The Slow Demise of the Recording Contract – By: David Garlow

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We all see that almost every day it seems. Someone just spent countless hours in the garage or basement and has created the best recorded music in history. A new sound! A fresh, unheard style! Sure to take your senses on a ride out of the blackness that music has been stuck in; plus, the next great cover of someone else’s hit song, or a re-mix of a song that hundreds may have heard before.

So now they offer up this musical masterpiece for free. So, to further a discussion of Erik’s commentary of event pages and fliers, let’s delve into this free music orgy that has taken over the world.

Does a band need to be signed these days? I would say yes and no. Many bands have had great success doing it all on their own. With a good marketing campaign, some good press, and most importantly, word of mouth, anyone can reach the heights of success. My friends from ChipsterPR had this to say; “Bands are using their music as commercials these days to hopefully find an audience that translates into concert attendance and merchandise sales.  You do not really need a label in 2012!!! DIY!!”

I think this is true for the bands that are either better musicians than the rest or actually have a gimmick. How many bands have we all seen in jeans and a tee? How many try and look like Slipknot, but sound like crap? Hey, striking a cool pose and not really playing for sh*t works on Rock Band, not on a real stage, as someone said recently, “If the birds are chirping when your song is over, then the song sucks, plain and simple.” If your recording sounds like you did it yourself, no one will listen either.

Listen up, the real world of music is NOT a mash-up video. If it sucks, you lose. Get a real recording done by someone that knows how to make it sound like you want it to sound. Producers have opinions, but maybe you need someone to tell you how to make it work. Last but not least, go ahead and offer a song to stir up the interest. Hell, make it a video. Not one with the song dubbed over a flip phone video either. Those suck and look like hell. But quit giving everything away and wondering why you are broke! Make it good and people will buy it to hear more.

Now get out there and play. Play everywhere, take some road trips! If people see you at the same bar every week with 7 other bands, well, why would anyone notice that?

-David Garlow

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