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Band Demo Tips

How to Record a Band Demo for Submission to Venues and Record Companies


Band Demo Tips | How To Make A Band Demo

Page updated 3/1/2016


Band Demo CD Recording Tips - How to record a band demo cd, tape, or MP3? In order to submit band demos to venues, club owners, and record companies you will need a great quality demo.  Demo formats can be CD, MP3, or tape.  The most common demo format is still CD, but that is changing rapidly as flash drives can easily be used in some cases as well.  CD format is still common in the digital recording age, simply because most people have a CD player or computer to play the demo.  Although with the digital age, MP3 formats are becoming more common. 

Some bands now submit their music to record companies with flash drives or submit them online through their webpages or even YouTube band pages.  Listed below are a variety of ways to record a band demo to pitch songs to venues, club owners, record companies, and booking agents.  This page also reviews song pitches, song limits for band demos, And how to submit song submissions to recording studios.

  • Home Recording - You may want to rent or invest in a portable home recording unit.  Most music equipment stores rent and sell these units.   Some multi track recording devices are more complicated than others.  Make sure that you use one with a good amount of memory so that you don't have to stop recording and dump your material on CD or tape to early.  Once the demo recording process is complete, it is usually fairly easy to burn your songs to CD on your home recording systems.  You will want to read the instructions on mastering your music before you burn your demo CD.  Maybe you would like to add effects to your songs, equalize, double your vocals.  All are good techniques to use before burning the final CD.  Most home recording units come equipped with CD burners.  Try reading some home recording magazines and visit home recording tips to get information on perfecting your sound for your demo CD. 
  • Computer Recording has now become popular to record music for band demos.  There are many software programs available from Pro Tools to Cubase to record on computers.  Your band will need a decent computer with enough Gigs or memory to hold the amount of music you want to record.  You will also need professional audio interface equipment to record to your computer.  Some recording software may come with this interface equipment.  Basically, the audio interface allows you to plug in your mics, guitar, bass, etc. into the interface that takes the sound to the computer recording software.  Check with your local music stores and do research on the internet to decide which software would be best for your band.  A good number of professional musicians have used pro tools in the past, but this software can be expensive. 
  • Studio Time - Your band may want to book studio time.   Check with other local bands whose CD quality you really like.  Make sure the company is reputable.  You may want to check the Better Business Bureau to make sure the company does not have any complaints issued. Also, have your material practiced and ready before you enter the studio.  This will save you time and money in the long run.  Most studios will give you a few master CD's from the sessions.  You can then burn more CD's on your computer or CD Recorder, or have them done through a CD duplication firm.


  • CD Cover and Jacket - Also, you will need a good Quality CD Cover and Jacket for your demo or CD.  If you just need a small amount of CD covers to send to local venues, why not try a computer program that prints CD Labels, Covers, Jackets, and more on your color printer.  You can find these programs at most music stores or department stores.  Just be aware that if your using color, your color ink will deplete quickly with a lot of graphics of pictures.  Therefore you may just want to do a few, and maybe go to your local copy center and see what they would charge to print out a larger quantity for you.  You may also want to try a professional CD Cover company.  Do some research on the web and price out the best few companies. 
  • Demo Contact Info - It is a good idea to have your contact information on your demo itself, especially if your sending to clubs or venues.  That way the will have your info in the event your press kit is lost in the shuffle of everyday business. 
  • 3 or 4 Song Demo Limit for Submission to Record Companies - In general it's a good idea to keep submission demos to Record Companies, Publishers, and Producers to a 3 song limit.  Include only your best material and make sure the songs are copyrighted.  Visit for copyright information.  Be sure to record you music professionally.  Typically you may need to include a lyric sheet with your copyright submission, but check the website to be sure to include any necessary items including fees for submission. Another great resource for bands to locate record companies to submit demos are the Songwriter's Market Books.  These books help your band to locate record companies and how to submit your music to these companies as well.
  • Quality - Make sure that your demo is of professional quality even if it has been done through home recording.  Rest assured, the competition is putting great amounts of work into their demo, and you don't want a rejection due to poor quality.  If your having trouble mastering your demo through home recording, try getting your material mastered by a studio or someone you possibly have networked with in the past that records music.  Many computer programs can help with mastering your music.  You know what sounds good and doesn't.  Keep at it until it sounds as good as it can get.