Putting Together Your Band Demo CD

Make A Live Recording

One of the most important parts of your bands marketing strategy is your Demo CD. The Demo CD is going to be one of your biggest selling points in getting new gigs for your band. I’m going to give you a few tips for putting together a Demo CD that will help sell your band to club owners.

   I was listening to Demo CD’s one night with a club owner who was trying to sift through prospective band for his club. I remember he kept saying things like “Studio recording”, “Studio Effects”, and “Too Produced”. And he would toss those Demo CD’s in the trash. What the guy was looking for was a live representation of how the band would sound when they played in his club.

   So the most important aspect of putting together a successful Demo CD is to make a good live recording of your band. Preferably with a lot of crowd cheering mixed in. Club owners want an accurate snapshot of how you’ll sound playing in their club. They want to hear how you talk to the crowd and how the crowd is reacting to you. So a live CD is the must for getting into clubs.

   If you do want to mix a few studio tracks on your Demo CD that’s okay, but put them at the end. Club owners really don’t care what you sound like in the studio. The best thing to do is have the live demo for the club owners and a studio demo to give to fans at your shows. The studio demos should also have some live tracks at the end because you never know when one of your fans is going to put a Demo CD in the hands of someone who can line gigs up for you.

   There are a couple ways to capture a good live CD. One is to record your show at a club that you regularly play at and hopefully you’ll catch a good night. Another way is to control things a bit more and invite a rowdy crowd of friends to a more controlled environment for recording. I’ve done both and the demo’s we’ve recorded with a crowd of friends has usually turned out better just because the band was more relaxed and interacting easier with the crowd. Remember, the club owners want to hear some stage banter.

   Finally, put your best songs on the Demo CD. Make sure they’re the songs that everybody will know and recognize. If you want to really show off your skills with a highly technical song, only put one on. Also, unless you want to play weddings, only put one slow song on the Disc.

   It’s really excellent practice to record all your live shows because you never know when you’re going to have that perfect gig. You just may get the live recording of a lifetime. So be prepared by having a recorder at the gig recording your show.

Recording and Live Sound Gear at Music123

Broadcast A Live Online Concert

Frank – Ready To Rock

With gas prices taking a huge chunk of change out of all of our pockets, bands are looking for ways to stay in touch with their audience. Today I’m going to talk a bit about streaming a live concert online for all your fans to enjoy.

The easiest way that I’ve found to do this is with a great Internet streaming service called Shoutcast. It’s a music stream that you can listen to with either Winamp or iTunes. You can check it out at www.shoutcast.com and it’s very easy to set up. Here are 2 links on how to set everything up: Continue reading “Broadcast A Live Online Concert”

Gas Prices and The Gigging Musician

Gas Price Chat

   Let’s face it, gas prices are taking a heavy toll on every industry in the U.S.. Musicians are no better off than any other travelling worker. I’ve been reading about a lot of music groups having to turn down gigs just because the amount of travel involved made it impossible to make any profit on a gig.

   The problem we face in terms of gas prices is all the equipment we have to haul. That makes it pretty much impossible for a band to carpool together. In my band it takes 4 vehicles to get everything to a show. Most of our gigs are within 45 miles of our house but one of our members always has to travel 100 miles or more to get to a gig. Needless to say, gas costs really add up when you’re having to travel that far.

Continue reading “Gas Prices and The Gigging Musician”

Dressing For The Stage

   I like being comfortable. I’m the most comfortable in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. I have to tell you that I don’t like wearing costumes and I hate dressing up. So for a long time I just wore jeans and a t-shirt onstage. Then I started opening for other bands and I really began to notice how cool they looked creating a look for when they played onstage.  I remember thinking once at a gig that the band that opened for us just looked cooler than we did. They just seemed a lot more hip even though musically we blew them away. The real bummer was, the crowd was louder for that band than for us.   Continue reading “Dressing For The Stage”

How To Get Out Of The Garage and Onto The Stage

   We’ve all been there. The band has been together for months, you have 25 songs learned and you’re itching to get out and play. The problem is you’re stuck rehearsing and you don’t have enough songs to play a 4 hour club date. Well guess what, you do have enough songs to play a party. Even better it’s a party that you’re going to throw. Continue reading “How To Get Out Of The Garage and Onto The Stage”

Music Is Your Business

    When I finally got out of high school and first started doing club gigs a good musician friend of mine gave me a book. I read it cover to cover and it has proved to be a valuable resource even after all these years. That book is no longer in print but I want to suggest another book that just released its 3rd edition in 2007. Continue reading “Music Is Your Business”