James McMahon

Online Session Guitarist

James McMahon on SoundBetter

UK based session guitarist with experience playing at Abbey Road Studios.

Experience: I am a UK based guitarist with experience playing at Abbey Road Studios. I have played with a variety of bands and solo artists with a multitude of genres and styles in both studio and live capacities.

If you would like to get to know me better, feel free to take a look at my Instagram at james_mcgtr. If you would like to see some other songs that I have helped make, please find PENN on Spotify and Marshall Kings on YouTube.

My qualifications also include Grade 8 Electric Guitar with Rockschool and a degree (BA Hons) in Popular Music Performance and Production meaning that I have the ability to both play and record from home for your track.

Kemper Profiler
Fender Stratocaster (with mid-late 60's voiced pickups)
Slash Limited edition Rosso Corsa Les Paul
Schecter Apocalypse (with Floyd Rose and Sustainiac pickup)
Yamaha AE1200S (vintage hollow body)
Taylor 114CE
Alvarez RU26T Ukulele

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

Interview with James McMahon

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

  2. A: Generally, I am proud of all of the projects I have completed. Although it's a cliche, I am a perfectionist and if I am not happy with a take then it is not finished and ready for release.

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

  4. A: I am working on my own original backing tracks in my spare time and recording guitar parts for a top secret song but I can't tell you too much about this particular project.

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

  6. A: I hear James McMahon is very good.

  7. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  8. A: Digital. Musicians tend to be a little obsessed with analog gear however in this day and age, digital gear can replicate the sound analog gear perfectly and much more efficiently.

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

  10. A: I promise that all tracks will be recorded and played to the best of my ability and delivered on time to your specified requirements.

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

  12. A: I like that I do not need to be tied down to one specific location so I am free to live how and where I like.

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

  14. A: People ask if I am available, and my answer is almost certainly yes.

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

  16. A: People often think that my life is just sitting in front of a computer and playing the guitar and they think that it is very easy. Of course, there are many harder occupations in the world however this job does require a lot of care and attention to detail which all takes time.

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

  18. A: I always ask for a BPM, time signature and key signature. Of course, I could work them out myself however it saves time and any possible misunderstandings if you just ask. I also like to ask if the customer has any specific requirements in terms of gear that they would like me to use.

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

  20. A: I would recommend having a clear idea of what you need and a rough mix/demo for me to listen to.

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

  22. A: An Acoustic guitar, a Telecaster, a Kemper Profiler, an audio interface and a DAW.

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

  24. A: I had been working in Southampton, UK as a session guitarist prior to COVID-19 however, as for everybody, life changed quite a lot for me and I then began recording from home rather than in person.

  25. Q: How would you describe your style?

  26. A: My style as a musician often fluctuates however, generally, I would say that my style is quite chordal with blues and Neo Soul embellishments.

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

  28. A: I don't have a specific artist in mind but I do enjoy working with people who have a specific goal in mind but remain open to potential creativity when it occurs.

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

  30. A: DO NOT CLIP.

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

  32. A: Mostly pop and rock however I have been involved with more Rn'B music recently which I really enjoy.

  33. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  34. A: I would say that my strongest skill as a musician is to adapt to 'play to the music' rather than playing whatever I want.

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

  36. A: After working with a variety of musicians, I am able to listen to tracks with an open mind and compose parts that will tastefully complement a song without overruling or compromising the client's initial concept.

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

  38. A: I will start by listening to what the client requires from me, and make a decision about what guitar and amplifier will best suit the client's needs. Then I will notate the chords on paper and press record.

  39. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  40. A: My home studio is more of a "Guitar Station" as it has been built with the primary function of recording high-quality guitar tracks. All electric guitar tracks are recorded via the Kemper Profiler which provides flawless results every time.

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

  42. A: I am mostly inspired by Jimi Hendrix, Nile Rogers and Mateus Asato to name just a few.

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

  44. A: Currently, most of my work consists of online session recordings.

GenresSounds Like
  • John Mayer
  • Nile Rodgers
  • Jimi Hendrix
Gear Highlights
  • Kemper Profiler
  • Fender Stratocaster
  • Slash Limited edition Rosso Corsa Les Paul
  • Schecter Apocalypse
  • Yamaha AE1200S (vintage hollow body)
  • Taylor 114CE
More Photos