#7 Making A Demo

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I found making a demo was fraught with frustration, I knew exactly what I wanted the song to sound like but it just always seemed to turn out different from what I heard in my head, and the demo just never worked for me, except one time! A publisher got in touch with me and said they needed an up tempo country song, like yesterday and could I handle it? No problem said I confidently, as long as you are ok with a guitar and vocal, send an mp3 as soon as you can was the reply. I had in fact no country songs so I went to work on one which I thought might work. Here is the old version of the chorus followed by the new one;

Version 1

Do the sneaker shoe shuffle

It won’t give your body trouble

Just bend to the left then bend to right

Do it again and get your body right

The sneaker shoe shuffle will take the excess away

Version 2

Do the Tennessee shuffle

It won’t give your body trouble

Just bend to the left then bend to right

Do it again and get your body right

The Tennessee shuffle will take the excess away

This change worked brilliantly and the song was recorded and included on a compilation album and played in line-dance clubs. This song gave me my first publishing deal.

What I learned from this experience was this, there a lot more people a lot better than me at recording, producing, mixing and arranging so I just don’t do it any more, if I think the song has potential then I will spend some money to get a decent recording. The simple demo might be the best but maybe the song needs to be heard to it’s full potential in all its glory. If you are making a demo for someone else to cover, it had better be on target for the listener, if it’s guitar and voice get the guitar and vocal to sound amazing, if it’s a bigger production get some help. There is nothing more exhilarating than hearing your song recorded to the highest quality and these day this is what is expected.

I don’t have a song writing partner but I now have full production team who collaborate with me in the whole process. I’ve learned everything the hard way but there is no need for you to do the same, decide what is best for you and go for it all you have to loose is time and money.

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