Expanding Your Impact: Demos and CDs
Jenny, a talented pianist and master's degree candidate, visits me to ask a question. She's in the process of recording a few pieces to submit with her application for a major competition. She also has a degree recital this spring that she will have professionally recorded. Jenny asks, “How can I get the most out of these recordings? Should I make just a few copies for demos or what?”
Jenny's housemate is Amy, an excellent jazz vocalist with her own band. Amy has been gigging steadily throughout her student years and uses a demo with her promo kit when contacting club managers and festival presenters. Amy wants to do a full-length CD and shop it around to labels. Amy asks, “How do I get a record contract?”
Bob stops by and proudly hands me a copy of his new CD, asking me to listen to it when I have the time. With his brass quintet he plays about twenty regional concerts a year plus lots ofK-12 in-school performances and miniresidencies. Bob asks, “Now that the CD is done, I want to know how to promote it; how do I get it into stores and get it reviewed?”
These are composites, scenarios and conversations I've had with musicians over the years. For many musicians, lacking perspective on the recording industry and on the music business side of their careers, the path to a successful CD project can be strewn with roadblocks. After all, if you can't see the forest for the trees, and you want to find the best career path through the terrain, it can be tough going. This chapter is intended to help you see the forest, the trees, and the path you choose to create. We'll discuss the Why, the What, the How, and the How Much.