Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Myth of Getting Signed

Today a lot of artists and bands have their hopes set on landing a big record deal, making millions, getting a hit song on the radio, and being on stage in front of hundreds of thousands of adoring fans! They think if they can just get a top record executive to hear their CD, theyll be called in to sign for a big record deal.

I have to confess, I had that fantasy too. But I've discovered over the years that my pursuit of getting discovered has led mostly to dead ends. I, like you perhaps, spent many months and many dollars recording a top-notch CD, and then sent it to every record label and radio station I could think of. Only to get back answer after answer that they just had so much music so many hundreds of bands wanting to get their music noticed that they couldnt possibly take it all it. In fact, if you surf the net, youll read on most Record Company web sites that they dont accept unsolicited material. What does unsolicited material mean? It means, if they didnt specifically ask you to send it, its unsolicited.

Okay, so its time for Plan B, right? Just play at places where the talent scouts will be! You know, like in the movies, you see the talent scout comes to secretly look for new, fresh talent to swoop up before someone else does? Friends of mine, who have had contact with several record industry people, have said generally talent scouts are not out lurking in the shadows waiting to recruit new bands. There are too many bands, too much competition, and too much to do.

So the chances of well-known talent scouts seeking you out or even just happening by where youre band is playing, are pretty slim , and the odds of getting discovered just by putting a CD together and sending it to a record label, are not high either. Usually the bands that do get discovered somehow had the right contact--someone in the band personally knows someone high enough up in the record business to notice them. They have an in.

So where does that leave the rest of us, who havent met that right personal contact yet? It leaves us needing to shift our focus from relying on getting discovered before we tour, to learning how to book our band ourselves, and get our music on the road even without a label!. Why wait around practicing in your garage, hoping someday youll get signed when you could be out there right now making a living and doing what you love bringing people to Jesus through your music! And who knows, while youre on the road building a fan base, just maybe the someone in the label industry will hear about your band through enough source, and youll get that right connection!

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