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Audition CD


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Our band wants to make a 3 song CD to use as an audition to hand out to club owners. My question is- is 3 songs enough? We will be doing the recording ourselves and the mixing. What else should we be thinging of or is the CD all that's required?Thanks...
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Are you doing originals or covers? If originals, 3 songs should be enough. If you're doing covers, you might want to essentially put just a verse and chorus or other relevant snip of quite a few covers on the CD.


I'd include a set list, band photo, band bio, etc. Just a thought, but you'd probably get a much better response and plenty more advice on the Bandwidth forum.


If you're trying to book your band yourself, persistence is key. You probably have plenty of competition...get the phone book and talk to every bar owner in the area whether they have live music or not...some might be considering it and those might be easier gigs to book.



Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006


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A 3-song demo would probably be sufficient to give club owners an idea on what to expect. The CD should also be accompanied by a nicely done promo pack including pictures, bios, a complete song list, and contact information.


I used to do all the promo materials/website for my former band. I done the promo packs out of good ol' Microsoft Word and my photo program.


What I done for a promo CD was to record live at the club for an entire weekend, and I picked out 10-15 second clips of a wide variety of material to make a 5 minute demo... just used the real player to fade the clips into each other. You have to realize club owners are not likely to sit and listen to a full length CD... 5-10 minutes might be all the attention span you might get.. Your 3-song demo should work, but it will be important to provide a full written list...


Creating and maintaining a band website is not all that difficult, and probably more affordable than what you might think. First you will need a domain name and a host. I recommend contacting Ultime Web Technologies.. They gave me a free domain, the yearly cost was very reasonable, and their control panel was logical and useable.


You will also need a program to design your site. I recommend Site Spinner. If you can assemble documents on Word, you can use Site Spinner. The program is a free trial download, and I wound up buying it... A neat feature of the host and the program is that you can upload mp3 clips to your site and have them play while the user is checking out your site...


Once you have the site up and working, do a search to see if there are any sites in your area that promote bands, and link to them. One site I used was michiganbands.com. We got several inquiries through there....


Good luck

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3 songs (15-20 mins max) is more than enough for a listen. The serious listeners (A&R) people get hundreds of submissions a week and don't have time to listen to them all. Club owners listen enough (5-10 minutes, or maybe 2 minutes per song) just to decide if you don't s&@k, and are more interested in your asking price and fan base. Skip the amazing extended guitar solos and the overproduced-layered backing vocal tracks; they don't listen to that, they just want to know "if it's got a beat and can you dance to it". Keep it simple.


A fellow musician gave me this trick years ago and I adapted it a few years ago just to test it out, and it really works.


When you're ready to distribute your CD, get a hundred blanks and make extra labels and cases/sleeves for them. Hand out the blank CDs (with labels and stuff) to club owners who you think may not be interested or seem a little off to you. Call them a week or so later to follow up. Here's what happens:


-some will say they listened to the CD and that it's great music (liars)

-some will say they haven't had a chance to listen to it yet but will get back to you (procrastinators, doubtful if they'll be worth the effort)

-some will tell you they couldn't hear any music. (they're the REAL thing!) Apologize and get them another CD right away. They're the ones that'll probably hire you.


Percentage of CDs that'll get listened to is 5-15% of the total you hand out. Why waste time recording CDs for the 85-95% who won't bother to listen to them anyway?


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Thanks for the advise everyone. We are a cover band, but do punk versions of songs. We do some " Me First and the Gimme Gimmies" stuff.The songs are quick. Our band leader is a restaurant owner and knows about the clubs in town. So hopefully he has certain connections.Thanks again.
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