The practicality of having recorded material for your band is helpful for various reasons. What are those reasons exactly?
Having a demo optimises time during band practices. You place it in your electronic press kit and use it to market your band in order to fill up the venues or to lure potential managers. Your demo songs can be used to psyche each other up before a performance and increase chemistry within your band.
Let’s take a look at these in more depth:
Saving Time During Band Practices
Sending a quick song recording a day or two before practice with a verse, bridge and chorus will help your band members practice and get used to the new material before arriving at the practice venue.
This will give them a chance to apply their own style and influence to the music in order to get the best possible product.
The quickest and easiest way to do this is with a simple voice note and acoustic guitar. Since it’s only a since introduced to the band, there’s no need to save it on a cloud, but just to send it via your band communication group.
With the base track, also send the root notes or chords to your riffs to support members that do not play by ear (yet 😉 ). This will allow your band members to jump into the song and fall in love instantly.
Remember that playing in a band is teamwork and supporting each other as far as we go.
Include Your Demo in Your Press Kit
All bands need a press kit or an electronic press kit (EPK) that represents who they are and what they sound like. This EPK gets sent out to potential concert venues, and the local press to publish for concert support or pitching your music to labels or promotion companies.
A couple (about 3-6 songs) of your best tracks are all you need. It is recommended that it is done as professionally as possible. Even if you have skilled friends or can record yourself to a high level that should be fine too until you manage to afford the visit to the studio to record professionally.
After you are satisfied with your recording, ask a few friends what they think about the sound levels. Take the critics on board to make minor changes to suit the normal ear.
Check out this video below about BandZoogle offering a chance to make your own EPK on their website if you are looking to get one.
To Market Your Music
It is June 2008. It is the winter holidays in South Africa. As a young band, we knew that somehow we will need to produce a Demo to bring us any further. We had 4 original songs in total, but plenty of belief in ourselves.
We called up an old friend who was studying to become a sound engineer. We knew we didn’t have much to pay him, but he was still keen to become part of our journey and agreed to record us with the basic equipment he had.
He asked a peer from his studies to support him with the recordings, and between the 2 of them, they got the show on the road.
We recorded the whole 4 song demo in the garage over 2 days, just gaining experience as we go along with the process.
After all the material was recorded, the sound engineers took about 2 weeks to mix and produce. They delivered such a top job and we were so proud of what we have achieved during this journey.
Then we started to make copies of the 4 track demo. We burned so many CDs to hand out to everyone on campus. Most people thought that it was good enough for radio play, but we knew that was not the case.
This demo and the money invested to get this job done were just the push we needed to become successful.
In the modern world, we don’t walk around with demo CDs any more since everything is electronic. I am still a fan of handing an item to another person. Perhaps a card with a QR code at least.
I’ve had an excellent experience with the evergreen SoundCloud and it has never let me down.
Simple Steps to Advertise Your Band Demo:
- Upload your Tracks to SoundCloud
- Generate a QR code for the link to your music
- Design a business card with your band logo and QR code
- Get it printed at your local print shop
- Distribute by handing out or placing in central spaces
- Watch how your venues fill up.
- Be prepared for the wave!
Check out this helpful post from Jimdo on various places to upload your music digitally for free. Nr. 1 is quite useful when you are ready to get a website for your band.
Having a Demo Increases Band Chemistry
As a band, we loved listening to our own music. We were proud of it and we felt connected to each other by listening to our own tracks. This increased our chemistry and it was clearly also visible to the audience.
They saw us as a band of brothers and all the members were always included when it came to autographs, photos or drinks being handed out.
If you would like to know more about what other factors help with increasing the chemistry of your band, don’t miss the article I wrote about it.
Lure Potential Managers
By having music available, you are not only building an audience but also finding people that see potential in you.
As people continue to familiarise themselves with your music, it grows on them and they feel connected to it. Young or successful managers are on the outlook for bands that has this long-term effect on people and they will visit your gigs and be in contact with you.
If you are currently on the outlook for a manager, don’t miss this post I published about What Makes a Good Artist Manager. I will give you some insight into what to expect and what to look out for.
Warm Up Before a Gig
Before a performance, use the demo music to psyche each other up. Get into the right mindset rhythm-wise and practice the vocals in the appropriate key.
This will give you the last chance to make sure about song arrangements and wish each other good luck for a great show!
If you are interested in more ways to Build Confidence for a Musical Performance, don’t miss this article I wrote with some key tips that will take your gig to the next level.
I hope this inspired you to get your demo done. Take your calendar and get the job done. The fruit from this tree will be as sweet as can be!
Until next time…