Finally, any advice for people wanting to become session musicians?
Probably the most important thing, as always in life, is that YOU’RE NICE! You end up spending weeks on end in close quarters with your bandmates, so just being friendly and non-confrontational will do you well. With this in mind, Some basic 'life' things like sleep patterns and diet can be a little spangled at times. it’s important that you look after your mental health too.
Be generous! I don't really like to think of the music scene as competitive. I prefer to share knowledge and experience rather than protecting it as my own. I try to make myself as dispensable as possible, which ironically means that you become involved in a wider variety of projects rather than just protecting your one gig. If you hook up other people up with work, they're likely to return the favour.
It’s important that session musicians are musically versatile. Most session musicians I know were either trained at uni on performance based pop courses, or jazz courses. Both have their advantages! The more you can play, the more you can say yes to work when it comes in.
There’s nothing worse than saying yes to a challenging gig, not playing that great and getting fired shortly after. Trust me! That just comes down to a lot of instrumental practice.
Technology is important too - it’s not just about the notes you play - the quality of your tone and sound are super important. For years I had a Nord just for the sake of a good piano sound, but it can do so much more. Definitely read the manual, watch YouTube tutorials and try and learn about all the features you can. It’ll make your life a lot easier.
One final point: remember that it's ONLY music - no one is going to die if you get it wrong. It's pointless unless you're having a good time.