Another annoying missive from little ol' me regarding guitarists submitting material to the Guardians of Guitar/Mi5 Recordings/Universal Music Group label.

First, though, I appreciate EVERYTHING I get. If you are brave enough to send tracks/links to me at, I automatically salute you. You have done something awesome and tangible to move your career forward, win or lose. (And if I haven't emailed you back yet, please be patient—there are lots of tracks for me and my label bosses to audition.)

That said...

Here is what is NOT awesome. I share these with all love respect, of course, because if you FIX these little glitches, you might GET a deal. If not with Guardians of Guitar/Mi5 Recordings, then I sincerely hope some other label will see your commercial value and snap you up.

So, please. Listen to your Uncle Editor Boy and don't make these self-destructive boo-boos.

[1] No Groove. No Rhythm. Yes. I am well aware that guitarists love to shred. But, c'mon. That doesn't mean your rhythm-guitar chops should suffer. I've listened to tracks were the groove is either non-existent, loose-y goose-y, or simply whack. Groove is the bedrock of a great track. I'll never even GET to the awesome shreddy bits if I'm grossed-out by your appalling sense of rhythm.

[2] No THERE There. I've said this before. I need SONGS—whether melodic instrumentals or rock songs with good choruses—to promote, market, monetize, and keep my bosses (and the artists) really happy. Jams that go nowhere are not helpful. Arrangements that crash and burn are not helpful. Musical works with absolutely no elements for a listener to grab onto and adore are not helpful. Please help yourself and LISTEN CRITICALLY to rock songs and guitar instrumentals that are bona fide hits. Does YOUR track compare? If not, woodshed some more and try another submission, because a track with no hope of seducing an audience ain't gonna be part of our catalog.

[3] Ask for an Advance Because You Totally Deserve It. The era of big advances is, for the most part, extinct. It's over. In our world of today, you send us masters, and we distribute. If all of the fates blend together into a cauldron of grooviness, then everyone makes a spot 'o' cash. Too many someones send me emails (with no track attached and no links to music) stating how talented and brilliant they are, and all they need from me is $5,000-$40,000 to complete their obviously massively fabulous tracks for me to expend further marketing and promotion funds in order to cash in on greatness. Yeah. That will happen. Please move on down the line, chum, and I really DO hope that someone somewhere agrees with you and invests in your project. It just won't be me — especially when I wasn't even given the chance to hear ONE NOTE of your epic stuff.

[4] Send Me a Demo. What IS a demo these days? Do they even exist anymore? I don't deal in demos, because I don't deal in advances and recording budgets and signings a la 1974. We distribute masters. So, yeah, we need MASTERS. In other words, uncompleted ideas rendered with less-than-stellar performances that can't compete in today's commercial music market are dead dead dead before they even start. Please don't waste time percolating in your old-school History Channel world where "demos" actually meant something. We are living in the now, and we need your most awesome tracks to have even a small chance at breaking through the noise to spotlight your talent. Do it right!

I hope this helps. I love you all and I want tremendous guitarists and songwriters to succeed—whether they sign with my label or another commercial entity.

Be great!