While there are many independent musicians today who record, promote and distribute their own work, a lot of bands and performers still dream of the traditional approach to getting recognised in the music industry, which involves trying to get recognised by a producer or a major record label with the hope of securing a record and recording contract. Getting your music into the hands of the people who can help you secure a career in music can be challenging, but the reward may be a record deal with a major record company.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Demo recording
- Professional sheet music
- "Songwriter's Market" book
Put together a press kit that includes individual band member bios as well as a band history. Include a CD sample of the band's music. Also include 8-inch-by-10-inch photographs of the band. Some press kits even have a promotional gimmick, such as something that ties in with the name of the band. A well-put-together press kit can be an effective introduction to a producer or record company, especially if it highlights marketing value.
Ensure you have a professionally recorded demo of your songs. While there are many ways to break into the music business today, a demo that presents marketable music is still the bottom line. If you don't have high-quality equipment at home to record your own demo, or if you don't feel confident in your ability to record and mix professionally, take advantage of a professional recording studio for your demo. The songs on this demo will play a big role in how a producer or record company views the value of signing your band to a deal.
Take advantage of the resources available to help get you in touch with the people who can sign you to a deal. If you're a songwriter, the "Songwriter's Market" (see Resources below) is a market listing that gives you complete contact and submission information about how to get your songs sold. If you are a solo performer or have a band, consult a producer and record company databases (see Resources). These resources can cut down the time it takes for you to find reputable producers and record companies.
Make a list of the producers and record companies that handle your kind of music. Follow the guidelines for submission when you send your music for consideration. If there are no specific guidelines available, send a demo, a press kit and a brief letter of introduction and statement of intent. You are looking for a recording contract. State it simply and let your music do the talking.
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