Do You Need A Demo?

When a band or artist is first starting out, many choose to make a demo recording of their music. While some find that recording a demo is essential in getting their musical career off the ground, others find that it has little benefit to them in the long-term. Here are just a few things to consider when thinking about recording a demo.

If you’re a new artist or band, then you might not have the financial backing which is often required to record a whole album, which can require a larger of time to be spent in the studio. Once you have a recording contract, it is also unlikely that your original recording will be used – usually they will be professional rerecorded before public release. In this sense, recording a whole album simply to allow music executives to listen to a short sample can seem like an unproductive use of time and money – it can be a better idea to simply record a short demon to show what you can do.

It is also worth bearing in mind that demo recordings do not always give a true representation of your musical ability. After all, those who like your music won’t simply want to listen to your recordings as they play online games or on their headphones during their commute to work. They’ll also want to hear you play live – and so will record companies and producers. Although the fact that broadband internet is now widely available from companies such as O2 can mean that a large number of people will listen online to digital recordings of your music, this will not negate the need to be able to play live. Whilst a demo can act as a good taster of your sound, but you should make sure you are able to recreate that sound for a live audience should you be invited to.

Lastly, it is worth bearing in mind that unsolicited demo tapes rarely get much attention. Only record a demo if you have a clear plan on how you want to use it – other than just blindly forwarding a copy on to every record company which you can think of. Otherwise you may be better off recording a full album, which you may be able to see at gigs and performances.

-Andrea

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