James Blennerhassett

Top class Irish recording & performing Bassist

The Blen’s 10 tips for being a session Bassist


The Blen’s 10 tips for being a session Bassist


  1. Smile, it’s your lucky day, you have a session.
  2. Turn up on time not looking like you just fell out of bed.
  3. Bring several instruments, they always want the one you didn’t bring.
  4. New strings ( just in case they don’t like your trusty old flatwounds ).
  5. Make sure all your gear works with no crackles or hisses ( a good spit on a lead usually solves the former ).
  6. Bring your own coffee and plunger ( just in case the stuff in the studio is instant & they insist that it’s the real thing ).
  7. Have an open mind and a really good attitude, it’s somebody’s dream you are playing on.
  8. Play everything with loads of feel, in time and in tune ( if you can’t you shouldn’t be there ) and do it in the first take or two, it usually doesn’t get any better after that, in my experience.
  9. Don’t hang around too long after you’re done, pack up quietly, thank everyone, tell the producer you would love a copy of the finished product and exit stage left, ( leaving your card of course ) they usually want to get on with the next session.
  10. Smile, you’ve just helped to make a dream come true 🙂



Author: James Blennerhassett

I am a session bassist and contemporary composer based in Ireland, most of my studio work these days is done from my own place via Dropbox etc. I am also a member of Derek Ryan's touring band. I play Double bass and Bass guitar and most recently a derivative of the Chapman Stick, the NS Stick and several other instruments when I must :-) I have two solo instrumental albums on release called "End of a longer day" and "A small shadow" and I am currently writing and recording a series of Pictorial Audio projects comprising Text, Audio & Illustrations in collaboration with my sister Susan & her husband Vitya, inspired by special people, the unseen little folk, and other fantastic creatures that inhabit the woods, streams and lakes on this island .

2 thoughts on “The Blen’s 10 tips for being a session Bassist

  1. Great tip about bringing your own coffee bodem, hadn’t thought of that and I just can’t bring myself to drink the brackish swill of the coffee pot.

  2. In my experience getting work and sustaining it is as much about working on your interpersonal skills as musical skills. Just be prepared, be respectful and attend to the music. Great tips James.

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