Creating a Demo

“Dress for success,” an old saying goes.

The same sentiment can be applied to your music demo. If it appears amateurish, an amateur you will likely stay.

More times than not, a poorly packaged demo recording will not even be heard. So even if you’re the next Dylan or Ga Ga – it won’t matter.

But, by following a few simple guidelines, the story doesn’t have end that way.

Never forget: A polished demo packet is crucial, critical, absolutely essential.

There’s another old adage – this one in business – that you have to spend money to make money. If at all possible, hire a graphic artist to design the CD jacket and a publisher to print. And put some money in the recording itself. The drummer’s home recording “studio” is great, but check into local studios who may have attainable rates for the final recording sessions.

But if this is a do-it-yourself gig – and there may be no other way – there are a few things that will make your demo packet look, well, not-so-homemade.

Use good quality paper that has some thickness to it and a professional printing machine. Many self-print stores are available for self-publishing needs at affordable rates. Keep in mind that record label types get hundreds and thousands of demos. What makes your demo stand out?

Print your music on high quality CDs. Don’t skimp here. The better the sound quality, the better the chance of the music being heard the way it was intended.

Give the CD holder something brief, but creative, that describes the band and its sound. Make sure the band has some good photos to choose from for cover art. Something attention grabbing that sells the band without words is what you want. It’s as important as a head shot to a Hollywood actor.

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