Mark Strickland

Pro Session Drummer

Mark Strickland on SoundBetter

Americana, Country, Soul Session Drummer. For 10 years, I have provided clients with high-quality drum tracks and production assistance for songwriter demos and releases from my home studio and have been working in pro-level studios for 35 years. My specialties are Americana, Country (Classic & Pop), Motown Soul, Folk and Indie-Rock.

I'll be happy to chat with you about your needs for the song before placing the order.


- I DO NOT play double bass and/or blast beats
- I am a pocket player in the style of Stan Lynch, Ringo, Porcaro, Aronoff

Here's a little about me to help you understand what I have to offer:

Over the last 35 years I've worked on live gigs and studio sessions in the Atlanta and Nashville area, with up and coming artists and national touring artists such as Charlie Daniels, Travis Tritt, Joe Diffie, Randy Owen, Steve Cropper and Gary US Bonds. I have a large home studio with lots of drums to choose from and a great selection of mics and outboard gear. I work hard on getting the right sounds for the song and my playing is in the style of "Stay out of the way of the vocal".

- Work with you and provide professional drum tracks that fit your needs for your song within a variety of styles in a timely manner
- Be flexible and change direction as requested
- Record percussion at no extra charge
- Communicate the process and expectations

Send me an email through 'Contact' button above and I'll get back to you asap.

Interview with Mark Strickland

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

  2. A: Nikki Naia-Lieke. I've recorded 3 songs for Nikki and each were loads of fun. 2 upbeat dance songs and the other was a more gentle half-time feel. Just an all around super talent with lots of ambition and a creative style not found within her age group.

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

  4. A: Working on drum tracks for 3 songs. One is a ballad moving from soft brushes in 3/4 verses and moving to a 12/8 power ballad style chorus. One is a 90's Country and the other is a Southern Rock party anthem.

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

  6. A: Not that I'm aware of.

  7. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  8. A: Analog pre-amps because they sound better! Digital workstation because it's easier and less expensive than tape. I have plenty of outboard, analog gear that I run through because they sound better and I like the hands on, knob-turning experience but I also won't hesitate to reach for a plug-in... There are some really great sounding plug-ins!

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

  10. A: That it's just me playing a 4 minute song, once and that the drums and mics already set up.... therefore it must be easy and doesn't take much time. I take time to pick appropriate drums, mics and mic placement to fit the needs of a song so there's alot of time spent in order to get things right.

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

  12. A: Is there a reference song, drummer or style that you can give, so that I can help you get the tracks or product you would like? What is the tempo? Where would you like the drums to come in on the song?

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

  14. A: Have a clear picture of what your need for the song is and communicate that in various ways... Reference songs, artists or musicians is a great, definitive way to express your needs.

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

  16. A: Ludwig Black Beauty 6 1/2" x 14" snare drum. MacBook SM57 microphone. Headphones. Drumsticks.

  17. Q: How would you describe your style?

  18. A: Very groove oriented, pocket and song awareness. Certainly not a "drummer's drummer".

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

  20. A: Wilco. I love the songwriting and the sound textures they use.

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

  22. A: Country and Americana/Folk.

  23. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  24. A: Groove, communication and flexibility.

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

  26. A: Groove and dynamics.

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

  28. A: I work with my clients to find out their needs for the song. After I have a wave or mp3 of the song, I'll chart it and notate any specifics points that the artist needs; stops, starts, accents, etc. I'll record a few passes of the song while picking the right sounds (drums, mics, placement, etc.). When I have a take that fits the need of the artist, I'll send them a rough mix of my drums along with their track and ask for any changes they would like. If revisions are needed, I follow that process until the artist is happy with a maximum of 3 revisions. I will upload the wave files of all drums, usually 10-14 tracks and we'll complete the order.

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

  30. A: Lots of drummer influences; Jeff Porcaro, Jim Keltner, Levon Helm and Richie Hayward just to name a few off the top. Production professionals would be Dave Cobb (producer), Quincy Jones(producer), Al Schmitt, (engineer), Sylvia Massy (producer/engineer).

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

  32. A: Drum tracks for a variety of styles ranging from Country, Indie- Rock, Americana, Folk, Soul and Praise/Worship.

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

  34. A: Started drumming a little late, in high school, 1985. Started out at the peak of hair bands, so those drummers were my heroes, along with Phil Rudd from AC/DC, Bill Gibson from Huey Lewis and The News, and the band, The Outfield, whose hits were all over the radio and MTV. I progressed quickly into Steely Dan, Boz Scaggs, Toto, etc. which started an interest in studio drummers. I joined a Country band with some school friends and started gigging most weekends. I went to music school and studied all styles. After school, I worked for a reputable, Atlanta drum store and started playing in a corporate/wedding band, playing Jazz, Disco and Soul standards and eventually started working in the Atlanta music scene a few nights a week for a house gig at a Country bar playing Top40 Country hits of the mid-90's. I eventually made the move to Nashville and played Classic Country standards a few days/nights every week on the strip, while maintaining wedding/corporate band gigs playing dance beats in the Atlanta area most weekends. After years of commuting back and forth, I made the move back to the Atlanta area to play in a house band at a much larger Country venue, Cowboys. I continue to play with local and regional acts and stay busy in my home studio. Still loving what I do.

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

  36. A: That I will work with them on what they need and offer suggestions if they're open to it. And, I will always let them know what to expect during the process of working together and keep them posted on the progress being made.

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

  38. A: Working creatively and getting to know people from all over the world.

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

  40. A: Do you record room mics? The answer is yes, always.

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

  42. A: There's no harm in leaving space in the arrangement.

  43. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  44. A: Large room, high ceilings. Lots of drums and percussion to choose from. Great mic selection and pre-amps.

Taylor Cromer / Curse

I was the Drummer, Producer, Engineer in this production

Terms Of Service

Drum tracks on 1 song up to 5 minutes, delivery within 4 days. 3 revisions as needed. Tracksheet and notes for mixing included.

Tracks from all revisions = $10.

Session photos = $5

GenresSounds Like
  • Blackberry Smoke
  • Brandi Carlile
  • The Revivalists
Gear Highlights
  • API pre-amps
  • Warm Audio
  • RE20
  • AKG 414
  • D112
  • Sennheiser 421's
  • Shure SM57's 81's and 52's
  • Heritage Audio
  • DW
  • Gretsch
  • Zildjian
  • Tama
  • '65 Slingerland
  • Ludwig
  • DBX
  • ART
  • Coles 4038
  • AKG 414's
  • Beyerdynamic M160's
  • Cascade Fathead
  • etc.
More Photos
More Samples
  • New preampFeb 08, 2022

    New preamp day was yesterday.  AEA RPQ500 for ribbon mics.  This will be used with my Coles 4038 mic in various placements around the kit.  Loving it so far!

  • New 414 and broken cymbalsMar 25, 2021

    Added a second AKG 414 microphone to the mic locker.   It's no secret why it's been a powerhouse mic in legendary studios for years!  Beyer Dynamic M160's now have some stiff competition.  

    19" Zildjian K crash has taken a beaten for 10 years and has delivered!  Lucky for me, I have several other great cymbals....  it's just that this one was my favorite.

  • Mics and Pres mean business!Feb 22, 2021

    AKG 414 has been a workhorse as a drum room mic, mono drum overhead, acoustic guitar and mandolin. Beyerdynamic M160's through API pre's have proven to be the winning overhead chain.  Mobile tracking yesterday and they truly shine. TeleFunken M80SH on snare top through an API pre so sweet... a little more warmth and gushiness than a 57. 

  • Busy work weeksJan 14, 2021

    I love being able to play music and enjoy time with friends, old and new.  Thankful for a busy week of making music in the studio and out in the local areas many event facilities, churches and dive bars.  

  • New gear day!Jan 05, 2021

    Added an AKG 414 XLS to the mic locker.  This is a legendary, top-of-the-line mic that I'm excited to be using on overheads, room mic, vocals and all sorts of other goodies.  

  • New vibes for a New Year!Dec 29, 2020

    Looking forward to the New Year, new experiences, new sessions, songs friends!