This master class takes a glimpse into the life of a busy Los Angeles Studio Player. What things are important in building a career and the things that go into maintaining it as well. With the diversity of different areas of recording: Motion Pictures, Television, Jingles and Record Dates, there are different challenges with each area. Topics to be discussed include: the balance between terror and boredom, usual equipment and instrument requirements, different musical styles used, techniques for sustaining concentration for long periods of time, and thoughts about the industry as a whole. Bring your questions and enjoy.
James Olcott, reporter
Los Angeles trumpet pro Jon Lewis, featured earlier in the ITG conference as soloist with the Texas Christian University Wind Ensemble, gave an extended presentation that gave a glimpse into the life of a busy studio player.
Lewis touched on many subjects, including building and maintaining a career, the challenges involved with being a studio player, and the need to create an individuality in ones playing while at the same time being able to copy and create any style of music necessary for the needs of the music and continuity of sound within the section. Each player of high stature has some sort of icon, he said, and the folks responsible for the hiring often ask for a particular player because of his particular sound or musical approach.
Claiming that he is mediocre at everything rather than an expert at one or another style, Lewis has proved, through his body of work, that he is deemed by fellow players, contractors, writers, and even producers to be one of the tops in the business, as he works almost daily in top recording studios.
Lewis did very little playing other than to demonstrate warm-ups, sound, and style. Rather, he spoke of the importance of mental focus, consistency and dependability, and the challenge of playing take after take after take, each time playing the part in front of you right in every way. You have no control over anything, he said. Balance, volume, style, number of takes, physical conditions, etc., are all in the hands of the arrangers, engineers, and producers, adding that such conditions can get frustrating at times.
Lewis comments were well received by the more than 125 people in the audience. He did mention at the outset that, due to the fact that most of the master class attendees were trumpet players, and some of them highly respected colleagues, he can be cool as a cucumber when that red light in the studio goes on, but in front of you all, Im as nervous as a cat.