Guide to getting and playing better gigs


Demo Tips 2

Gigging Tips
Band Promotion
Stage Act
Stage Presence
Work the Crowd
Set List
Book it
Survive on Tour
Talent Nights
Band in Trouble
The Frontman
Big Break
Band on a Budget
Band Business
Cancelling a Gig
Touring in Europe
Buzz Factor
Check your Gear
Bad Gigs
Benefit Gigs
Gig Fees
Gig Kit
Gigs that Pay
Gig Attendance
Know your Audience
Lies in Music
Mailing List
Outdoor Gigs
Performance Tips
Tour Preparation
Press Kit
Contracts and Riders
Rules of the Road
Band on the Rocks
Play Safe
Gig Sharing
Solo Gigs
Support Band

Your demo should have three or four songs, no more. Don't even think of putting another on there, they'll throw out the demo without even listening to it. As record companies want to make money, you should put your most commercial songs on it, not your best. It's preferable if the songs don't exceed three to three and a half minutes. It should be done well enough for them to get the gist of it, but when it's done too well, it may also give the impression that this is what you want recorded and nothing else. They don't care for hotheads. If possible (if you own a CD burner or know someone who does), submit your demo on a CD.

If you have to submit it on a tape, use a metal or chrome tape rather than the standard quality. All tapes are made of metals, but the "Metal" ones don't degrade and are much more resistant to temperature variances. Don't be afraid to spend money on the medium. As for presentation, you've always been told that a nice presentation goes a long way. That is so true. If you present it in a way that's original, it will attract attention. Your demo might end up on the top of the pile to be listened to at the beginning of a session rather than at the end when nobody's interested anymore. Don't forget a presentation letter, tell them who you are and where you come from, which bands you've played with, if you've had some media coverage and include the clippings. And make sure to include a few photos, you can just scan them in and print them. It's cheaper and the result's the same. Don't forget to include the lyrics to every song on the demo. This is crucial. They want to gauge you as a writer.

You've just recorded a demo that you want a record company to hear, so where should you send it? Hint: Record Companies. Take a CD that was issued in your country and look behind it. Odds are that the address of the record company will be on it. That's where you have to send it. Send it to record companies in your local market, not in another country. If you can't find the address, do a search on record companies on the web. If you don't have a contact person's name, put a label on the envelope clearly indicating the word "Demo". The person who receives it will know what to do with it. Record companies get these all the time, so they have policies in this matter. As for submitting it in person or by mail, it doesn't really matter. Odds are you won't meet the execs anyway. You'll more than likely just hand it in to the receptionist. However, you're sure it will be in if you go in person.

Having a copy on your website is also a good idea. I've heard of one or two sites where you can post your demo and they claim it will be listened to by rec company execs. DO NOT APPROACH THESE. They get enough demos mailed to them, do you really think they have the time to go on the web and find some more? I don't know what's behind these sites, but I don't want to find out the hard way. Don't bother sending your demo to a producer, they don't listen to demos.

Don't forget to mail yourself a copy first for copyright protection, however, record companies aren't interested in wasting time being sued, so there's very little chance they'll steal your material.

Submit all copies of your demo at the same time. NEVER accept the first offer, tell them you're expecting a call from someone else. If they really want to sign you, they'll call back with a better offer, it's all part of the game and they all play it. If you get one phone call, you're more than likely going to get more calls. Then you start them bidding against one another. If you get the one phone call only and they haven't called back a week later, call them back. Ask them to repeat the offer. Tell them what you would like, or tell them you've been offered more somewhere else (you don't have to give them any names). Don't make any outrageous lies, though, they'll know it. Don't sign for the sake of signing.

Even if nobody calls back, they'll write back. They'll send you a letter explaining what they liked and disliked about your demo. Never sign for just one album. Look for at least two, but no more than three albums. By investing more in you, they're more than likely going to back you up a lot more. Take all that advice into consideration and use it to record your second demo. Don't even worry if the second demo is turned down, I know of one singer who was signed with his seventh demo. Persistence is the key!

<<< Prev

Back to Top

These articles have been collected from various sources. If you are the copyright owner of any of them, contact us for either a credit and link to your site or removal of the article.