Getting into music is easy. You learn how to sing,
write music, or play an instrument. Just about everybody is given
some sort of music education in school, or should be. Then you practice,
practice, practice until you get good enough to form a group or have
someone sing songs you wrote. It might even be considered "easy"
getting some gigs to play in public. Now you want to cut a demo record
that you know is good enough the major record labels are going to
beat a path to your door and sign you to a deal.
That is when "easy"
disappears from the equation. There are perhaps 6 "major" record
labels who have the "sweet deals" to give. All you have
to figure out is a way to compete with how many millions of different
artists and groups doing the same thing, at the same time. Start
with the what I call the 4 "P's" Practice,
Performance, Presentation, and Persistence.
- Practice your music so
you can perform it in your sleep. (When you are on tour, that is
how you might feel like you are playing it!) Then practice it some
- Prepare your performance from the audience viewpoint. (You
don't want to do a night of ballads and love songs in a noisy
bar, you probably won't be back for a second night.)
- A great Presentation is your one shot at catching
the eye of the A & R people or venues you may wish to play at.
Flashy, heavy graphics, busy, slow-loading web sites get ignored
faster than they can load. The design of the web site should allow
for fast loading information, be easy to navigate, and get to the
point without a lot of mouse clicks. As a guide, if you have to spend
more than 7 seconds waiting for a page to load a brilliant video,
animated graphics, or a solid black background, you will probably
lose the attention of the viewer. This mistake could cost you a contract.
- Your press pack should be just as precise. One 8 x 10 photo, a
single demo CD with no more than 4 songs on it to showcase your range
(make your best song the first track, you may not get a listen to
all four), and a single page bio, with limited information about
the group. Make sure to have your contact information on it, name(s)
of primary contact person (manager, agent, music attorney, publisher,
individual in group), web site, phone that you answer, and address
on all pieces of your press pack.
- Persistence in preparation, practice, performance,
and presentation will help you perfect your product and land the
job, or possibly a contract. Indies are far more willing to take
on an unknown artist or group than the major labels, don't leave
them out of your equation.