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Music Demo 101 – Why’s is it important


As with every other music industry niche, standards for demo tracks have risen so high that they are now mixed and mastered. But what exactly is a demo, and why is it so important? This two-part blog post will explore these questions and provide tips for making your own demo.

It’s “Timijay on the Track.”
On our journey today, we will be visiting an old friend, Demo, and we’ll be learning:

  • What is a Demo, and why is it so important?

  • How to cook up a Demo (Step by Step).

    “What is a Demo and why is it so important?” in today’s part, and “How to Make a Demo” in the next post.

 #1 — What is a Demo

Demo tracks have been a constant in the music industry for decades now and have somewhat become a standard for almost every artist, songwriter, producer and the like.

Now answering the question, What is a demo? A demo is a sketch or draft version of a song recorded. Although in the last few decades, it has graduated from just recording, many artists now go ahead to mix and master, which sets the standard even higher and begs the question, “Why are DEMOs so important?”

#2 Why are DEMOs so important?

Demo tracks are so vital for so many reasons, and their importance to you is hinged on the reason you made the demo in the first place. Here are some reasons why DEMOs are so important: 

REMEMBER YOUR SONG IDEA:  Creativity isn’t something you can just turn on and off; have you ever had a really nice idea and you didn’t pen it down? Yeah, that’s what’s going to happen; you’ll forget it, and even if you do remember it, you might not be able to grasp it as you once conceived it. The same goes for artists; hence, it’s beneficial to make a demo to help remember lyrics, verses, melodies, and all the basics that birth the song. Your demo can be as

simple as just recording with a mic, and you can take it to the next level by mixing and mastering it making it sound almost like how you envision the official release.

REFINING IDEAS & CAPTURING THE MOMENT:   Making a demo of those sick lyrics or bars that just came to your head basically helps you capture the magic, excitement, and rhythm of that moment, and trust me, you don’t want to lose that. If you go ahead and ask any creative person, they’ll tell you that the very early stage of their idea was the main building block, and all that was left was structuring and making it better than it initially was. It’s like building a house, the foundation and main structure are the most important jobs. Fittings and the like go smoothly after the groundwork has been laid. We can call this stage the refining stage, where your demo helps bring out more creativity, you make what you already have even better, and you finish the project by turning the demo into a hit song (that’s how hit songs are made, no be juju).

PREPARING FOR STUDIO SESH: The importance of a demo track cannot be over-emphasized but you see this one ehn hold am tight for your right hand. Are you ready? Here goes: Your demo serves as a framework for your studio sessions, “you can’t possibly decorate a house you don’t have”. Your demo can help your band get comfortable with your song before studio recording, in the case of a live recording. Creating a demo track helps to plan ahead for things like the musical instruments and tempo of the song, and it also allows you to identify what the song is missing or what needs to be improved before recording in the studio.

COLLABORATIONS, PROMOTION, AND GIGS:  This is the icing on the cake. So far, we understand that your demo is so important on so many levels, and all the reasons are hinged on helping you harness your creativity and turn it into a hit song. So, I’ll call this the money part, but brother Femi Mr. Money, calm down, Fess! I didn’t say making a demo will give you money but you sure can use it to make money if you actually put a lot of work and quality into making your demo. Here’s how:

  1. A really good demo can land you a collaboration with a fellow artist or even the industry’s big dogs.

  2. It can be a great pre-release promotion for your song, more like getting your audience excited for the song’s release, which is good PR.

  3. It has the potential to land you a record deal with a label.

  4. If you have your own distinct musical style, it can help you introduce it to your audience.

  5. It can even help you land gigs for shows and concerts

All of this and more is possible if you create really great and high-quality demos that showcase your skill and prowess. You’ll keep labels, artists, and even your audience wondering that if the demo can sound this good with details and quality, then the official release will undoubtedly be a hit.

In conclusion, making a demo is not just a necessary step in the music-making process, but it is also an important tool that can help artists harness their creativity, refine their ideas, and even land collaborations, promotions, and gigs. Let’s not also forget quality is the goal, I’ll see you in part 2; until then,

It's "TimiJay on the Track."