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What Are The Pitfalls to Avoid When Recording And Submitting a Demo?

Posted in News on June 19, 2018

BMI’s ‘On the Record’ is back again this month with another thought-provoking answer to one of our most frequently asked questions. The BMI Creative Team weighed in.

Mitch Martin, Creative, Atlanta:
The first thing to avoid is overselling. The more secure and confident you come across when presenting your work, it gives the impression that you know you have quality music. You shouldn’t do much talking, convincing, or explaining before the person to whom you’re presenting gets a chance to listen. You should let the music speak for itself. When following up, be respectful. Don’t contact them daily or even every other day. Many industry professionals are inundated with music, so give them some time to listen. A week or so is a respectful time frame to follow up and see if they have any feedback to give you.

Finally, don’t submit music on dated or inconvenient formats. Ask for an email address where you can send mp3s or links to your music. The CD is definitely outdated and inconvenient as a format for demos. Demos submitted on thumb drives, though up to date technologically, are actually pretty inconvenient as well. Most industry professionals constantly interface with email throughout the day so I believe that is the best way to submit a demo of your work.

Leslie Roberts, Creative, Nashville:
Make sure that you are working with reputable people that you trust! It is also imperative that you do your homework… research and talk to a handful of professionals to make sure it is a good fit. Also, listen to their work and see if it appeals to you and you are also a good fit sonically.

When it comes to submitting demos, record labels and publishing companies do not take unsolicited material, therefore one must be referred by another co-writer, NSAI, their PRO or another music business professional. However, a lot of writers don’t have the money to get all of their songs demoed … that being said, you don’t have to get everything demoed, a good guitar vocal is fine. When writers bring me songs, I love a great guitar vocal.

Stay tuned for more insight from inside the industry right here each month in The Weekly!

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