Niels van der Steenhoven

Session Guitarist

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23 Reviews (22 Verified)
Niels van der Steenhoven on SoundBetter

Do you want high energy pop, rock or funk guitar on your tracks? Acoustic fingerstyle or strumming? Or do you need a kickass guitar solo on it? Look no further! Check out my audio compilation and reviews.

Hi, I'm Niels. I have been a professional guitarist for more than 20 years now. I graduated at the Conservatory of Rotterdam in 2002 where I studied Rock and Jazz guitar.

As a session guitarist I've toured with many famous Dutch and foreign artists, including the famous 70's progrock band FOCUS (known from hits like Hocus Pocus), Tito Jackson (Jackson5) and famous actor and musician Michiel Huisman (Nashville, House on Haunted Hill, Game of Thrones). I also produced a few records, wrote and produced my own solo records and wrote songs for other artists. I got placements in several commercials (including big clients like Google), movie trailers etc.

I am a melodic player and like to approach your songs from that perspective. I like to put energy and groove in a track. It has to lock with the bass and drum parts you know. I'm also a highly skilled improviser and able to create solos in the style of famous players like Joe Satriani, John Mayer, Mark Knopfler, David Gilmour, Steve Lukather etc. I am also a tone freak and I have a great collection of amps, pedals and rack gear to create all the sounds you can think of.

Check out my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/NvdSteenhoven

I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.

23 Reviews - 7 Repeat Clients

Endorse Niels van der Steenhoven
  1. Review by Kevin D.
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    This was my first project with Niels and he delivered several great guitar parts. Looking forward to working with him again.

  2. Review by daysimonj
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    I can’t recommend Niels highly enough, if you need guitar parts he always delivers, and always serves the song, whether you need powerful, emotional guitar solos, funk rythme work or just tasteful textures. Niels always communicates clearly and is equally at home writing parts or working under
    instruction. Delivery always on time and stems that are ready to drop into any project.

  3. Review by Florin R.
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    Niels is an amazing musician with a beautiful articulation and a sweet sense of music. Fast delivery & great communication. Pleasure working together!

  4. Review by daysimonj
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    Niels is great to work with, communication is clear, creation and execution of parts is always exceptional

  5. Review by Rye C.
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    by Rye C.
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    My second project with Niels was just as impressive as the first - he has such an expert ear and is able to lend a project the perfect blend of dynamic and depth while also showing professional restraint for the perfect addition. I am a fan of this man - his work motivates me to write more music just so I can work with him again.

  6. Review by daysimonj
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    In previous reviews I’ve spoken about the technical ability that Niels possesses, music is all about collaboration and conversation, and when I drop Neils work into my projects it makes me smile because I can hear how much passion he has for playing the guitar and that shows. It’s sometimes a challenge to get an energetic live band feel when musicians haven’t played in the same space. With Niels playing and arrangements it feels and sounds like there’s energy in the room.

  7. Review by Rye C.
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    by Rye C.
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    Niels is such a stellar artist - I reviewed about a dozen other artist profiles and his instantly stood out as exceptional - the project he delivered was perfectly executed and on-point for the style of the project. I am an instant fan and will be a repeat client! Highly recommend!

  8. Review by daysimonj
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    This isn’t the first review I’ve left for Niels, the fact that I keep returning is testament to his work. Niels can always hear the parts the song needs next he can always transfer those ideas into his work because he demonstrates all the technical skills required to deliver, tasteful acoustics , interesting texture pads and rip roaring lead work, In my experience guitar players usually excel at either lead or rythme - Neils excels in both - stems are always pristine too.

  9. Review by Melinda B.
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    This superman can follow specific directions or create something amazing out of thin air - once again I'm so happy with the outcome! Thanks Niels!

  10. Review by John L.
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    Thanks again very much for the wonderful guitar tracks. You really understood what the song needed.
    I'm very happy as always with the great work you do.

  11. Review by Melinda Kay
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    What a rare find! Niels went above and beyond. He listened intently to the notes I had and parts I created. He even added some of his own creative ideas which I am definitely using in my song. A real professional and all round great musician and person! Thanks again Niels!

  12. Review by daysimonj
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    This is the second time I’ve worked with Neils and I am very happy with the outcome, Neils is an exceptional guitar player but more telling is his ability to hear what a song needs, he is punctual and his recordings are pristine.

  13. Review by daysimonj
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    Neil’s was great to work with - he asked all the right questions in order to deliver parts perfect for the song, this is the sign of not just a great guitarist but a serving musician.

  14. Review by John L.
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    This is the second Time I use Neils, and will continue using him as we really like what he brings to our song. He did a lot of beautiful tracks for us and we are very happy with them. He Communicates very well.
    He is a true Professional

  15. Review by John L.
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    I have listened to a lot of session players on Soundbetter, and Neils playing really caught my ear, and I checked out his youtube videos to learn more about what He is able to do and the more I listened the more I knew that He He would be able to add the guitar tracks needed to my songs. He is very Versatile and what He adds Compliments a song very well. I will use him on many songs He is a real Pro. I would highly Recommend him.

  16. Review by Craig M.
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    This is the first time I've worked w/ Neils and I'm absolutely giddy w/ the results. Based on the power pop / alternative direction of the tune, he wrote parts that exceeded my expectations. Musicianship and communication second to none. Nothing but a pure joy working with him. Looking forward to the next project.

  17. Review by The M.
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    by The M.
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    Official rating is 8 stars. Gave Niels an obscure reference for the sound I was looking for.He nailed it on the first go at it. Hats off to Niels for his exceptional guitar playing, politeness and professionalism. And the sound quality is unmatched!

  18. Review by Dove S.
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    Niels is a gifted and skilled guitarist who paid attention to instructions and delivered what was promised.

  19. Review by Adrian Zagoritis/Savannah Blue
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    Niels is absolutely brilliant. Fast, intelligent, skilful, fun to work with - and he's a super-tight, funky guitarist, who can play any style you want. Do not look any further for your guitars than Niels. Seriously

  20. Review by Adrian Zagoritis/Savannah Blue
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    Niels did a fabulous job for me. He is enthusiastic , engaging, polite, fast, communicative and BRILLIANT. He's a super-talented guitarist, in many different genres. If you are thinking of working with Niels - do it - you won't regret it! I'll be back for more projects asap. Thanks, Niels! :)

Interview with Niels van der Steenhoven

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

  2. A: I produced an album for Coby Grant (I was Young), that was a great experience. I also toured around the globe with the legendary rockband FOCUS. That was cool!

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

  4. A: If I can finish it yesterday ;-) Just kidding, but I try to deliver as soon as possible. Usually within two days.

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

  6. A: A lot of people think that I only like to play solo stuff but I love to be a sideman and play a simple but good guitar part.

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

  8. A: What they want to express with the music, and for what purpose the music is. Also which feeling/emotion they want me to put into the track.

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

  10. A: A strat, a good overdrive, delay and reverb pedal and an amp. Thats all you need.

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

  12. A: Always check your part in the mix to hear if the sound blends with the other instruments and also check it solo with all the other guitar parts. They have to work together and not against each-other.

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

  14. A: A new solo album with instrumental guitar songs.

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

  16. A: There are all kinds of great artists on Soundbetter. It really depends on what your looking for.

  17. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  18. A: Both, its 2020! c'mon...

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

  20. A: To make them happy and deliver killer sounding tracks.

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

  22. A: Every day is different and every piece of music is different. Its never a dull moment.

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

  24. A: Always check if the sound and style of the player fits your music, no matter how good he is.

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

  26. A: I started in 1995 and never looked back. Only guitar playing and music for a living since then.

  27. Q: How would you describe your style?

  28. A: Melodic and groovy. I can play loud but also soft.

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

  30. A: John Mayer because he writes interesting guitar parts and songs and has a killer band.

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

  32. A: From pop to funk/fusion and from rock to acoustic singer/songwriter stuff. I'm also really into old blues and americana music.

  33. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  34. A: My timing and sound.

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

  36. A: A lot of character, groove and vibe. I also like to add catchy hook lines.

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

  38. A: I first listen to the demo and then contact the client to discus the general approach and his vision. Then I start working and record every part I have in mind. When everything is recorded I send a rough mix to the client. After he/she listened to it we decide if I have to add something else or maybe replace a track for a different take.

  39. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  40. A: I have an iMac based setup with Logic Pro X as my main DAW. I use a Universal Audio Apollo as a sound card. I have great onboard plugins like Neve and API preamps. I use a Kemper amp, Fractal audio Axe FX3 and Line6 Helix when I go direct. I also use my good old tube amps. I have a Meyer handwired amp, a Mesa Boogie and a Diezel amp. I use mics and a Suhr reactive load box. For acoustic guitar I use a trusty D-18 with a Neumann KM184 mic.

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

  42. A: As a solo rock guitarist I'm inspired by guys like Satriani, Vai, Lukather, Oz Noy, Guthrie Govan, Eric Gales, Joe Bonamassa, Jeff Beck and Michael Landau. As a sideman I'm inspired by guys like Blake Mills, John Mayer, The Edge, Coldplay, The 1975 and Tom Bukovac.

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

  44. A: I play mainly electric and acoustic guitarparts in various styles. From funk to rock and pop to jazz/fusion. I do a lot of commercials, trailers, synch tracks, demos, singles and album productions. Sometimes I play just a better version of what's already on the demo, but most of the time I can add my own vision to it. It's always a collaboration between me and the artist/producer/songwriter so we'll discuss a lot about the best approach for the song.

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Niels instrumental compilation

I was the guitarist, composer and producer in this production

Terms Of Service

I will deliver guitar tracks within 5 business days unless we discuss otherwise. One revision free of charge.

GenresSounds Like
  • Steve Lukather
  • Cory Wong
  • John Mayer
Gear Highlights
  • Universal Audio
  • Fractal Audio
  • Kemper Profiler
  • Line6 Helix
  • Meyer handwired Fender Deluxe
  • Mesa Boogie
  • Diezel VH4
  • Martin D-18
  • Fender Stratocaster
  • Fender Telecaster
  • Gibson ES-335
  • Strymon
  • Eventide
  • Neumann
More Photos
  • New to this platform!Nov 04, 2020

    Hi guys, I just posted my profile up here! Looking forward to working via SoundBetter. Let me know if I can help you with your music. I'd love to supply you with cool sounding guitar tracks ;-) 

    Cheers, Niels