Making a song requires some amount of expertise. For a songwriter looking to get a finished song that has a professional sound, it means working with musicians who have the right skills. In the past, a songwriter would have to visit physical studios, put out ads, or ask around for musicians who would be willing to lend their talent as hired guns. Nowadays, it is possible to stay at your home or office and find session musicians for hire online.
But that does not mean it is easy to pick the right people all the time. For one, you want to ensure you are getting value for money. You also want to know that the musicians you are working with actually understand what they are supposed to do.
So, how can you navigate the online music production landscape to get the best results? As a leading source of professionals session musicians for hire, Tunedly has managed to provide services that consistently satisfy clients. We have a number of pleased songwriters who regularly turn to our platform to find the kind of talent to create the type of quality sound they are looking for. It is against that backdrop that we have come up with a few steps to help you choose wisely when looking for musicians to collaborate with. Here are some best practices to follow.
Take your time choosing session musicians
Every musician has unique talents and traits that come out in their creative process. Some will go the extra mile, others will try to get it right the first time. There are those who are highly technical and others who simply play by ear. In addition, there are people who you will simply click with better than others.
With so many variables, your best bet is to take your time checking out the talent on hand before handing over your lyrics or recordings. Listen to samples of their work, if available, so you can hear if their work resonates with yours. Read up on their achievements to get an idea of their track record. Any information about the musicians you are interested in will surely be helpful in leading you to a decision. Here at Tunedly, you can choose your musicians, but we also can assess your project and find the best possible talent, so you don't have to do all the investigative work.
Have an idea of what you want the finished song to sound like
If you have already recorded a rough tape using a guitar or piano and established a recognizable melody, you probably already know what sound you have in mind. On the other hand, if you have only managed to flesh out the lyrics, it is a good idea to spend some time deciding what you want the finished song to sound like.
If you are not that musically-inclined or finding it difficult to nail down a hook or melody, you can listen to popular songs you like and then settle on one as your reference track. That way, the session musicians you work with will at least have a starting point. Remember, it is your song that you will have to live with at the end of the day, so take the time to finalize the concept.
Avoid controlling the creative process
You may be filled with a lot of ideas as to the direction you want your project to take. And that's great. You want to let your collaborators know what you have in mind. But as creative people too, session musicians will also feel the need to bring their own creative ideas to the table. The last thing you want is to have a stalemate where you want to control the entire creative process and dictate every decision.
You want to strike the right balance between sharing your ideas, allowing musicians to air theirs, and leaving free room for both sides to express themselves. At Tunedly, our in-house project managers help to moderate the creative process between clients and session musicians to ensure there is no stifling of creative energy on either side.
Establish how communication happens with session musicians
Working with session musicians for hire is a leap of faith. You trust that you are working with professionals who will give priority to your music. And many session musicians try their best to get to your project in a timely manner. However, it is important to remember that they are often handling several projects at once and, on occasion, may fall behind on milestones.
Then there are those who are simply not organized. Whatever the case may be, you can put yourself in a position to get the best treatment by establishing how and when communication happens. Will you be collaborating via Dropbox? What is the quickest way to get a response to a message? How soon should you expect a reply to an email before sending a follow-up? Clarifying these points beforehand will help you to know what to do when you need to share information, ask for an update, or give a directive.
Provide musical content with substance
Session musicians are often quite talented. Some of the men and women on the Tunedly roster, for instance, have worked on songs that appeared on major charts, graduated from top music schools, and collaborated with world-famous artists. Still, it's important to remember that regardless of the skill of a session musician, they are not magicians.
They won't be able to turn your sub-standard lyrics or incoherent song structure into a world-class tune. Ensure your work is done to the best of your ability and there is a solid base to build on, even if it's just lyrics on paper.
Ask for project updates but don’t be pesky
As mentioned earlier, you may want updates from time to time. And while it is reasonable to find out what's going on if significant time has passed, it can be unnerving if you are constantly checking to hear something new before another update is due. If you feel a musician is taking an abnormally long time or they have become unresponsive, it might be preferable to pull the plug on the project and find someone else.
Here at Tunedly, we give a timeline as to when our session musicians for hire will be finished with a project and send you timely updates so you can always be aware of what's going on.
The ability to hire musicians over the internet has been possible for some time now. You can find every talent – from backup singers and instrumentalists to producers and composers – on a website somewhere. If you are looking for collaborators but not sure where to start, Tunedly can help you get your songs produced with our team of professional session musicians. « return to blog