Chris McQueen

Guitarist, Bassist, & Arranger

Chris McQueen on SoundBetter

I'm a multiple Grammy winning guitarist, arranger, and member of Snarky Puppy. I specialize in mixing genres; I studied jazz and funk, but I grew up on rock. I'm into punk, hip-hop, country, mariachi--you name it I've done the deep listening and I love to recreate different sounds. I also arrange for string sections, string quartet, and horns.

I specialize in guitar, in just about any genre. I love using pedals and making interesting sounds, but I also record a lot of acoustic guitar, nylon string, electric bass, and specialty instruments like nylon-stringed guitar and ukulele.

I arrange for strings, horn sections, and string quartet. You can hear some of my arrangements from the Houston-based quartet Divisi Strings, and my other arrangements have been for church performances and pop recordings.

I also produce tracks using drum sampling and recording on a Moog Little Phatty. I use Logic Pro as well as Pro Tools.

I studied jazz at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX, one of the premiere jazz colleges in the US. in 2005-2006 I played in the renown UNT One O'Clock Lab Band (big band) and composed the song "Foe Destroyer" which we recorded for the album Lab 2006. After college I studied under some of the Gospel/jazz/funk luminaries in the Dallas, TX scene, and I recorded and performed with Myron Butler & Levi.

I have played with Snarky Puppy since its inception in 2005 and have performed on almost every album and toured the world with the group. Snarky Puppy has won 3 Grammys, including for their album "Sylva" (recorded with the Metropole orchestra) on which I co-arranged a track.

I have recorded guitar, bass, and drum/synth production for a wide range of artists from my home studio.

Click the 'Contact' above to get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Credits

AllMusic verified credits for Chris McQueen
  • Snarky Puppy
  • Snarky Puppy
  • Neil Slater
  • UNT One O'Clock Lab Band
  • So Much Light
  • David Crosby
  • Bokanté
  • Bokanté
  • Bokanté
  • Bokanté
  • Bokanté
  • Bokanté
  • Snarky Puppy
  • Lucy Woodward
  • Lucy Woodward
  • Michael Mitnick
  • Will Connolly
  • Kim Rosenstock
  • Michael Mitnick
  • Will Connolly
  • Kim Rosenstock
  • Metropole Orkest
  • Snarky Puppy
  • Metropole Orkest
  • Snarky Puppy
  • Metropole Orkest
  • Snarky Puppy
  • Metropole Orkest
  • Snarky Puppy
  • Snarky Puppy
  • Snarky Puppy
  • Snarky Puppy
  • Myron Butler & Levi
  • Myron Butler
  • Snarky Puppy
  • Snarky Puppy
  • Snarky Puppy
  • Oso Closo
  • Oso Closo
  • Oso Closo
  • Oso Closo
  • nelo
  • nelo
  • Commanders

Interview with Chris McQueen

  1. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  2. A: I'm very proud of my band Forq's last album, Four. I co-wrote a lot of it, played guitar on it, and co-produced it. It contains a lot of sounds, textures, and feelings that I'm so happy to have been able to put into a record.

  3. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  4. A: Just finished recording some guitar tracks on some demos for the band Empire of the Sun, and I've been recording a new original song of my own that I'm releasing as a streaming single.

  5. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  6. A: Brian Donohoe is a great saxophone/multi-instrumentalist

  7. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  8. A: Both--I record digitally because you can try 1000 options quickly. But I love the sound of analog things. I have an Moog analog synth and analog guitar pedals because these things have a special feeling to them. I also have my 4-track tape recorder from when I was a kid that I sometimes record things onto for special vintage effect.

  9. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  10. A: You'll get something special

  11. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  12. A: Solving a little puzzle that has a satisfying musical creation at the end.

  13. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  14. A: Can you do _____? My answer is yes :)

  15. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  16. A: I'm not sure to be honest!

  17. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  18. A: What sound are you looking for? What instruments? What are some examples of other songs I can listen to for reference? Or do you want me to just go nuts and do whatever I want?

  19. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  20. A: It's okay if you don't have a super specific idea of what you want. In that case it would help to send 3 or so examples of tracks that you love--whether that's the sound, the general vibe, or specific parts of them.

  21. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  22. A: Moollon thinline Telecaster with whammy bar, Fender Brownface Princeton, Moog Little Phatty, Apollo Twin audio interface, and Laptop --- hoping I get the cables for free :)

  23. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  24. A: I started writing and recording music on a 4-track tape recorder when I was 10 years old. I joined a kid rock band that gigged around Austin when I was 13. I started studying jazz and played in my high school jazz band, studied music at the University of North Texas, had music mentors in the Dallas area, and have toured the world with the bands Snarky Puppy, Forq, Bokante, & Banda Magda.

  25. Q: How would you describe your style?

  26. A: Rhythmic and vibey

  27. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  28. A: Ruban Nielson (of Unknown Mortal Orchestra), I would love to know his production techniques

  29. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  30. A: Check the mix in mono

  31. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  32. A: A big variety: synthy funk, singer-songwriter, alternative rock, string quartet, worship

  33. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  34. A: I have a lot of music history knowledge and decades of experience playing live, which I think creates a foundation of musicality for my projects.

  35. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  36. A: Hopefully exactly what it needs.

  37. Q: What's your typical work process?

  38. A: Listen, make a plan, set up, try a few takes all the way through, evaluate, change or redo as necessary, edit, add effects, mix

  39. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  40. A: I have an Apollo Twin MKII audio interface which has an amazing array of plug-ins for preamps, EQs, compression, etc. For mics I have a Soyuz 013 FET Small‑diaphragm Condenser, as well Shure SM-57 and 58s. I tend to record guitar tracks stereo into 2 different amps to get 2 sounds at once. I have a Fender Jazz Special bass, a Moog Little Phatty for analog synth sounds, a MIDI controller, an AKAI MPD for beat making, and a Kemper Amp Profiler which does a great job for direct guitar recording. I have a lot of Native Instruments plugins. I have a small sound barrier for recording background vocals cleanly.

  41. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  42. A: My recent favorite style of production is that of Tame Impala and Unknown Mortal Orchestra--vintage, synth-wave, funky with a lot of detail and care put in. I'm also inspired by Jimi Hendrix from a guitar and production standpoint, as well as Zapp and Daft Punk. But I listen to and get inspiration from a huge variety of recordings.

  43. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  44. A: I'm usually hired to play guitar tracks for people with direction that ranges from "this is exactly what I want" to "do whatever you hear". I enjoy either approach and usually the client ends up happy with my first attempt. I'm also regularly hired to make string and horn arrangements (which I can either deliver in MIDI audio form or in sheet music form for real musicians to play)

Terms Of Service

Turn-around time is between 1 and 3 days. Let me know if you need same day or next day turn-around time and I can usually accommodate. I'll happily include 1 round of revisions.

GenresSounds Like
  • Bruno Mars
  • Daft Punk
  • Radiohead
Gear Highlights
  • Princeton Brownface (original 60s)
  • Supro Coronado
  • Kemper Amp Profiler
  • Moollon Thinline Telecaster
  • Moollon Custom Les Paul
  • Heritage H-535 (ES-335)
  • Collings Waterloo Acoustic
  • Fender Jazz Bass Special
  • Moog Little Phatty
  • Nylon-string
  • ukulele
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