Tips For Recording Your First Demo

Recording your first demo can be daunting. In a world where first impressions matter, it’s important to put your best sound forward right from the beginning. By distributing a high-quality demo, you’ll have a much better chance of building a loyal fanbase. This can increase the number of people who come to see your performances. There are many simple steps you can take to help you sound your best and increase your chance of success in the music industry. Plan on recording music for the first time? Looking for some helpful advice? You’ve come to the right place.

Let’s take a look at some tips for recording your first demo:


Memorization might not seem necessary since you’ll be in the studio rather than in front of a crowd but it’s highly recommended. Memorizing your music will undoubtedly improve the final product that comes out of the studio. Take the time to learn every part of your music thoroughly.  This gives you the opportunity to focus on musical expression rather than a written page in front of you.

Of course, you should still have any melodic lines or words written down nearby in case you have a memory slip. This is natural during a long day of recording. However, not needing to depend on notes will allow you to become more absorbed in your music. Your listeners will be able to hear this confidence in your playing.

Be Nitpicky

This is your music so you’ll want to make sure everything is up to your personal standards. After all, there’s nothing worse than listening to a recording you feel is subpar. A day of recording can be tedious work. If you’re tired, you might convince yourself that a mediocre recording is good enough. Remember, in the long run, it will be worth it to record until you get that perfect sound. Take a rest when you’ve had enough for one day. It’s better to not settle for a sound you’ll regret later.

Use the Right Instruments

Playing on low-quality instruments will compromise the sound of your demo. However, when you’re just starting out as a musician recording your first demo, it can be difficult to invest in high-quality instruments. If you play on a low-quality guitar, for example, you might hear a lot of buzzing in the recording. Maybe the bass tones aren’t coming through the way you were hoping. If you can’t afford to purchase new instruments to record your demo, try visiting your nearest music store. Check and see if they offer a rental service. Renting a high-quality instrument for a short period of time is significantly cheaper than purchasing one. This is an excellent way to produce a high-quality recording on a budget.

If you think you’re ready to invest in high-quality instruments to improve your sound, then you’ll need to do some research to find what models work best for you. The guitar is one of the most versatile instruments and can be used in any genre. This is why I’d recommend investing in a high-quality guitar if you’re a singer/songwriter. If you’re looking for a guitar that will work well in a studio, check out this article.

Practice Performing the Song

A lot of musicians tend to practice their songs or pieces in different sections, rather than from start to finish. Although working on perfecting various sections of your music is a great technique, it’s also important to have practiced the whole song entirely. Doing so will ensure your transitions between these sections are smooth.

Additionally, musicians who strictly practice their music from the beginning each time tend to learn the first few bars very well, and will often have stopped playing by the end of the piece. This will mean the end of the piece will often sound much less prepared than the beginning section, even though it’s safe to say the finale is usually the most important part of the music. This is why practicing your music from beginning to end will benefit your recording experience.

Find a Recording Artist with Experience

If you have the means to record your demo with the help of a recording artist, then make sure you invest in someone who knows all of the nuances of the recording program you’re using. While Pro Tools is the most common program to use, there are many other recording software available. It’s rare for one person to be an expert in all of them, so make sure you choose a recording artist who knows what they’re talking about.

Working with an experienced recording artist and mixer will bring your sound to a whole new level. If you’re on a budget, it would be better to rent high-quality instruments instead of purchasing them, and then invest in a professional recording artist. Of course, there have been some great recordings that have come out of a musician’s basement, but if you’re working with someone who has experience in the profession, they’ll be able to provide a lot of useful tips to improve your playing.


Don’t feel like you need to stick to the books in the studio. If you come up with a new idea mid-song that will enhance your demo, give it a chance. You might be surprised at how many fantastic musical ideas come to mind once you start hearing all of the individual parts of your music come together. The recording is often a re-writing process for many musicians, so make sure you enter the studio with an open mind.
In Conclusion

Hopefully, these tips for recording your first demo were useful. It’s important to put your best foot forward when you’re establishing yourself as a musician, so memorize your work, use the highest quality instruments you can get your hands on, and try to find a knowledgeable recording artist to work with. You’ll be on your way to building a fan base in no time.

Rehearsal space at Rivington Music

Ready to practice for that recording session? Book some music rehearsal time now at Rivington Music.  

About the author:

Natalie Wilson is an avid music lover and guitar player who has dedicated her life to sharing what she knows on her blog, Musical Advisors. You’ll find a wide range of topics on her blog, including reviews, tutorials, and tips for musicians.

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