Session Musician
An active musician who plays in studio sessions and live performances, with their own projects and with other artists.

A new live band workshop for musicians looking to develop beyond basic instrumental ability and expand their musical opportunities.

Whether your goal is to earn a full time living from music, occasionally be paid to play or just want to advance your skills as a live musician, this is the music workshop for you.

Being an active, well rounded musician in modern times is about more than having the best playing or singing technique.


Understanding the music you are playing, developing versatility, being able to step in with an established live band and knowing how to create and run your own band (should you wish) are some of the key skills you will need to develop.

This live band workshop aims to arm you with the knowledge and experience needed to develop into better live session musician

Session Skills focuses on;

  • Playing with others; gelling with other live musicians, defining your role within a particular ensemble, managing mistakes.

  • Exploring all genres of modern music; improving versatility through studying pop, rock, soul, blues, funk, jazz, dance, metal and reggae.

  • Relevant theory; building a practical understanding of harmony, melody, rhythm and timbre.

  • Performance skills: perfecting the art of crafting a song into an engaging live show.

  • Professionalism: discussing what makes a musician successful aside from their playing


Rhinocorn Studio, Cambridge​

Classes are 3 hours with breaks.

Each workshop can accommodate:

1 drummer - 1 bass player

2 guitarists - 1 singer

1 keyboard player - 2 horn players

Open to players of grade 4/5 standard or above -  you should be able to comfortably play the songs listed. Ages 17+

When you sign up for a session, you'll receive a basic lesson plan with accompanying chord sheets, music etc. to prepare.

Attendance: £50

You can book onto multiple Session Skills workshops

or take it as a one off class. 

Upcoming sessions:

2020 TBC

Use the form below to sign up for a Session Skills workshop

Session Skills is run by Mike, a professional multi-instrumental musician, owner of Rhincorn Studio and Bespoke Party Bands. 


Mike trained at Leeds College of Music and has built experience touring with original artists, performing with professional function bands, writing and recording for corporate clients, running open mic nights, conducting orchestras, teaching instrumental lessons, arranging and scoring for various ensembles and engineering/mixing numerous recording sessions.

Over the years spent in rehearsal rooms and on stages, I have learned which skills are most useful to today's musician - I want to share this with you and help you to develop your overall musicianship. The most fun and relevant way to do this is by learning with other musicians."

"Being a good musician isn't necessarily about instrumental ability - some of the best players never leave the bedroom, and some of the most successful artists are the least proficient.

Session Skills is ideal for:

  • Those who have learnt an instrument/singing to a good standard and want to challenge themselves and develop their skills playing live with other musicians.

  • Those who want to expand their musicality and knowledge beyond their current band/project.

  • Those who want to build their musicianship into a lucrative skill, including being able to take on more dep gigs and form their own band.

Session Structure

  • Song 1 - Arranging

We will play through the song a few times working on the overall band sound. Then deconstruct the song, analyse it's elements and rearrange into a different style/genre.

  • Song 2 - Improvisation

A song with the capacity for soloing and jamming. Looking at what knowledge is needed to competently improvise through a given structure.

  • Song 3 - Performance Techniques

Looking at how to transform a song into a live performance NOT a live practice! We will look at how to use different sounds, create tension/excitement, and develop stagecraft.

Upcoming Sessions


Thu 28th November

- Island in The Sun - Weezer​

- That's The Way (I Like It) - KC & The Sunshine Band

- New Shoes - Paolo Nutini

Required Ability Level

Although this workshop is not aimed at beginners, neither is it for professional musicians. If you can understand the following and play the songs listed in the session plan, then you are definitely capable of participating.

Guitarists and Keyboardists should be able to play major, minor and 7th chords and the minor pentatonic scale in any key.

Bassists should know the notes of the fretboard and the minor pentatonic scale in all keys.

Drummers should be able to keep time consistently and slow, medium and fast tempos

Vocalists should be comfortable pitching in tune and ad libbing.

Horn Players should be comfortable playing in all keys and familiar with the minor pentatonic scale.

Previous songs​

All Right Now - Free

Be The One - Dua Lipa

Mr Jones - Counting Crows

Walk On By - The Stranglers

Wake Me Up - Aviici

Dancing In The Moonlight - Toploader

Locked Out Of Heaven - Bruno Mars

Evil Ways - Santana

Dancing In The Dark - Bruce Springsteen

Feel Good Inc. - Gorillaz

She's Got Issues - The Offspring

Refugee - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Turn Off The Light - Nelly Furtado

She's Electric - Oasis

That Smell - Lynard Skynard

This Love - Maroon 5


"I found the session really useful. I was pushed out of my comfort zone which is a good thing!

Improvisation is my weakest area, so the workshop really helped me work on this.


Everyone was very supportive and patient, which lessened the fear of making mistakes!


The pace was good. We covered a lot in the 3 hours and there was no hanging around.


I came away listening more to song structures and thinking about dynamics. I also know that I need to look more at different genres of music! I've covered some other styles in lessons and exams, but never really used them in my actual playing.


I think that for anyone having one on one instrument lessons, this is a very valuable add on. Looking forward to the next one!"

Gaynor - Drummer