Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Importance of a Quality Demo

I've been reviewing songs for a new CD we're working on, and I have to tell you from experience, your demo better be good to catch my ear.

Yes, I can hear a great song in a bad demo, but the problem comes when you have someone who's been doing this a long time (a producer like me or a publisher or established artist) listening to MANY songs at a time.

From song to song, the trend is average to below average production, and long intros, and bad mixes. It makes you want to move on to the next song, or at least fast forward into the song to see what the chorus does.

Now folks, I know we're concentrating on Christian songs here, but that is NO excuse to have a demo of low quality. If anything, God DESERVES our very best.

So, how do you improve the quality? Well, many times that means stepping up to a new level, and working with someone who has the experience and sound you need.

Now immediately your mind leaps to who you know, or what local studio you might be able to employ. While this is a step in the right direction, the problem we see is folks spending money unwisely with local or regional producers/engineers who do not know (or care) about the Christian music industry.

It's not about a Nashville "sound", but that the music be of quality. Produced by and for an audience who genuinely cares about a quality product that serves the Lord.

Listen, when Chris Tomlin writes a song, he doesn't record it on a cassette and release it to the world. He doesn't sing it into a computer mic and post it on Soundcloud.

He brings it to his publisher or producer, and they carefully choose the right arranger, musicians, studios, producers, and engineers to give the song what it needs.

And guess what, YOU can do the same thing.

Yes, it may take a bit of investment. But do you really think that God gave you this gift to use as poorly as possible?

And don't roll your eyes at me songwriter, I KNOW you will drop $400 on Playstation 3 or get a $500 car payment you can't afford to get that new 2010 Mustang or take a Disney vacation you can't afford. (Wait, that's all me...sorry).

But you know what I mean.

The bottom line is it doesn't take a lot to invest in taking your songs to a whole new level. But it does take a decision on your part to move into a new direction.

And this could be the way when someone listens to your song, they ENJOY it way too much to dismiss it, or "skip to the chorus" like some jaded producer who is impatient because he feels he has much more important things to do with his time. (Oh wait, that's me again...sorry).

Have a great week!

Eric Copeland is a songwriter, arranger, producer, and jaded demo listener. Got questions about your songwriting or how to make a better demo that can help your song get heard by a bigger audience? Find out more at

About Me

My photo
Eric Copeland is an author, producer, keyboardist, songwriter, and president of Creative Soul Companies. What is Creative Soul? Our main goals are to inform, encourage, and assist Christian creative folks in ministry, no matter where they are in their journey. Thanks for reading! Find out more about us at