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Submit your songs like professioanl songwriters do!

I am going to give you some useful advice regarding submitting your songs. If you are a band or a singer wanting a record deal (which I suspect you do) you should read through this advice.

Ok, first you need to record your demo.

This can be a very expensive process, but there are studios that have great deals. Apple Beam Studios is one such place that charges 60 per song, this is great if you are on a budget because you know exactly how much you will be paying.

If you are doing cover songs then choose wisely! Choose a song that shows off your voice and is in the right key! Whether original or covers, three songs is enough as most people can tell if you are what they are looking for after about 20 seconds!

That?s all I am going to say on recording your demo because this article is about submitting it! Get advice on songs and use a studio like Apple Beam Studios who can offer advice on all aspects of the industry as well as get the best performance from you when recording.

Submitting your demo

This is where I can maybe offer a different angle on submitting your demo. I am a songwriter, I have had to learn how to get my songs to the right people, and know what those people expect from me.

The very first thing to do is know what you want. Sounds weird but a lot of people sending a demo will send to as many people as possible, without getting to know who they are first.

Step one would be to identify YOUR market. Avoid saying your music is 'a mixture of many styles', or 'we can't be pigeon holed'. The fact is A&R people have to put you into a category of some sort so that you can be marketed efficiently and cost effectively.

A lot of bands find it hard to say 'We are Pop' or 'We are Heavy Rock'. But look at this from the marketing point of view. If I am to market your band or you as an artist and you are Pop/R&B with elements of Reggae and Blues, I have to spread your marketing money across lots of magazines and radio stations which is not focused and isn't the best way to target fans. This makes you a higher risk product.

So, identify yourself and your market. Then you can start to identify the right A&R and managers to contact. Go to and sign up there, it's $15 and they present the world's top record company A&R's, managers, publishers and producers, including their contact info &track records.

Now you can read up on managers and A&R who deal with artists with the same market as your music will need to attract. Here are some rules to follow when sending your demo;

1. Never mp3 a track without asking for permission first.

2. If you get permission to email a track, don't email two tracks!

3. If you send in a CD, put your name and contact details on it - your letter will get lost!

4. Don't send a massive biog yet, if the song is right, you will be asked for more details later.

5. Be specific. Email a Mr Smith and say you are contacting him because you feel your music is something he may like. Mention bands that he has managed and say you really enjoyed his interview on

6. Follow up all demo submissions but don't call every 5 minutes! These people are very busy and it may take several calls and/or Emails to make contact. Be patient.

One more very powerful demo submission trick is to contact the A&R or Manager first with a question. The idea here is to build a relationship before they hear your material. You must remember that when people listen to your song, they might be tired, stressed and not in the mood for 'happy' music that day. We are all human and prone to make emotional decisions over logical ones.

If you have already spoken to the A&R and have asked some constructed questions, he/she will be in a different frame of mind when listening to your demo. It will give you an edge over other demos where there has been no contact at all. Of course this is assuming your songs are good enough!

You could ask a simple question like, 'are you looking to take on new acts this year?'. That shows you are interested in how the company runs and that you are respectful of their time. However you choose to do it, it will help. I have spoken to an A&R 2 or 3 times before and felt comfortable enough to say 'if the song is not right for you, could you suggest someone that might be interested'. 9 times out of 10 they suggest someone. I can then call that person and say Mr Smith suggest I call you, and a new relationship is born! It's about building friends in the industry.

Above all when sending your demo, make sure you have 3 killer songs. You need to have a single, a song that is so good that a label will be willing to risk spending 1M

On promoting it. Every TV interview, magazine article, gig and album sale will be promoted with your single. Take your time and get it right, contact industry people and find out what they are looking for. Talk to people who deal in your music style and focus on making sure they listen to your demo.

Article published with permission from Darren of Apple Beam Studio's.