Alex Johnson

Americana / Roots Drummer

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9 Reviews (3 Verified)
Alex Johnson on SoundBetter

I deliver drum and percussion tracks with incredible feel in an affordable and timely manner. Focusing first and foremost on the artist's vision, I use my drumming and recording expertise to craft, perform, and capture the perfect drum parts that will elevate your songs.

Hi, I’m Alex Johnson– Nashville, Tennessee-based drummer, percussionist, and engineer, with over 16 years of studio experience; specializing in Americana, Indie Rock/Pop, Country, and Singer/Songwriter genres.

I truly love working with each artist to create the perfect rhythm tracks for their songs; curating the vibe and elevating the music. It would be an honor to work on your track next!

I own and operate a professional drum recording studio complete with a fully tuned and treated room, 18 channels of outboard Neve, API-style, Trident, and Pultec-style high-end preamps and EQs, along with a top-shelf mic locker. Here I am able to play and record high-quality drum audio that ranges from crisp and clear, to dark and dirty, or big and open, and all points in between. I take great pride in my drum tones, as well as my playing. I also offer drum programming services and beat production, as well as a hybrid approach combining drum machines and acoustic drums.

I have performed and/or recorded with members of Widespread Panic, Billy Strings, Greensky Bluegrass, Reckless Kelly, Railroad Earth, Sound Tribe Sector Nine, and Scars on 45 (UK), among many others, and have also worked on music for movies and television programs, both national and international.

Click the green 'Contact' button at the top right of my Profile to get in touch!

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

9 Reviews - 1 Repeat Client

Endorse Alex Johnson
  1. Review by Marius J.
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    Alex is amazing! This was my second time hiring him and he blew me away with his playing and quick communications. Super professional, killin player!

  2. Review by Rocky B.
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    Zowie...Amazing job...Killer sounds...professional in every respect...chops, feel, nuances, taste. A bargain....at twice the price!!!
    A++ rating. My song is an "americana ' type of thing...he played it beautifully, actually listened to lyrics so as to compliment the vibe!!!....
    he did a revise without any questions...lives up to everything he says in his Soundbetter profile. Wish i could fly out to Nashville to hug him! Will be using him from here on out! do yourself a favor...contact him.

  3. Review by Marius J.
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    Alex nailed it! He was so easy to work with and his playing and drum tones really lifted the song up and were exactly what was needed. I will definitely be using him again.

  4. Review by Gunnar Jacobson
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    by Gunnar Jacobson

    Alex was fantastic to work with! Very quick turnaround. Worked with an existing programmed drum track, but added his touch to the part. The drums sound fantastic, and were well recorded. Will definitely be working with Alex in the future!

  5. Review by Seth Young
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    by Seth Young

    Alex is without a doubt the man for your project. Not only does he listen to your requests and replicate what you ask for, but he's super good at filling in the gaps of the project creatively (if, like me, you don't know the exact sound you're looking for on a specific track or section). I've worked with Alex for over a year now and he consistently has really good turn around times while continuing to be excited about every new project that comes his way. I'll definitely be reaching out to him for years to come.

  6. Review by Gideon Berkowitz
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    by Gideon Berkowitz

    I’m a music producer and composer for a largely remote music collective that releases singles and syncs. I employ many drummers but my go to guy is Alex! Why? His turn around time is quick, the recording quality is of highest quality I have ever received, and he understands with little guidance what is needed for each particular piece. These qualities make it simple and easy to continually reach out to him again and again.

  7. Review by Celeste Rose
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    by Celeste Rose

    Alex was amazing to work with! We just worked on my debut EP and I didn’t really know what kind of drums I wanted (I’m a guitarist). I gave Alex a loose idea of what I wanted my songs to sound like, and he took my minimal instruction and turned it into exactly what I wanted! He knew what my songs needed better than I did and I can’t thank him enough.

  8. Review by Luke Booth
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    by Luke Booth

    Can't say enough good things about Alex—whether it be his musicianship, creativity, work ethic, professionalism, producing skills...the list goes on. I'm not a drummer, but had a pretty good idea of what I wanted for a couple tracks. Alex spent time with me over Zoom to understand, in depth, my vision for each track; he took detailed notes bar by bar and was able to efficiently and creatively translate that vision into high-quality drum tracks that exceeded my expectations—both from a performance and tonality perspective. I'll be working with Alex again, and you should too. Highly recommend.

  9. Review by Ben Waligoske
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    by Ben Waligoske

    When it comes to both studio and live drumming, you'd be hard pressed to find other players more dedicated, musical, knowledgeable, and generally wonderful to work with than Alex Johnson. Not only does he communicate well both in person and online, he's got great gear and is able to provide multiple approaches and production ideas from a drum/percussion and engineering perspective, all of which adds up to a truly professional experience. All that to say, if you hire Alex for your drum and percussion needs, you'll be happy with the end result!

Interview with Alex Johnson

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

  2. A: I’m currently working on a few different albums and projects all under the "americana" umbrella, ranging from dry 70s vibes to more traditional country and bluegrass, which is all really fun to get into.

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

  4. A: I promise to communicate often and foster a creative atmosphere between myself and the artist, helping to elevate the music to exceed expectations– always serving the song above anything else.

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

  6. A: Dive in with confidence! It can be strange reaching out to a stranger to help in creating your art, but remote session musicians are here for you first and foremost, and we LOVE what we do. Your songs and ideas are exciting to hear, regardless of how experienced you are in any aspect of this process, and I'm always eager to help an artist realize their project to the best of our combined abilities. Part of our job is to create parts from what the client vocalizes and explains to us, so if you're not the most experienced musician, or can't write music or charts, that's ok! Reach out and we'll work together.

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

  8. A: I have been doing a lot of Americana, Rock, and Indie Pop tracks lately, which I'm really enjoying.

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

  10. A: I have a true desire to create the perfect drum part and bring energy to the track, without anything getting in the way of the creative process between songwriter and session musician. I am here to help make the client’s song or album the best it can be for them, and I strive to go above and beyond their expectations.

  11. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  12. A: I work out of my own custom, acoustically tuned, studio in East Nashville, TN. I have 16 channels of high-end hardware preamps, EQs, and compressors, and use an array of amazing mics. It's definitely my happy place, where I am constantly inspired and love spending each day.

  13. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  14. A: Both! I record through hardware preamps, and run several inputs through outboard EQs and compressors as well, but fine tuning with graphic EQs and additional plugins in-the-box is also highly valuable. The combination of hardware and the agility and infinite options available with plugins and other digital options can be so powerful. The creativity is endless when using both approaches in a hybrid manner.

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

  16. A: I love being involved in the process– Contributing to someone realizing their music from an idea in their head, to a full-blown tangible work of art that they can put out into the world. Ultimately, using my resources and abilities to help others make their music the best it can be is what it’s all about. I get excited about it every day.

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

  18. A: [Q:] I don't exactly know what kind of beat/feel I want, or how to tell you what I am thinking, can you try a few different things and send them to me? [A:] Yes! I ultimately want the artist to be beyond satisfied and excited by the drum parts we end up with.

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

  20. A: That the online recording / remote tracking process isn’t as high-quality or collaborative as being in a commercial studio— when in reality, it is equally as inspiring, professional, and fun; resulting in amazing recordings that hold up to some of the best tracks or records made in the big studios right now.

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

  22. A: First: How can I help them make this project the best it can be? Then, I like to know what their initial ideas for the drums/percussion on their track or album might be. Do they have any musical/drumming inspirations for the project? Are there any songs or albums I can check out to get a feel for what they’re looking for, or where they’re coming from?

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

  24. A: I have been a professional recording and touring musician for over 16 years, with my first studio session being straight to 2" tape at a studio in Chicago when I was 16 years old. All through high school I played in bands with friends and in school jazz and concert bands. Then I attended college and graduated with a degree in architecture, yet never really pursued a career in that field, as music has always been my primary passion and career choice. Since college I've toured across the country countless times with many bands and artists, performed abroad, and recorded on hundreds of tracks at both my own studio and large studios around the nation.

  25. Q: How would you describe your style?

  26. A: I play for the song and the artist, above all else. Coming from a rock and jazz background originally, I absorbed and practiced both highly technical forms of music, as well as more song-serving, pocket grooves. Combining these worlds has helped me develop a style with many different sets of tools available at any given moment.

  27. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  28. A: Perhaps my ability to listen to the music and translate the client's ideas into the best drum parts both sonically and technically.

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

  30. A: I can work with a client live via Zoom (and AudioMovers), or through calls/texts and emails, whatever best suits the client. Whichever way, I like to begin by getting a feel for the project and the direction the client wants the drums to go through ample communication and discussion. Then I track an initial pass to make sure feel and drum tones are on the right path, and send that to the client for notes. Once I get any notes or changes back, I address those, and once perfected, send the finished multitracks off to the client.

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

  32. A: I perform and record live drum and percussion parts for artists and producers, working with them to create unique parts that elevate and support their music, and above all, are right for their project. Often this means assisting my clients in realizing the drum parts they hear in their head, or sometimes even creating something entirely new and exciting.

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

  34. A: I recently recorded for a singer-songwriter who needed the drums to really help lift one particular song, which was her favorite track on the record. After hearing her song back with the drums, she said she actually cried tears of joy. It’s moments like that that are just so incredible in this business.

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

  36. A: I'd recommend my good friend, both in the studio and on the road, Ben Waligoske for any pedal steel, electric or acoustic guitar, vocal harmony, or mix/master work. He does it all, and does it well.

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

  38. A: The drumming of Jim Keltner and Aaron Sterling inspires me, as they’re both such musical drummers, always serving the song above all else. The production style of Aaron Dessner (The National, Taylor Swift, Big Red Machine) is also a big inspiration of mine.

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Track Sample Reel 2022

I was the Drummer & Percussionist in this production

Terms Of Service

I have a 1-3 day turnaround, with at least 3 revisions per track, and always chat with my clients first to better realize their vision and the drums they are looking for. 100% satisfaction guaranteed!

GenresSounds Like
  • Aaron Sterling
  • Jim Keltner
  • Steve Gadd
Gear Highlights
  • Neve and API-style Preamps and EQs
  • Universal Audio Interfaces
  • Professional Microphone Locker
  • C&C Drums
  • Istanbul Agop Cymbals
  • Various Vintage Kits and Snares
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