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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.

Instructions

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • TIP: If you're sending an album of music, recommend your strongest tracks in a short note included in the press kit.
  • 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.
  • TIP: Set up an artist website with tour dates, band news, and other information. Include the URL in your kit.
  • 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.
  • FACT: When legendary Columbia Records scout John Hammond signed Bob Dylan in 1961, other music executives dubbed it "Hammond's Folly."

You Will Need

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

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