Meeting my Session Drummer and Arranging Recording Dates

Today I met with the session drummer for my project, Casey Howden. I had been introduced to Casey through one of my close friends and immediately saw it as a great networking opportunity. I described my project for this semester and he explained how he was a musician keen for work so we exchanged numbers. I contacted Casey yesterday and we agreed to have an informal meeting at a particular reputable Café chain at 1pm Wednesday 11th March.

We met and discussed ideas for the project and I showed him potential rough tracks and he seemed really interested. He explained how he had studied drums at The British and Irish Modern Music Institute in Brighton (see references for website) and mentioned all the kit he had. This included 3 snares, various sticks and brushes, cymbals and toms etc. He also explained his previous experience in recording drums, his style and talked about how he likes every detail to be accurate – so much so he tunes each bit of kit to suit each song. Casey also took notes, seemed keen and appeared to have a vast understanding of his instrument. I explained I would not be able to pay him as such but I would of course cover basic costs such as travel and food but this was not a problem as Casey said he was ‘all about the music’. I offered him the role of session drummer and he gladly accepted.

As Casey works as a session musician his schedule is quite disjointed so we sat down and took advantage of the free wifi by scanning the bookings I had made previously via the University’s media loans website. There were some dates Casey couldn’t make so we arranged for some new bookings where I could take advantage of the MHT buildings extended out of hours service.

Therefore I shall aim to record drums on the following dates:

Saturday 21st March – 7pm onwards

Saturday 28th March – 6pm onwards

Monday April 6th – 6pm onwards

Wednesday April 8th – 1pm onwards

I decided on four sessions as we agreed we would be able to record two songs a session to a high standard. It means we will have one and a half sessions spare as contingency, which can be used for extra recordings and further percussion if needed. This gives Casey time to stay relaxed and spend a good deal of time setting up the kit as I set up the mics, which ultimately should lead to a more creative environment that will aid the quality of the recorded music. This also gives me a month to record various other session musicians and I feel it was key to get the drums tracked first.

Straight after our meeting, I emailed my assistant engineer Daniel Marnie and asked if he was free on the dates suggested. He responded quickly with a ‘yes’ which was fantastic as I feel it will give me a bit more breathing space to take a step back and really flourish in my role as auteur producer. As I am playing acoustic guitar on the E.P., it will also allow me to record at the same time as Casey as Daniel controls the desk. This will allow us to develop a groove or ‘feel’ for the song and it will give me a rough guide for timings when I overdub with guitar later in the process. I also hope to contact my proposed Bassist and invite him to the same sessions to enhance this ‘groove’.

It was a great experience to hire my first session musician and I can feel myself developing into the A&R aspect of producing as well. Now that I have scheduled my first instrument I cna begin to contact other session musicians and book them in to record on the latter dates. I look forward to working with Casey in the future!


Following this meeting I also,

  • Set up a studio timetable
  • Arranged Media Loans out of access
  • Contacted my Bassist

Please follow the links to see these posts.



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