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Digital Subscriptions > Guitar Magazine > Dec 17 > JOSH SMITH’S GUIDE TO THE PERFECT SESSION


15 years on the LA studio scene turned a former child prodigy from Florida into a seasoned session pro and one of the most respected guitarists in the business. Read on as Josh Smith shares the hard-earned wisdom that’ll help you get called back time and time again…

This Is A Call

“When I get the call, if I’ve worked with the producer before then I’ll have a relatively informed idea of what I’ll bring to the session. Or he’ll just tell me. If I haven’t worked with them before, I’ll bring tonnes of gear! I’ll bring everything that I think I might possibly need. And that goes hand in hand with having built a toolbox full of all the right tools.”

Sharpest Tool In The Box

“You always need Les Paul, Tele, Strat. Those are the three number ones, absolutely. Then sometimes a 335. I always take one electroacoustic just to be safe. Sometimes you need oddballs; maybe a Gretsch or a baritone, or a Rickenbacker. A 12-string electric is something in your real life you’ll probably use once every 10 years but on sessions it’s something I can end up using once a week. It creates a sound that makes the producer go, ‘Oh, I didn’t even think of that.’

“So you need guitars that tick all those boxes, then you need pedals that tick all the boxes. Definitely if you can’t bring multiple amps. You may need clean, bright sounds like a Fender blackface thing, but a lot of times producers will ask for something Beatles-y or U2 or Tom Petty, and it’s something you can’t pull off without a Vox. I typically take one blackface-style amp and one Vox-style amp. If I need the Marshall thing, I’ll do it with a pedal.”

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About Guitar Magazine

The December 2017 issue of The Guitar Magazine is on sale now! Inside, you’ll find a massive 24-page feature devoted to The Secrets Of Studio Guitar. Following exclusive insights into the golden era of session guitar from Wrecking Crew luminary Carol Kaye and Tommy Tedesco’s son Denny, we move into the modern age (albeit via a raft of vintage tube amps) with recording tips courtesy of Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb, first-call LA guitarist Josh Smith’s guide to the perfect session and a tale of how digital modelling can be the answer to your sonic prayers. Elsewhere in the mag, we pay tribute to Tom Petty, review a raft of hot new gear from the likes of Fender, Maybach, Satellite Amps, G&L and Keeley and show you how to build your own acoustic guitar in the latest instalment of DIY Workshop. For all that and a FREE 2018 calendar packed full of beautifully photographed vintage and star guitars, pick up your copy of the December issue of The Guitar Magazine now!