Producer Tips

Curtis Kendrick

Demo.” It’s the single most used term when the discussion involves unsigned artists. Anybody who’s spent more than an hour around musicians has heard those standard conversations. It usually goes something like this: “Yeah, I’m in a band.” “Got any A&R interest?” “Oh yeah, our demo’s
making the rounds.....”

It’s as if your demo or CD or EP has personality all its own, and in fact, it should. Your demo serves as your calling card to the talent scouts in the industry. Whether you’re a songwriter looking for a publishing deal, a recording artist looking for a label deal, a musician looking for session work or live gigs, or a producer looking for a home behind someone’s glass, you all need to show what you can do, and only your demo can do that.

Demos can be as simple as just a piano/vocal rendition of a song, or a full-blown, multi track production, as long as it’s competently recorded, which doesn’t include those who record their songs into a miniature recorder. It’s important to remember that your demo totally represents
your work in the best possible artistic light.

I believe that it’s very important that you include a brief note indicating what you want people to listen to. Are you the producer?Are you the songwriter? Are you the featured performer? In other words, if you want to be a professional, this is the time to act like one. And that means understanding the rules of what a demo is supposed to be: a “demonstration” of your talent.

Get to the point of the song, because when I listen to a demo CD I put it in and, I hit play, and

if I don’t hear something in seven to ten seconds, I will move on to the next track. But keep it short whatever you do.

Another thing to remember is that if you’re sending a demo to a producer or for band consideration, be sure that  
you’re happy with it, because no professional wants to hear your sob story. The biggest mistake  for me is when people make excuses. You don’t send a demo to somebody with a preconceived  excuse like, “You would like it better if Boyonce was singing it”. If you are a good producer you can hear through that. A good song is a good song.Try to make the best possible demo that you  can and don’t make excuses please.