Guitar.com Live: Mark Lettieri, Angie Swan and Kerry Marshall on what it takes to be an in-demand sessionist

The conversation discusses studio work, adapting to onstage challenges and much more.

Guitar.com Live: A panel of session greats – including Mark Lettieri, Angie Swan and Kerry “2smooth” Marshall – took part in a remote conversation on what it takes to be an in-demand musician in the biz. The conversation streamed during the opening day of the virtual guitar show.

The panel was led by Mark Lettieri of Snarky Puppy, who opened the discussion by asking: “What makes a good session guitarist?”

“I would say versatility firstly,” Marshall responded. “Number one: you wanna have a good tone; be [someone who has] a quick turnaround, somebody who’s able to make adjustments, because you never know […] what a producer wants, what they hear.”

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Elsewhere in the discussion, Swan gave an account of being a guitarist for the contemporary circus company Cirque Du Soleil, which presented its own unique challenges.

“We would have to be on the stage sometimes when the acrobats went flying over us,” Swan said. “What was weird was what was going on in our ears, because the band leader’s looking at three TV screens. And so the music sometimes didn’t go on a click – we had to follow the action. So if an acrobat landed on an upbeat, the upbeat would automatically become the downbeat”

Watch the entire panel discussion above.

Check out more exclusive videos from our virtual guitar show at Guitar.com/live

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