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Artist Song Demos – How To Break Through And Sell Your Songs!

By Tom Gauger As writers, it’s often difficult to be objective about writing and any aspect related to writing and creating the demos that are used to shop songs.  As a former talent booking agent with the William Morris Agency, I can tell you that with all of the vast array of talent and gifted writers, only a few make it to the inner circle.  There are various reasons for this, but none that come close to what we will spend the remaining time in this article talking about.  Many a hopeful writer and artist walked through the doors of William Morris only to find that the magic they thought they had come upon, vanished in a moments notice.  Why is that?  Why do some get the writers and artist deals with virtually no writing innovation, while others, with up in your face talent, not getting the due recognition and artist album cuts and deals so richly deserved?  Let’s spend a few minutes together talking through a few basic concepts to hopefully get you moving in the right direction.  As founder of Reel Musician, it is and has always been my goal to see rising talent succeed and make it to the top.  We strive to always remain approachable, authoritative with music industry resources and information and provide relevant services such as creating master quality song demos for rising song writers, top notch jingle demos for singers trying to break into singing commercials and effective press kit writing for artists trying to establish their careers.   With that in mind, I want to share with you some ideas that will help you get your career jump-started. Always remember that content is king.  You can’t very easily take a story without a decent plot and try to pitch it.  Same thing holds true for your writing and career.  One of the problems today, is that many would be artists and writers clutter the playing field by utilizing technological advances and use their friends computer, keyboard and mic to record music and think they have a chance.  And because music equipment and software has become so affordable, many who would not ordinarily approach the idea of writing or becoming an artist now feel that they have to have their chance at stardom and so the A&R, managers, booking agents and all other ancillary music industry offices are flooded by material that is not even close to being a go.  It’s a waste of everyone’s time.  The thinking is just because so and so made it, I could make it to.  Well that might be true, but for the every one of the so and sos that make it, there are thousands, that don’t.  Think about that.  Go for your dream, but make sure that you have a decent plot to back up your artist story line. Once you have established that you have credible talent, you will want to figure out the best approach to pitching your songs, artist deal or break into jingle singing, whatever the case might be.  I will tell you, as I’ve stated before, that everyone has their own story to tell, in how they broke into the music industry, but I will tell you that there are a few golden concepts that you should employ to increase your odds. Always remember that creativity coupled with authenticity will go along ways in your career.  There are so many phony people out there inside the industry and out, that when individuals who are decision makers inside the industry find authentic and truly gifted talent, they are pulled to it.  Do you have a record cut or a record deal, maybe, maybe not.  But the fact that you now have an ally inside the inner circle creates a much broader platform for your career to take off from.  The fact that now someone who holds some influence and who has taken a liking to you is strong – really strong.  You develop these types of relationships whether at area writer’s meetings, artist showcases, or other various ins that you can find and think of in your area, and you will be well on your way to getting your demos not only listened to, but listened to with interest and on an inside path.  Don’t be users.  Figure out ways where you can have conversations totally outside the music industry where an individual truly thinks you care – if your career comes up the conversation great, but if not that’s fine to.  And if it does come up in the conversation, don’t make a big deal of it. Your song demos have got to be the best no questions asked.  Your productions better sound better than what’s on the radio.  Figure out the key musicians in your area and produce your song demos with no excuses.  I’ve said it before and it’s worth repeating, that it’s better to have a slimmed down song demo version with an incredible guitar or piano player and vocals that just melt, than a fully produced song demo that’s just pretty good.  You hear that.  Don’t produce pretty good demos – They’re not good enough.  When you get the opportunity from a heavy weight in the industry to listen to your song demo, artist demo or jingle reel, it’s far better to have an incredible demo done with a few musical elements that just wow the listener.  Chances are you won’t get another chance, and so your listener better remember that your demos not only sound good, but will make him or her look good when they go to pitch your material.  In closing, take these few simple concepts seriously and implement them in your career goals.  Don’t get all stirred up about the latest and greatest this or that or your having to be in the “in” musical crowd to get a record deal or to get your songs cut.  Just develop authentic relationships and make sure that your song demos, jingle reels and artist demos are simply the best!  Please feel free to contact us for any questions you might have!
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