Session guitarist, track record includes recording sessions and international tours with artists including Roger Waters, Mike Oldfield, Suede, Scott Walker, Slim Whitman, David Allen Coe, Kirsty McColl, Sarah Brendel, David Dundas, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Westernhagen, David Mead, Henning Staerk, Toyah, and many more.

I have a wide range of guitars and amps and play styles from classic rock to Indie, folk, Country, Americana, Blues, ambient, electronica....
If required, I can supply each track recorded with one close mic, one room mic, and one direct from the pick-up with no effects for you to re-amp at your will.

I have Pro Tools, Logic Pro X and Ableton Live 8.
Guitars include Fender Strat, Tele: Gibson Les Paul, 335, Hummingbird; Danelectro baritone, Epiphone SG & J400, Yamaha acoustic hi-strung, 12-string acoustic, and more.
Amps include Marshall, Fender, WEM, Kemper Profiling Amp, and more.
Mics include AKG, Shure, T-Bone, etc.
Mic pre-amps include Neve 1073.

My credits include

AllMusic verified credits for Jay Stapley:

  • Jay Stapley
  • Jeb Loy Nichols
  • Jake Searson
  • Westernhagen
  • Westernhagen
  • Westernhagen
  • Westernhagen
  • Westernhagen
  • Westernhagen
  • Jay Stapley
  • Westernhagen
  • Westernhagen
  • Westernhagen
  • Westernhagen
  • Westernhagen
  • Sarah Brendel
  • Sarah Brendel
  • Jake Searson
  • Scott Walker
  • David McWilliams
  • Nigel Dick
  • Nigel Dick
  • Nigel Dick
  • Tacye
  • Julian Dawson
  • Klaus Schulze
  • Klaus Schulze
  • Klaus Schulze
  • Toyah
  • Jay Stapley
  • Roger Chapman
  • Jay Stapley
  • Jay Stapley
  • Roger Waters
  • Roger Waters

Gear highlights

  • Strat
  • Tele
  • Les Paul
  • 335
  • Hummingbird
  • Marshall amps
  • Fender amps
  • WEM amps
  • Kemper Profiling Amp
  • AKG mics
  • Shure mics
  • T-Bone mics
  • Neve 1073 mic pre-amps

Genres I specialize in

Terms of Service

I'm always interested in the song primarily and will discuss with the client to gain an understanding of how they see their work. I'll do revisions, and am happy to have clients sit in on Skype while

Reviews of Jay Stapley, guitars & mixing

  • Default-avatar7 days agoby Verified Review

    Completed another track for the album with Jay. Again with good results and he is a patient man when it comes to revisions.

  • Default-avatar17 days agoby Verified Review

    We did another track in a completely different style, but again with great results. Excellent guitar tone for the leads.

  • Default-avatar26 days agoby Verified Review

    Completed another project with Jay. Again, a great experience. Fast turnaround, good communication and he easily tunes into your ideas and delivers quality results.

  • Default-avatar28 days agoby Verified Review

    It was a real pleasure working with Jay. Good communication, good sound and came up with some ideas that worked perfectly with the track. Super experience.

  • Default-avatarabout 1 month agoby Verified Review

    Fast and accurate. Professional work, professional sound. Vast collection of guitars and amplifiers for different sounds.

  • Listing_thumb_22 months agoby Verified Review

    it was a pleasure, working with Jay.
    fantastic guitar player...he knows exactly, what a track needs....

    wanna work again with him, for sure!

  • Default-avatar3 months agoby Verified Review

    Again I will say it, the most amazing guitarist on SoundBetter. Don't pass up your chance to have Jay take your songs where you thought they couldn't go!!! Will work with him again VERY, VERY SOON!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Default-avatar3 months agoby Verified Review

    Jay is an exceptional musician and artist! He has a wonderfully creative style and was able to extract a playful interpretation of the melody as needed for this project. Lovely to work with!

  • Default-avatar3 months agoby Verified Review

    Amazing musician, fast and profesional. Really good touch. Highly recommended

  • Default-avatar3 months agoby Verified Review

    Best guitarist I've ever worked with...hands down. Has great skill and tones to take your songs to that next level. Great guy with EXCELLENT communication. Great turnaround time as well. If you want the best for your work, and who doesn't, then you want Jay... point blank!!!

  • Listing_thumb_studio_pic.png3 months agoby Verified Review

    It has been a pleasure working with Jay, My artist was delighted with the ideas he brought to the table, he is very experienced, great vision, fast turnover and professional.
    Highly recommend !

  • Default-avatar5 months agoby Verified Review

    Jay is great toward with! Super professional, versatile, fast and a try pro through and through. Not to mention - the sound and tone of his playing and recording is great! Highly recommended.

  • Listing_thumb_terry_california_years5 months agoby Verified Review

    Jay is the consummate professional. He knew exactly where to play as well as where NOT to play. Fast turnaround and excellent communication. Have to write another track just to work with him again. Highly recommended!

  • Listing_thumb_img_03856 months agoby Verified Review

    Absolutely amazing job at getting the mix spot on!!! Can hear every single layer clearly with defined tones, yet gel together seamlessly! A*****

  • Listing_thumb_pressebilde_snart_gryr_en_dag_lite6 months agoby Verified Review

    Jay is a high skilled musician who plays with feeling and musicianship . He is positive and creative and keeps his deadlines. The audio quality of his recordings is excellent. I can really recommend him!

  • Listing_thumb_img_03857 months agoby Verified Review

    Working with Jay was an absolute breeze! He is a professional and it clearly shows in his meticulous playing! I also asked him to record a bit of "free reign" and wow, did he deliver! Will definitely use Jay on my future tracks/projects. HIGHLY recommended.

  • Listing_thumb_12593532_606265299520815_5023770415127593770_o8 months agoby Verified Review

    What can I say? Jay was awesome. He was clear with his proposal. He was into the process. He took care to do the things I asked him to do...with multiple mics for colour I might add...and he added some tasty ideas of his own.

    And was fast. And that's just wicked.

    Jay is recommended by me. And I will revisit our relationship again.

  • Listing_thumb_knux_profile_pic8 months agoby Verified Review

    Professional musician!!
    He did a excellent job playing the guitar!!

  • Listing_thumb_avatarsd9 months agoby Verified Review

    Very quick turnaround, very good communication, and an excellent product. Thanks Jay!

  • Listing_thumb_13147306_10153988180254792_6486484211133366307_o2 months agoby

    I've worked with Jay in several different scenarios over the years, from being the guitarist on a record he was producing, to creating custom Kemper amplifier profiles for commercial sale. Jay's a sublime musician, very humble, and a pleasure to work with.

  • Listing_thumb_22 months agoby

    Jay did a great job on a track i produced!
    Very happy and next time again please :-)

    rico H, producer @creativelounge, MALLORCA

  • Listing_thumb_sb_silhouette4 months agoby

    We have worked on several tours and albums with Jay over the years and he is one of our very favourite people. As a guitarist he can do it all but always puts the song first. A great musician and a warm, intelligent man.

  • Default-avatar8 months agoby

    Jay is a genius. Very calm, very controlled, very precise. He throws his whole expertise at the job in hand, and makes sure that you come out of his studio very happy with the results. He sure knows what he's doing.

  • Listing_thumb_img_87219 months agoby

    Fantastic, knowledgeable and a true professional!

  • Default-avatar9 months agoby

    Met Jay whilst playing on Tubular Bells Live! at Colchester Institute recently and when the time came to update my prerecorded tracks for 'Electric Counterpoint' by Steve Reich I thought of Jay. Not only did it turn out to be a fun and relaxed 3 days of recording the tracks but the end product exceeded even my high expectations. Jay's depth of know

  • Default-avatar9 months agoby

    very good gutar and studio work ! thank you very much jay..for your great gutarsounds you give us...

  • Default-avatar9 months agoby

    es ist mir eine grosse ehre, dass ich mittlerweile mit jay zusammenarbeiten darf..er hatte schon immer diesen special-sound und Stil..darüberhinaus verleiht er den Kompositionen ungeahnte Nuancen....jay stapley ist und bleibt für mich ein Welt-klasse Gitarrist..musiker und freund ! ich freue mich auf vieles neues und die gemeinsame Produktion !

  • Listing_thumb_hugh_profile39 months agoby

    Jay has an incredible musical sensitivity and a great ear for what a song really needs. A really creative and musical guitarist. It's always a pleasure to have him involved in a project!

  • Default-avatar9 months agoby

    Clean and cool! Cutting edge but classic...great job Jay!

  • Listing_thumb_simon_edwards_bass10 months agoby

    I have worked on many sessions and gigs with Jay. He always brings great sounds and playing to the music and a really intelligent, positive approach. A sure bet

  • Picture?type=large10 months agoby

    I've just very recently had the pleasure of working with Jay again. His musical attitude & approach to each song is 'always' a joy to hear unfold!
    He has great feel, and great ears for what's needed.
    So do yourselves a favour, and get Jay involved in your song!

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Interview with Jay Stapley, guitars & mixing

Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
Roger Waters "Radio KAOS" album and tour: it was a technically challenging tour and an early example of the marriage of computer and analog technology. I played guitar and guitar synths.
What are you working on at the moment?
A recording of Steve Reich's "Electric Counterpoint" for a guitarist who performs it live, a library (production music) album of Ambient Electronica, a Rocktronica album, and acoustic EP for a local artist, and a new collection of my own material.
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Chuck Sabo, Simon Edwards
Analog or digital and why?
It depends on the style/genre of music. If the project is Rock/Blues/Country/Folk/Acoustic, analog. For ambient/EDM, digital. I always use valve amps for electric guitars (even if I'm using the KPA, it goes into the power amp stage off a valve amp) and Neve 1073 mic pre-amps.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
When I'm working on your project I will believe in it as much as you do.
What do you like most about your job?
They don't call it "playing' for nothing:-)
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
When can I have the tracks back? My answer? By the agreed deadline. How many stages of revision do I get? Answer: 1, and after that we can negotiate, but I recommend that we Skype while I'm doing that revision.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
That it's easy.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What does this song mean to you? What do you expect from me?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Trust us: there is a reason why we are all professionals.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
My Hummingbird, Strat, Deluxe Reverb,a laptop and a Shure SM58 beta. Can't I have more, please?
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I've been a session musician for over 40 years, starting in London in the late 1970s and rolling with all the changes in that time. My starting point was simple: I'd do whatever I was asked, even if there was no money, because I'd meet other musicians, and other (paid) jobs would come out of those freebies. My aim was always that when I left the session the artist/producer would say "what a great musician." Notice that distinction: I didn't say "guitarist," I said "musician."
How would you describe your style?
Clean, simple, powerful.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
David Bowie, but sadly that won't happen now... He always had an ear for great guitarists and his music was honest. He also had a reputation amongst musicians as being one of the good guys.
Can you share one music production tip?
The equipment is only as good as the people on either end of it. Your bedside manner is as important as your technical skill.
What type of music do you usually work on?
Anything except Jazz and metal.
What's your strongest skill?
Being sensitive to the song.
What do you bring to a song?
I play the song, not the chart. I look for parts rather than just jamming along, and whatever I play is done with passion and belief: that combination of feel and accuracy is what makes for good recordings. I provide the client with one close-mic, one room mic, and one track direct from the guitar pickup so they can re-amp if they want to.
What's your typical work process?
It depends on the job: for mixing I listen to the reference tracks and the client's rough mix, discuss their requirements and then get to work. First job is to put everything up and see what's on the tracks, then I start to build the mix around the vocal. I make a balance first, before touching EQ or compression. For guitar sessions, I set up a suitable amp, play the song a few times (recording everything I do to catch those initial instictive ideas!) and then start refining the parts.
Tell us about your studio setup.
I have a studio with 2 live rooms, an acoustic piano (upright oblique-strung Erard) and lots of guitars/amps and odd stringed instruments such as a Timple, Banjolele, Autoharp, etc.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Jeff Beck, Underworld, Bob Clearmountain, Keith Richards, Vince Gill, and all the unsung heroes behind the desk whose names no-one knows.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Guitar recording, mixing, editing, songwriting.