So, you’ve written a great song and you want to record an amazing demo to present it to the world. But there are certain things you need to know and follow before, during and after writing your demos. Believe it or not, the presentation of the demo sometimes can be even more important the content of the demo itself!! You can have a great demo and a bad presentation can make music supervisors and producers to don’t take it seriously, or opposite, you can have an “okay” demo but a good presentation and attract the attentions towards what you had done. Here are things I have learned in a 15-year career and more than 3,000 demos.
Telling the singer what to sing. Let the singer try different things. Countless times, I have seen writers forcing the singer to sing their melody note for note. Sometimes it’s good not to stick to the exact melody and let the singer to put their own ideas in your demo. Pushing the singer wears them out. It takes away any creativity they might bring to your song. And, ultimately, it will cause them to just give you a so-so performance. If there is a melody spot that makes a HUGE difference to you, then fight for it. Otherwise, acknowledge that this person is singing your demo because they are a better singer than you are, and they might be on to something when they try different things. They might make your melody even better and more attractive to other singers – like the artists you will be pitching them to.
Failing to learn the language. Learn to communicate your vision for your songs. When I start each demo, I say something like “I want this to have a similar vibe to Kenny Chesney’s “Anything But Mine”‘ The band instantly knows what I’m talking about and they start off very much in the ballpark where I want to be. The better you can communicate what you want, the better and cheaper your demos will be.
Coming in unprepared. Know what you want when you go into the studio. The studio is not the place to re-write, figure out production, change things around, etc. You are paying a lot of money to have people sit around and watch you do your job if you do those things in the studio. Go in knowing the key, the arrangement, the tempo, etc. That helps things go smoothly and saves you money. Plus, it makes the band and the engineer like you WAY more.
Hangi Tavakoli is our in-house established and professional music producer with more than 14 years of experience in music production, mix and mastering, recording engineering, live sound designing/engineering, lyrics writing and music arrangement. He has produced more than 1000 and written more than 3000 published songs to-date, including some major hits in international scale.