Issue No. 011
Welcome to the Inspired Song Alerts Newsletter!
With each letter I'll try to bring you fresh and informative ideas on songwriting, recording, and music publishing.
I guess you'll have to decide whether or not the ideas I bring you are indeed fresh and informative!
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In This Issue...
1. Don‘t Allow Your Demo to Date Your Song
Consider stripping it down
2. Inspired Quote of the Month
A little shot of inspiration to keep you going through those dry spells!
Don‘t Allow Your Demo to Date Your Song
We songwriters often hear things like “Listen to what‘s successful now and emulate that.” Or “Keep your finger on the pulse of what’s current.”
While it’s probably not in our best interest to write stuff that sounds like it should have been released in the ’80s, the greatest songs are always ones that don’t follow the trends.
Of course we all can and should improve our songwriting skills. But instead of trying to change our songwriting style, maybe we should consider changing our approach to recording the demo.
Can Your Demo Stand Up To a Major Release?
The thing that most often makes a song sound dated is the recording. It’s very difficult for an amateur to emulate the sonic qualities of a major studio release in the first place. Trying to keep up with the changing trends in recording production is a career unto itself.
These productions are given a substantial budget. They can afford the most expensive gear and, more importantly, the best ears in the industry.
Publishers all say they don't pay much attention to the recording production of a demo, and maybe some of them don't. But I believe most of them do.
While I love to record full-blown demos, I’ve realised I may be shooting myself in the foot. Besides the above points, recording a full-blown demo tells the listener what kind of song it is and leaves very little to the imagination. If I’m trying to get a publishing deal, I’ve just eliminated well over half of my prospects!
I want my song to be heard for what it is: A good song. I don’t want people’s judgment to be clouded by my well-intentioned, yet pigeonholing demo.
Strip It Down
So I’ve decided to start recording simpler, stripped-down demos. Maybe just acoustic guitar and vocal. That way I leave the possibilities of what the song could become up to the listener. It could be a country song, a pop song, or a heavy rock song. Whatever!
Also, with a simple demo it quickly becomes apparent if there are any weak lines of lyric or melody. No wall of drums and guitars to hide behind!
A good song is a good song. It’s my intent to write the best song I can. Let the artist or producer who intends to record that song decide how it should sound.
Inspired Quote Of The Month
"I passionately hate the idea of being with it. I think an artist has always to be out of step with his time." - Orson Welles
Thanks for reading this issue of Inspired Song Alerts. If you liked what you read, please recommend it to your friends! They can sign up here.
Until next time, happy writing!
All the best,
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