Hello, I'm Oscar. I'm a session & Broadway guitarist. My career spans over 25 years. The artists I've worked w/ include: Gloria Estefan, Cyndi Lauper, Norah Jones, Carol King, Green Day, Rachel Platten, A Great Big World, Carlos Vives, Thalia, Tears For Fears, Constantine Maroulis, Tim Kubart, Post Modern Jukebox, Emily Kinney, The Smithereens.
My studio credits include the renown producers Gary Katz (Steely Dan), Matt Noble (Rhianna, Michael Jackson) Benjy King (Patti Smyth, Scandal), Bobby Sanabria (Tito Puente, Dizzy Gillespie).
My TV appearances:The TODAY show (NBC Television), The Martha Stewart Show (CBS Television)The Katie Couric show (ABC Television), Million Dollar Listing’s New York (Bravo Network)
I've shared the stage with support acts for: Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, OK GO, Gavin DeGraw, The Counting Crows, The Moody Blues, Blues Traveler, Sugar Ray, KC and The Sunshine Band, Styx.
Currently I play guitar on Broadway in New York City & tour nationwide with Broadway national touring productions that include : “American Idiot”, “Kinky Boots”, “School Of Rock”, “Beautiful The Carol King Musical”, “Once On this Island”.
My recording approach in 3 words: Tone,Time & Taste. Tone: The right sound for the song. Time: Groove is king. Taste: Enhancing the music by knowing what to play & what not to play. I am confident my years of expertise will deliver exactly what you want. I am able to provide a variety of sounds & textures in varying styles. I am quick, efficient & determined to assist you in bringing your musical vision to fruition. Tracks are recorded remotely from my home studio & delivered via email and or the service of your choice.
Send me an email through 'Contact' button above and I'll get back to you asap.
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Interview with Oscar Leonardo Bautista
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: The biggest misconception is that it's easy work. Being a musician takes a lot of discipline and dedication. Yes there is tremendous fun and joy involved but there is a sincere effort that goes into the craft. Staying in the know regarding production and sound and listening and learning the latest trends that music is taking on requires an ongoing engagement that is vital. Regular practice and updating your tools/instruments is key to moving with the business rather than getting left behind. Understanding social media and the importance of embracing the community online is another key component. It's a lot of work. I respect all players (newcomers and veterans) who rise to the challenge of wearing all the different hats in this industry.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: My career path started with a sincere love of the guitar as a teenager. That love has never waned. I find endless inspiration on the instrument and I continue to learn year after year. It is the commitment of my life. I started playing in bands and we would reach a certain level of success but we would always break up before getting to the next level. I decided to see how far I could get on my own as a freelance guitarist. I started getting hired as a sideman for a variety of artists. That work led me to touring and recording on a more professional level and ultimately the relationships I cultivated over the years led me to playing and performing on Broadway. I have been a professional musician for 25 years.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I'd love to work with the producer Andrew Watt. He has produced tracks for artists Miley Cyrus, Ozzy Osbourne, Mick Jagger, Slash, Paul McCartney, Dua Lipa, Charlie Puth, Justin Bieber. He is a fantastic guitarist as well. I admire his songwriting prowess & his production intuition.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I'm fortunate in that I have been a part of so many amazing projects both in the studio and live. The last project that I was most proud of was a tribute project to The Police. I recorded the song "King Of Pain" from the band's final album "Synchronicity". It was a labor of love to my RNR heroes. I perform & tour w/a tribute band to Sting and The Police. The recording was for our fanbase and celebrating our 10 years as a band.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I am inspired by a variety of artists. Dave Grohl of Nirvana/Foo Fighters/Them Crooked Vultures. Sting as a solo artist and with The Police, Prince, Eddie Van Halen, The Beatles, QOTSA, Sly and The Family Stone, Lenny Kravitz, Pink, Sheryl Crow, Fleetwood Mac, U2, STP, The Rolling Stones, Jamiroquai, Dua Lipa, Bruno Mars, Charlie Puth, H.E.R. Producers: Brendan O'brian, Jack Joseph Puig, Chris Lord Algae, Finneas, Rick Rubin, Kevin Shirley, Andrew Watt.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: At the moment I am prepping for some Broadway shows that will be opening their doors again this coming Fall 2021. I will be subbing (substituting) on guitar on these shows. I am gearing up for some live performances with a few different bands later in the year as well.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: My good friend Ziv Shalev is on Soundbetter. He is a guitarist and producer and is easily one of the most talented musicians on the scene. Lindsey Morgan is also on Soundbetter. She is a fantastic singer, songwriter and performer. I highly recommend both Lindsey and Ziv for your projects.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: My promise is that I will help bring their music to fruition w/ a positive vibe, skill & a ton of enthusiasm.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: I usually get asked how I started playing music and creating music. I'll get asked about my career on Broadway and touring. I'll be asked who my favorite players are and what bands I enjoy. I'll also get technical questions regarding the project. Technical questions like "How long will it take to finish the recording" or "How many guitar tracks will you create for the song".
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I generally ask what are they trying to convey with their music. Whether it's an instrumental track or a pop song with vocals there is always a vibe, a feeling that is being expressed and as a player it helps to understand what the artist wants to accomplish with the music. Afterwards I'll ask more specific questions regarding melody lines, tone and approach. I'll also ask what artists they look up to or are influenced by.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: My production tip to all artists and musicians is to NOT try and fix "it" in the mix. Many times we tend to avoid a problem a song may be having with an instrument or a vocal with the misinformed idea that it can be fixed later during the mixing process. My tip is to listen and be honest with the process and if you hear a problem, resolve the issue early on before you ever get to the mix. You will be much happier with the results.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: My advice is let's talk and discuss the music. It's important to be on the same page before moving forward. Having a strategy and understanding the goals of the project will inform me on how to properly deliver what the music needs and what you as an artist expect.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: That is a tricky question to answer. If it's a desert Island I'll have to assume there is no electricity so I'd bring the following: An acoustic guitar, A 12 string acoustic guitar, a bottle neck slide, a Mandolin & an Electric guitar because although there is no electricity I enjoy the feel of an electric even when it's not plugged in.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My style is a mix of Funk,Blues, Pop with a RNR edge.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skill is understanding how to be supportive of all the elements on the track. Being tasteful to the song and enhancing is what I do best.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I usually take time to listen to the demos of the music the artist sends me. I'll listen straight through without playing anything. I may have a guitar in hand to get familiar with the arrangement but at the beginning it's more about listening than anything else. I'll write down ideas for sections. I will also make note of what different effects I think I may want to add to enhance the part I am developing. Imagination plays a big part in how I start moving forward. Then the playing starts to happen.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Recording Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Electric Bass and Mandolin on client's songs. Everything from rhythm to lead lines. I also get hired to play and perform on tour and locally w/artists in live settings (Clubs, Theaters)
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Most of my early heroes used Analog and so that is a familiar sound and I enjoy it. That being said Digital changed the game forever. It has allowed musicians to enter the recording world at a much quicker yet efficient level.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: As a musician my favorite thing I get to do is travel and see the world. I have toured extensively throughout the United States and I have toured abroad in Europe, South America and Canada. I often think to myself "My guitar has shown me the world". I am grateful for all the cities and countries I have visited.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: My strongest skill Tastefulness. Showing off and overplaying never suits the song. It can be fun to play whatever you want but I enjoy supporting the sections with the correct dynamics and parts.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I usually work on original pop and rock music.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a great home studio set up. I'm using a Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 interface with Logic Pro X. I use an AKG 414 condenser mic and an SM58 microphone. iLoud Multi Media studio speakers and a Macbook pro. Guitar wise I use Fender Tele's and Strats along with my Les Paul 59 reissue, an Epiphone Casino, a Danelectro 59, Reverend Sensei jr. (similar to an SG Jr.) I own several Taylor acoustic guitars: 12 string, steel string, Nylon String. I have a great relationship with the Taylor company. I also have a Martin DM Acoustic, a Fender Mandolin, Ibanez Mandolin, a Cordoba Ukulele and Fender Mustang Bass guitar. Amplifiers: I typically use my HX stomp and Line6 amp models but I also have a handful of combo amps: Fender Twin, Fender Hot Rod and a Fender Super Champ.