkings trio.&quot;-<i>Christhee68</i></font><br><br><br><br><font size="1">&quot; the singer of my cover band used to find it funny to let out gaseous forms of vile hate and sadness that would make a plaster baby Jesus weep.&quot;-<i> FitchFY</i></font></div>

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    • #3
      it depends if they are union, or just freelance.
      I used to charge an hourly rate (not per song), with a minimum number of hours (I generally got the songs done in 3 takes or less), so the minimum was to make it worth schlepping across town to a studio. It is all negotiable, but make sure the person you hire is the right person for the material...I was hired to do stuff running from classical (not my forte) to metal (also not my forte) over the years, and managed to make the producers happy, but you need to find someone who really can cover what you want.
      _"We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminant period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

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      • #4
        i usually get about 300-400 dollars for the DAY. it's not by song, but it's also not union work. It's always negotiable, though. I once got 500 dollars for one guitar part on one song...another time, i got 800 dollars for an eight song album playing multiple guitar tracks AND drums. My most successful friends in music don't really make that much for session playing; they often record for chump change in hopes that it will land them the gig once the touring starts......and it usually does. I know guys who simply hang out in studio lounges and become everyone's friend. They record for lunch and gig like madmen....make good $ that way.

        the bottom line is everything in the music industry is changing. if you go in with a rigid price structure, get ready to not work.

        JUST MAKE SURE WHOEVER YOU HIRE TO PLAY YOUR STUFF SIGNS A MUSICIAN'S RELEASE AGREEMENT beforehand. seriously.
        <div class="signaturecontainer"><font color="green"><font size="3"> gschmitt - singer/songwriter/producer</font></font><br />
        <br />
        - <a href="http://www.gschmitt.com" target="_blank"><font size="1">The Official gschmitt Website</font></a><font size="1"><br />
        - <a href="http://www.twitter.com/gschmittmusic" target="_blank">gschmitt on Twitter</a><br />
        - <a href="http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=2437995921&amp;ref=ts" target="_blank">gschmitt's Facebook Group</a></font><br />
        <br />
        <font color="red"><font size="2">Thanks for your support. Really.</font></font></div>

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        • #5
          and no...i'm sure matt chamberlain gets a bit more than i did for my drum session.
          <div class="signaturecontainer"><font color="green"><font size="3"> gschmitt - singer/songwriter/producer</font></font><br />
          <br />
          - <a href="http://www.gschmitt.com" target="_blank"><font size="1">The Official gschmitt Website</font></a><font size="1"><br />
          - <a href="http://www.twitter.com/gschmittmusic" target="_blank">gschmitt on Twitter</a><br />
          - <a href="http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=2437995921&amp;ref=ts" target="_blank">gschmitt's Facebook Group</a></font><br />
          <br />
          <font color="red"><font size="2">Thanks for your support. Really.</font></font></div>

          Comment


          • #6
            I usually charge 100 bucks a track if it's someone I know. $300 is a figure I hear a lot.


            That seems kind of steep for indie musicians without alot of money.

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            • #7
              It depends on where you live and the style of music you're putting together. I had guys booked for two days and it came out roughly $100 per song.

              But if all the parts of the song have been thoroughly sketched out, you could potentially get musicians in for $50-60 per song--at least where I live.

              The main thing with first call session guys, is that you're paying for their musical skill, in addition to their knowledge of gear and their ability to work fast.

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              • #8
                i just sured up a contract with a guy for 150 a song - he's a percussionist.
                <div class="signaturecontainer"><font color="green"><font size="3"> gschmitt - singer/songwriter/producer</font></font><br />
                <br />
                - <a href="http://www.gschmitt.com" target="_blank"><font size="1">The Official gschmitt Website</font></a><font size="1"><br />
                - <a href="http://www.twitter.com/gschmittmusic" target="_blank">gschmitt on Twitter</a><br />
                - <a href="http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=2437995921&amp;ref=ts" target="_blank">gschmitt's Facebook Group</a></font><br />
                <br />
                <font color="red"><font size="2">Thanks for your support. Really.</font></font></div>

                Comment


                • #9
                  I offer online custom drum tracks and percussion. I have prices on my website as well as a gear list and mp3 samples to check out. Please let me know if I can be of any service.

                  Thanks,

                  Jake Burton
                  http://www.JakeBurtonMusic.com

                  http://www.JakeBurtonMusic.com/onlinedrumtracks
                  <div class="signaturecontainer">Jake Burton<br />
                  <a href="http://www.JakeBurtonMusic.com/onlinedrumtracks" target="_blank">Online Drum Tracks</a><br />
                  <a href="http://www.jakeburtonmusic.com" target="_blank">www.JakeBurtonMusic.com</a></div>

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                  • #10
                    That seems kind of steep for indie musicians without alot of money.


                    Well, maybe that indie musician ought to do the tracks himself or not put out a record if he can't afford it.

                    100 bucks a track is actually cheap. Some guys around here were getting that 10 years ago.
                    <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://www.patcoast.com" target="_blank">http://www.patcoast.com</a><br><br><br><br><font size="1">&quot;The guy would be strumming along, singing the verse to “Margarittavile” and then he would hit his harmonizer pedal for the chorus. It went from sounding like a guy singing and playing guitar to sounding like the Stephen Hawkings trio.&quot;-<i>Christhee68</i></font><br><br><br><br><font size="1">&quot; the singer of my cover band used to find it funny to let out gaseous forms of vile hate and sadness that would make a plaster baby Jesus weep.&quot;-<i> FitchFY</i></font></div>

                    Comment


                    • matthewearly84
                      matthewearly84 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      100 bucks a track is actually cheap. Some guys around here were getting that 10 years ago.

                      Seems like there was a bit of money around in the recording business 10 years ago


                  • #11
                    http://www.airgigs.com/categories/online-recording gives an idea of online musician rates. cheers!

                    Comment


                    • daddymack
                      daddymack commented
                      Editing a comment

                      sort of...this is very different from traditional session work, as these 'pros' never have to leave the commfort of their homes.  Still, this is a fairly good estimation basis for online digital recording...naturally, you would want to hear samples of the performers work.  The guy offering bass tracks for $25 is likely new at this..." id="smiley" src="https://guitarcenter.i.lithium.com/i/smilies/16x16_smiley-.png" alt=":smiley:" title="Smiley Very Happy" />


                      however, since you work there, I am going to have to ban you now for spamming our forum...but thanks for stopping by.

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