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Making it as a Band in the Music Industry

Once you’ve made it in the music industry, your band will take center stage. Once you’ve made it in the music industry, your band will take center stage.


At some point in their lives, most guys think about starting a band. If you have any kind of musical talent, maybe you’ve done more than just think about it, and have started a band of your own. If you’re tired of playing in your garage, no doubt you have asked yourself what it takes to make it as a band in the music industry. How do you get your foot in the door of the recording world?

 Starting a band is the easy part. Recording, promoting, and selling your music is much more challenging. Becoming a successful recording artist takes time and patience, so don’t expect to be an overnight sensation. The blood, sweat, and tears that go into your band mark the cornerstone of your career.

Where to Begin

Building a foundation for success starts with simple but very necessary steps, so don’t skip any in your rush for stardom.

  • Choose a name for your band.It’s important you choose a name that is original and meaningful (and not already trademarked).The best names are generally short and easy to pronounce, spell, and remember.
  • Collaborate with your bandmates to write music and lyrics for your songs that define who you are and the kind of band you aspire to be.If you rush this process, your music will suffer.Copyrighting your songs is a good idea, and can be done simply at copyright.gov.
  • Practice, practice, practice.The more you rehearse, the better your band’s sound will come together.Many musicians fail because of arrogance; stubbornly thinking they’ve learned all they need to know.Talent alone is not enough in this competitive industry – you must study and work to continually improve.

Getting Your Band Recognized

  • Play at every gig you can.Jump on every possible opportunity to get your band’s name out there even if it seems beneath you.Sometimes this will mean playing for free, or playing for audiences made up of a handful of people – this is okay.The more the spotlight is shined on your band, the better.
  • Create a website for your band, as well as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace pages.Social networking is a great way to reach out to your fans and make new ones.
  • Spread the word.Flyers, newsletters, blogs posts – any way to let people know who you are and where you’ll be playing.You need to make promotion a priority from day one.No matter where you are in your music career, promoting your band is the key to taking things to the next level.
  • Record a demo.A demo will be your best piece of advertising/promotional material.You can sell it at shows, offer it to fans online, and send it to record labels.

Making Your Demo

It might seem to be in the band’s best interests to spend a lot of money on a professionally recorded demo, but the truth is that people expect your demo to be rough. It’s a taste of your sound, your songs – not a finished product ready to hit the shelves. Agents and record labels are aware of how expensive recording is and that you’re a band trying to get their start. If your band is talented and have a good selection of songs on your demo, you won’t get turned down because the quality is not perfect.

Compile a list of record labels who might be interested in your band, and learn each label’s policy on demos. Find out of unsolicited demos are accepted, what formats are okay, and what the follow up rules are.

The package you send to the record label should include a demo of two or three of your best songs, your name and email address, and a short band bio. Press clippings may also be included if you’ve got them.

Once you’ve sent out your demo to different labels, follow up to make sure they’ve received them and ask for opinions. Stick to the label’s policies – usually an email one month after sending the demo is acceptable. You might hear “no” a lot during this process, but don’t get discouraged. Keep practicing, keep playing, and recording new demos. Take good care of your fans, and promote your band as much and as often as you can. One day your band will make it, and you’ll be hearing your songs on the radio.

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Practical tips for making your band a success
Last modified on Wednesday, 12 September 2012 14:37

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