HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT DEMO FOR (SUBMISSION)
This applies to artists, Producers, composers and musicians from all walks of life.
In order to be heard, you have to stand out in a professional way.
Any A&R or record label receives thousands of demos per day if not more. At first it starts out as exciting receiving many demos voluntarily from artists, producers and musicians without doing any work to get them.
However, as time goes the excitement turns into a drag and more troublesome. Eventually, you will find as the quantity of submissions increase drastically, the quality of submissions drops with each passing year. This can be likened to you going through your mailbox everyday and finding tonnes of sloppily addressed mail that have nothing to do with you.
Many artists or producers sending their demo(s) have one goal in mind. To showcase their musicianship and skill, in order to get a shot at getting to either being signed by record-labels or their music being considered for placement by the A&Rs.
Sometimes the submissions lack the necessary qualities, and do not meet the standard requirements by industry professionals.
For any demo to be considered suitable for selection let alone being heard, many factors come into consideration.
How to make a Perfect Demo for (Submission)
Below are the Do’s and Don’ts you should consider before sending your demo(s):
- Do not send Long Unsolicited bio with unnecessary details
In many cases, you may be tempted to write long-winded bio about your musical background and what you are about. This may look good on your part, but to the A&R or record labels it comes off as ambitious and unnecessary and may be a strong reason to skip over your demo.
NB: The rule of thumb is sending your music first and if more details are required you will be asked for it.
- Do not attach Mp3’s
You might encounter some restrictions on their website such as maximum – attachment size; the formats of your recorded music For example Mp3’s, Wav and Wma .Some of these might not be compatible with their websites.
This might restrict chance of your demo ever being received let alone being heard (no pun intended).
Unless you are specifically asked to attach mp3s after a brief bio while sending the email.
- Do not send 3rd Party download links
The amounts it takes to review the demo may be too long and tedious, considering some of the 3rd party download services like Media fire ,Send space are over-shadowed by annoying ads and pop-ups in order to download the demo. Avoid this at all costs to improve your chance of tour demo being heard.
- Do not send your demos in form of remixes or extremely long LP’s
Many artists or producers may be tempted to send demos in form of remixes of LP (Long plays) which will come off as unnecessary and uncalled for. They might think they are showing off their skills to the A&R or record label but, in the process you hurt your chances your demo ever being listened to.
Let me put it this way, if you were an A&R and receive many remixes in your mail and you had other incoming submissions on the way waiting for chance to be looked at. Would you have the time to consider them or Skip them over?
- Do not openly send submissions to many record labels at once
This comes off as unprofessional and might be considered as spam in many cases. Many producers tend to send demos ‘en-masse’ to several record labels or A&Rs without even considering the type of music they do or criteria in this case. Sometimes they do it out of ignorance but in many cases it is a sign of laziness or just testing out the waters to see which ones succeed at the least amount of time possible.
As a rule of thumb, never forward a submission email or demo that you sent before to another record label just to save time. Just as you cannot send a rosy love message that has been forwarded to you by a friend and expect to be taken seriously.
Take time to craft specific demo and details to each specific A&R, this will be regarded highly as serious and professional to them. Remember you want to create the best first impression to them, just like you would do on a romantic date or business meeting with an important client.
- Do not send a link to your music ‘where all your music can be heard’
This is counter-productive in the sense that the A&R will more likely get overwhelmed by all the types of music you got. In the process ruin your chances of being heard. The appropriate way is sending one or two links to the demos and preferably let them be private. A good example is if you use sound cloud i.e. (audio streaming platform) they have a feature where ‘you can make a specific track private’.
This may look trivial and you may ask,
What difference does it make to send a link to your main website that has a collection of your all music verses private links to a track?
To answer your question, remember while submitting to these record labels and A&Rs less is more.
If they are impressed by what they hear, they are more likely to ask you to send them more music
Again if they like your music the higher the chances of you getting a placement.
- Follow Submission instructions
In so many cases submissions fail to meet the required standards because they clearly failed to follow given instructions.
In case of the size of the files of the demo(s), the format of bio where you are required to fill details on their web-sites. Some usually ask you to send specific number of links like 2-6 links or mp3’s of your tracks.
The type of content is also important for instance some record –labels may insist on submitting non- vulgar, explicit content.
The timeliness of the submissions is also important factor and may be taken into account. Always meet the set dead-lines to avoid your demo being locked out. Technology has made it possibly easier to restrict late submissions as per a certain time, locking out any of them using online email based submission services that have that function.
Some may require you sign up and join the Artist Community. They ask you to send them links to your music website, Sound cloud, Band camp, and Face book.
They may ask you to visit their web-page and upon signing up upload your music demo directly to their servers.
In other circumstances, you may be prompted to watch or read tutorial(s) on How to submit to their site.
In conclusion, these are some of my insights and ways on to how to make a Perfect demo for (Submission) to A&R’s & music producers make a perfect demo. Most of these factors I have personally used in the past to get my music placed with A&Rs and record labels.
If you have any questions, comments or you want a chance to get your music placed please contact me or drop a comment below.