Christopher Bellamy: Session & Touring Guitarist at Taghouse Artist Group
Chris is a professional guitarist and saxophonist from Virginia Beach, Virginia. He majored in Music Education and Performance at Old Dominion University. Chris has performed with many world renown artists such as Gladys Knight, Toni Tenille, Linda Ronstadt, Tommy Newsome, Bob Mintzer, and Jeremy Rosado (American Idol). He performed in the Virginia Symphony for 7 years. Most recently Chris has been the guitarist for rock band, City Voices, and is currently the touring and session guitarist for national recording artists, Jeremy Rosado (American Idol / Save The City Records), Jason Bare (Vital Worship / Daywind Records), Alisa Turner (Word Entertainment), and Brian Campbell (Independent / Creation Festivals). Chris has been teaching guitar and saxophone for over 15 years and is on staff at Norfolk Academy. He is also on staff as Worship Pastor and Director of Music at International Christian Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he has been serving since 2007. Along with being a contributing writer to The Church Collective, Chris is part of their Board of Directors. He teaches at multiple conferences and workshops for worship musicians throughout the year including the National Worship Leader Conference, Sweetwater Worship Connect Conference, and the Identity Conference. Chris resides in Virginia Beach with his wife, Susan, and their border collie, Sam.
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Interview with Christopher Bellamy
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Coming up with memorable, catchy guitar parts.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Pop, Pop / Rock, Rock, R&B, Worship
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: To make guitar parts sound huge I use as little gain as possible and layer parts using different combinations of amps and guitars.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Mutemath. I love their creativity. Everything they put out is amazing.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Pop / Rock
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: 62 Jazzmaster, BadCat Black Cat 30R, Klon Centaur, 2 Eventide H9's
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Make sure they have real, pro equipment because everyone has a laptop these days.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What are your reference songs and when do you need the tracks completed?
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That touring and session guitar players are rich rock stars.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Can you sound like so and so. Yes.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love music. I love guitar. I love being creative.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise you will be pleased with the quality of my work and enjoy working with me.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. Analog sounds better but digital is faster.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Jake Neumar
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Jeremy Rosado (American Idol Season 11) new album
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Jason Bare's latest album Fearless from Daywind Records because we tracked it live in Nashville. I did all of the Electric and Acoustic parts.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Took Violin, Piano, Sax, and Guitar lessons as a kid. Ranked #1 Saxophonist in the state of Virginia in High School. Full Scholarship to Old Dominion University Music Program. Ranked #1 Saxophonist in Virginia in College. Double Majored in Saxophone and Guitar Performance / Education. Played in the Virginia Symphony for 7 years. After that, started touring with national artists as well as doing studio work for their albums.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Track guitar parts for Pop / Rock albums.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Jimmy Page, Mutemath, The 1975, The Edge, Andy Summers, David Grissom, David Gilmour, Derek Trucks, Paul Maybury, Tim Stewart, James Duke
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: UA Apollo 8 Quad, 2 A Designs Pacificas, UA LA2A, UA 6176, Purple MC77, Manley Reference Mic, 2 Royer R121's, 2 Heil PR30's, 3 Shure SM57's, Shure SM7B, BadCat Black Cat 30R, Jackson NewCastle 30, Marshall JCM 2000 Dual Super Lead, Kemper Profiling Amp, Klon Centaur, Strymon Timeline, Strymon Big Sky, Strymon El Capistan, Eventide H9, Eventide Space, Deluxe Memory Man, Gibson R7 Goldtop, PRS Hollowbody Spruce, PRS Singlecut Trem, Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins, Fender USA Strat Anniversary, Fender USA Deluxe Tele, TMG Gatton, Fender 62 AVRI Jazzmaster, EVH Wolfgang, Epiphone Sheraton, Gibson CL40 Artist Acoustic
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I usually can receive a song, chart it out, add about 10-20 unique guitar tracks, and send bounced files back within a few days.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I like to bring fresh, modern sounding guitar parts to tracks with the best tone possible using high end boutique gear.