Sending Out Demos

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Question

Your article “Recording Part 1: Why do it?” was very helpful to me.. and I like overall site in general, it’s like opening up a copy of guitar player or something. I have a question for you, though. On sending out demos… I’ve read articles that say most major labels toss demos into a pile of trash with 1,000 others they are equally interested in.

Is there any sure way to avoid this without having to buy a book with a list of labels (major and independent) accepting demos, or better yet is there something on the web you know of perhaps? We’re so hopeful about this music it’s literally scaring the bejeezus out of us and we want to make sure we do it right. Thank you, reply if you can.

Answer

Unfortunately, there are no sure-fire ways of avoiding not being listened to or being “tableted” by the record company execs. One thing you could do, though, that would improve your chances is to find an agent. These people are usually better connected and have a better chance of getting your demo listened to by the right people.

Your best resource, in my opinion, would be a book store. They usually carry a yearly guide of who does what in the business. Go to a bookstore and ask a sales person exactly what you need and they should have that resource. Make sure you get the most recent edition, lots of people move or change places. People get fired and resigned. Execs don’t like receiving mail addressed to their predecessors.

I’ll write something more detailed about this particular part of the process in the upcoming weeks.

Hope this helps. If you’d like more help, don’t hesitate to write back.

For everyone interested in demos, how to record them and what to do with them check out our series of lessons on them starting with Recording Part 1: Why We Do It? and Recording Part 2: Building a Digital Studio. Songwriters and musicians can also look for more help and advice on our Songwriters Discussion Forum.

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