Online session drummer for hire with over 10 years of session experience. Drummer for Rose Hill Drive, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Ryan Bingham.

Hi, my name is Nate Barnes and I've been a professional drummer for over 15 years. Some of my credits include playing with Pete Townshend (The Who), Warren Haynes, Leslie West (Mountain), Mary Chapin Carpenter, Ryan Bingham, Rose Hill Drive, Grace Potter, Matisyahu, Mike Watt, and many others. I have made records with producers such as Brendan O’Brien, Jim Scott, Nick DiDia, and more.

My drumming is featured on 2 releases from Oscar and Grammy award winning artist Ryan Bingham ("Fear And Saturday Night LP" and "Ryan Bingham Live LP"), and I am the touring drummer for multiple Grammy award winner Mary Chapin Carpenter. I have also released 3 studio albums with my band Rose Hill Drive. I specialize in Rock, Pop, Indie, Country, Americana, and Folk, and have endorsements with Ludwig, Sabian, and Vic Firth.

I record drum tracks at my state-of-the art facility outside Denver, CO. The room is acoustically treated and features API and Neve style preamps and industry standard microphones. My main goal is to SERVE THE SONG. I strive to hone in on the writer's vision by complementing the song and never distracting from it. I provide 3 "keeper" takes per song, each with slight variations, to ensure you have plenty of options to work with. Check out my Soundcloud tracks for examples of my work, and feel free to message me with any questions- I'd love to work on your project.

Contact me through the blue button above and lets get to work.

My credits include

Gear highlights

  • Ludwig Classic Maple Drums
  • Sabian HHX
  • AAX
  • and HH series cymbals
  • Universal Audio Apollo Interface
  • API and Neve Style Preamps
  • Industry Standard Microphones

Genres I specialize in

Terms of Service

I can typically turn tracks around in a maximum of 3 days, often in as little as 24 hours. I offer unlimited revisions until you're 100% satisfied.

Reviews of Nate Barnes

  • Verified ReviewDefault-avatar12 days agoby

    I produced some production music in France. I work with Nate since one or two mouth and he played drums on 5 tracks for me. I highly recommanded Nate, he's got a great feeling, great sounds, easy to speak with and he's very reactive. I think that I've find my drummer!

  • Verified ReviewListing_thumb_img_2669about 1 month agoby

    Nate did an amazing track on my track Dove in my hands! Great feel, great sounds, easy to communicate with. Pleasure to work with, I highly recommend!

  • Verified ReviewListing_thumb_tantalize_2017_twitterabout 1 month agoby

    Nate played drums for our next single. He nailed it. Nate brought so much power to the song & just made it so much better. It was a pleasure to create music with Nate. I highly recommend Nate as a drummer! Thank You!

  • Verified ReviewDefault-avatar2 months agoby

    If this was the wild west, Nate is the best hired gun to handle the job. I needed razor sharp steel and he delivered.

  • Verified ReviewDefault-avatar2 months agoby

    LOL working with Nate. He makes music fun. 40 years of producing and working with drummers, it's like I'm back to the good days of old school live studio producing, but we did it over the internet. Got to love that.

  • Verified ReviewListing_thumb_img_26693 months agoby

    Nate was an absolute pleasure to work with. The drum sounds he gets are impressive, the kick is huge the snare is warm. The timing is solid, and the feel and groove are just right!! Very happy with his work, to say nothing of his turn around time. Highly recommend!! Cant wait to work with him again soon

  • Default-avatar12 days agoby

    I sent Nate a track with a strings, vocals and some really bad digital drums. I explained in general what I was looking for and he exceeded my expectations and turned something around very quickly. The drums he records sound amazing and he is obviously a very gifted musician. Psyched to send him more tunes to work on...

  • Listing_thumb_soundbetter_2about 1 month agoby

    Just finished mixing the song for Tantalize (Samu Puuronen) with Nate on drums.
    I can say only positive about drum performance and record quality Nate provided.
    Everything has perfect timing, no need for extra edits or tightening.
    By looking at files I can tell that they were recorded by a true professional.
    11 channels including room, reverb and extra mic for adding colors to the sound are all h

  • Default-avatar5 months agoby

    I've had the pleasure to work with Nate many many times. He's one of a kind, and always my first call. I've hired him on everything from albums, to commercials, to film/tv cues. He's an incredibly talented drummer, he's very professional, and just all-around a great guy to work with. He always exceeds my expectations!

  • Default-avatar5 months agoby

    Nate Barnes is an incredible musician, producer, and all around great dude. His super laid back attitude makes it easy to bounce ideas off of. Nate's experienced, professional, and always accomplishes the task at hand. I started working with Nate about five years ago, and he quickly became one of my go-to drummers for both session work and gigs!

  • Default-avatar5 months agoby

    Nate is truly amazing. I've seen him track 16 songs in one day... And he had never heard the songs until that day. He's hands down the best drummer I've ever worked with and the best drummer I've seen live. He can play any style of music, learn a song in a matter of minutes and and then play it better than you could ever imagine.

  • Default-avatar5 months agoby

    Nate Barnes is the best drummer on the planet in my eyes. I dare you to find a living match. I don't flinch when I compare him to John Bonham or Keith Moon or the like. To get his drumming at this price point is beyond a steal of a deal... And to boot, he's as professional as it gets.

Endorse Nate Barnes


Interview with Nate Barnes

What's your typical work process?
My first step is to get on the same page with the writer. My goal is always to serve the song, and I like to get a good feel for what the writer's vision is. Some session musicians can bring their egos into the equation and think that their opinion is superior because they're the "professional", but I try to do the opposite. I am the one who is being hired to be of service to the writer and make sure that their vision is achieved, and I love getting input from non-drummers on how they envision the drum track to sound because it can often result in a very cool and unique drum part. Having respect for the origination of the song idea is key for me- I start hearing part ideas in my head right away when listening, but landing on the perfect drum part comes from a solid understanding of the writer's vision. My ultimate goal is to write creative parts that enhance and maximize the song without ever distracting from it. Reference tracks are always helpful for me as they give me a good idea sonically and stylistically of what the writer is after. After I've come up with the part I record 3 separate "keeper" takes on different playlists to give the client a few different vibes and options to choose from.
What type of music do you usually work on?
I work on many different styles of music including, Rock, Pop, Americana, Folk, Country, Indie, and even Electronic.
Tell us about your studio setup.
I have a modern digital recording studio with a Universal Audio Apollo as the hub. This is a great sounding and very convenient setup as I am able to recall sessions in an instant should a client need revisions. I own most of the plugins that Universal Audio offers and I basically treat them like outboard gear, tracking through them using the Apollo software and printing them right into the DAW. Their technology has gotten to the point where the plugins sound almost identical to the actual pieces of gear, and I'm able to gate, EQ, compress, and run tracks through a virtual tape machine, resulting in mix-ready drum tracks. I have all the typical microphones associated with tracking drums, and also use Neve and API style external preamps. My room is acoustically treated and I have honed in on the perfect sound and placement of microphones over the course of several years. The other main component of the studio is the drums obviously. I use Ludwig Classic Maple series drums ranging in size from a small jazz kit to a big Bonham-y rock kit, and always make sure they're tuned perfectly before recording. I always have a kit set up and fully miked, but I can change stuff out here and there to better tailor it to the specific track. I have a wide sonic range of Sabian cymbals and various drum knick knacks such as tea towels, mutes, muffling rings, tambourines, rivets, etc. to help me achieve the perfect sound and vibe.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
It's hard to list just a few, there are so many. I grew up loving Classic Rock and bands such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Rolling Stones, and Jimi Hendrix. I was also very into 90's rock as a teenager and was influenced by bands such as Stone Temple Pilots, Nirvana, Soundgarden, and The Smashing Pumpkins. Some of my favorite current drummers are Dave Grohl, Matt Chamberlain, Josh Freese, Thomas Pridgen, Aaron Sterling, and Ash Soan. I'm also a big fan of producers such as George Martin, Rick Rubin, Dave Sardy, Greg Wells, Brendan O' Brien, Tchad Blake, and Blake Mills.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
I'm a full time drummer and spend most of my time doing sessions. I do sessions at other studios in the Denver, CO area but I do most of my work out of my own studio. I do drum tracks for bands, singer-songwriters, producers, and composers, and I also compose my own original music for TV and film. Additionally, I engineer and produce other bands in the area, either at my own studio or Coupe Studios in Boulder, CO.