online session drummer

Looking for the perfect online session drummer for your track? Then keep reading.

First, let me start by saying that the right drummer for your track doesn’t have to be the most technically advanced one.

To find the best match, you need to think in advance and imagine how would some drummer sound on your track. His style and his energy need to match you and your track.

Here is the list of things you need to pay attention to…

Drumming Styles

If you’re recording a funk track, for instance, you don’t need the most technically advanced drummer who can play all the chops, but simply a guy who’s groove sounds funky. Someone who plays the funk like it needs to be played.

If you put the best metal drummer on a Jazz session, he will probably suck.

Also, please don’t make them get out of their comfort zone too much. Be sure to leave them enough space to be creative. Please don’t choose a drummer that plays all the crazy chops and make him record a standard jazz waltz.

If you make a mistake on this first step, you will waste your money and time afterward no matter what.

Drummer Dynamics

Every music genre has a different dynamic and a feel to it. So, in funk snare drum and hi-hat are louder than a bass drum, in jazz, the ride cymbal is leading, and bass drum and snare drum are in the background, in rock bass drum, and snare drum is the loudest, etc.

These things are making a difference between a boy and a man when It comes to drumming. Every experienced drummer should be comfortable in many styles and should be able to do change dynamically, but also every drummer has a style that fits him the most.

Studio Drumming VS Live Drumming

Have in mind that the two types are sometimes entirely different from another. The live gig is all about energy. You can pass that kind of gig without all the finesse and with some mistake here and there.

On the other side, in the studio, every mistake counts. Not every drummer is well prepared for the studio.

Being able to get rid of all your chops and play simple with precise and the right dynamic is what makes a good studio drummer.

He needs to serve the music well and play only things that track needs and not a single note over that, which is very hard for a lot of drummers.


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Good Drum Sound And Groove

Good sound comes from precision and while a good groove comes from the precise metric and the right dynamic.

If you can dance to a song that is a good starting point, that means the rhythm is groovy.

With a precise drummer, every stroke is with the same volume and in the same spot. The drum sounds best when you hit it in the middle, so if you have a drummer who is missing the target from time to time, the studio will not forgive that.

Having a good metric means that the distance between the notes is perfect. While having an excellent dynamic means that not only the drummer needs change the entire volume in different parts of the song, but his limbs need to be like a mixing board, and he should be able to change the volume of the components as well.

Recording Budget

This is where the money comes in place. Your budget is one of the essential things in drummer choice. Be aware of where what is possible to get for 50 or 100 bucks.

Let’s say you like the drum sound on Sting’s record. You need to know what is behind the scene and how much that costs.

He has Vinnie Colaiuta behind the drums, one of the best drummers ever walked the earth. The cost of having that monster on your record can go up to $2500 per day, easily.

At the same time, he probably records in some expensive studio that can cost up to $500 per hour. PLUS producer, sound engineer, mixing, mastering.

Basically, you could invest over $7000 in one drum track. Are you ready to pay that much? Probably not, so be prepared for compromise.

Where To Find A Session Drummer

Nowadays, in the internet era, you can find the right drummer for your track almost everywhere. Contact them through their website, a YouTube channel, Facebook or Instagram profile, etc.

Websites with a broad base of drummers are Fiverr, Airgigs and Nashville For Hire. It depends on your budget.

If you want to invest less than 100 bucks, go with Fiverr. Here you will find some solid drummers at a low rate.

If you wish to find a pro and pay $200-$600 go with Airgigs or Nashville For Hire. Here you will find some grammy-winning musicians and real pros.

Side note: Fiverr and Airgigs are both great ways to make some side cash offering your own services.

Musician Performance Agreement

Be sure everything is evident on both sides before he starts recording the track. He will need to know the tempo of the track and to have a drumless demo track so he can record it. Give him some references if you have a similar song in mind or some drummer or groove you like send him that as an example.

Also, ask if you have any revisions for the price. Some drummers will charge you for every revision they make.

The last thing is the delivery date, always set an exact date.

The safest way of hiring someone you don’t know is to go through the platforms like Fiverr, Airgigs or Nashville For Hire.

They will keep you and you money safe. When you pay, they are holding the money until you approve the delivery. On this kind of webpages, you can also find some previous work and reviews of the same.

Let’s Wrap Up

To summarize, here’s how to find the right session drummer for your track:

  • Have a clear idea about the final product.
  • Find a drummer who plays a style that you need.
  • Try to match the budget, don’t expect Vinnie in the Abbey Road for $50.
  • Agree with him on important recording related points such as revisions, delivery price.
  • Be sure he understands what you want, send him some examples.

That’s it! Just follow those steps to find the best session drummer at the best price for your track.

Guest post: Dennis Mitchell from DrumThat.com. Find more info about drum recording tips and drum equipment buying guides on Drumthat.com drum community blog.

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