You Only Get One Chance

You’re an Artist or a Songwriter. You just need a shot, a chance, an opportunity to be heard by the right people, so you can break on through and accelerate your career. You know you only get once chance to make a memorable first impression and your song demos are what speak for you more than anything else. With few exceptions, memorable song demos don’t just happen. They are the result of asking and answering the right questions BEFORE you record a single note, produce a single song or spend a single dollar.

Nearly once a day I get asked, “Should I get a full demo on this song?”  In my professional opinion, it really depends upon the song. Some songs, heartfelt, intimate ballads in particular, work well with a bare bones, guitar/vocal or piano/vocal presentation.

Big Song Demo Secret #1

As long as the vocal and instruments are in tune, in synch and the vocal is mixed so the lyric is easily understood, this type of demo works fine. Many writers are able to produce very inexpensive, pitchable and impressive bare bones demos at home.

On the other hand,  uptempo numbers (or “tempo” as industry insiders say) often need the added dimensions a full demo brings (groove, drums, bass, guitar, keys and backing vocals).

You only get one chance. So it’s important you make the right choice.

Big Song Demo Secret #2 And Beyond

Once again – Big Song Demo Secret #1 – Vocal and instruments in tune and in synch, vocal mixed loud enough to understand the lyric.

Big Song Demo Secret #2 – Ask and honestly answer these questions:

  • Will a full demo really enhance the message of the song?
  • With a bare bones approach, is too much left to the imagination? Not enough?

Once you have decided upon a demo format (full or bare bones) ask yourself:

  • Is everything in tune?
  • Is everything in rhythm and in synch?
  • Is the vocal clear and mixed so that ALL the lyrics can be heard and understood?
  • From a production standpoint, do I hear anything to which the listener could possibly object?

You only get one chance – Make the right choices.

Another Song Demo Secret

If the listener can’t hear or understand a line and gets focused on that one line, before they know it they’ve missed the next line,  maybe even the chorus – the one that has the great hook you worked so hard on. At that point it’s just easier to say “no” than go through the hassle of going back and re-listening. (I have personally witnessed this at least 273 times. Well. okay, maybe even more. It’s disappointing. You can feel the air leave the room when it happens. Remember you only get once chance, right?)

Before you take the next steps on your own, let’s talk about the best way to make that chance count and how to make the right choices. Shoot me an email and let’s start crafting a plan.

Where are you in your music career?  Click here to #TakeTheTwenty and find out!

Photo Courtesy of Catch This Music Recording Studios, Nashville