How to Send a Demo to a Record Label

Many demos from aspiring musicians are sent daily to major record labels. Know how to increase the chances of your demo getting noticed.

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You Will Need

  • CDs
  • Letter of introduction
  • Press kit
  • Your demo
  • Padded envelope
  • Artist website

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Find the right record labels

    Find the right record labels. Read info on the CD packaging of recording artists similar to your music style and compile a list of compatible record companies.

  2. Step 2

    Get record company contact info

    Get record company contact info through business reference materials often found at public libraries, such as The Music Week Directory.

  3. Step 3

    Phone record companies

    Phone record companies and get the name of the A&R (Artists and Repertoire) person who handles your music genre. Find out if they accept unsolicited demos.

  4. Step 4

    Send a letter of introduction

    Send a short letter of introduction to the A&R person before sending your demo. This may add a personal touch that gives your demo a better chance to be opened.

  5. Step 5

    Create a press kit

    Create a press kit. Include an eight-by-10-inch glossy black and white photo of yourself or your band, a brief artist bio, and press clippings. Contact information should be on every press kit page.

  6. If you're sending an album of music, recommend your strongest tracks in a short note included in the press kit.

  7. Step 6

    Properly package your demo

    Properly package your demo, preferably in CD format. Put the demo and kit in a padded envelope that includes your correct name and return address.

  8. Set up an artist website with tour dates, band news, and other information. Include the URL in your kit.

  9. Step 7

    Call the A&R person

    Call the A&R person several days after sending the demo to make sure that they've received it, and then wait for them to offer you a contract.

  10. When legendary Columbia Records scout John Hammond signed Bob Dylan in 1961, other music executives dubbed it "Hammond's Folly."

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