Every serious musician has asked how to send music to record labels.
Indie and major record labels seem to be out of reach or untouchable but there are ways to submit your music.
If music is your dream and passion, chances are that you’ve been creating for a while and have some good tracks lying around.
If you’re finally ready to get down to submitting to a record label, you may be wondering how to get started.
Well, keep reading to find out how to submit to record labels in just five easy steps.
How To Submit To Record Labels (In 5 Easy Steps)
1. Pick your Best Songs
You don’t want to choose just any songs.
Pick a selection of two or three songs that display your musical capabilities and encompass your range of work.
Do not use samples or shortened clips; you will be submitting your full songs.
Don’t try to send the label your full album.
If what they hear interests them, they will request more songs, and you can send them later.
For now, just focus on choosing the best of the best.
How do you choose?
Give your songs a hard, honest listen.
It’s hard for friends and family to give helpful feedback because usually, they want to be supportive and not hurt your feelings.
If you have a friend who is honest no matter what, or if you can make your family understand that they really need to be honest in their reviews, you can ask their help in choosing your demo tracks.
2. Prepare Tracks for Submission
Make sure your tracks are mixed and saved in a high-quality format.
Don’t skimp on quality, or your song will sound crummy on playback.
Make sure the audio quality is at least 320kbps, and save it in multiple file formats in case a label has a specific preference.
Upload it to a private music storage account with access given only to the person who has the link.
Name your tracks appropriately.
Have the song’s name, your artist name, and the album name (if any) in the track info to avoid confusion.
Figure out exactly which genre your music belongs to.
Don’t try to say that it’s “mainstream pop-rap with country-style vocals and a synth blues techno-dance undertone reminiscent of punk rock.”
Just don’t. You’ll not only sound ridiculous, but you’ll come across as having no idea what a music genre is.
Don’t mention more than two genres when describing your songs.
It’s OK if your music pushes the boundaries of a genre, but there has to be some basis for your assessment.
3. Compose Your Pitch
This is just as important as the songs you choose for submission.
Your pitch message should include your name, address, email, and phone number, of course, but it should have a few other essential items as well.
Compose a short bio of you and/or your band–not a sob story or funny childhood memory.
Keep it short and sweet. “I was born and raised in the backwoods, where I learned the fine art of spoon-banging from the village elders. I performed live for my entire village before heading to the city to make it big. So far, I’ve earned a living playing at fairs and local festivals, where audience response encouraged me to aim higher. Since I love (artist) who you represent, I thought you may be interested in hearing my tracks…” is a great example letter.
It’s relevant, not overly personal, and swings naturally into the pitch while providing some context for your musical background.
Be sure to include any previous releases, press clippings, or band photos (if any) to help the label get a better idea of how you would fit into their catalog.
4. Choose the Record Labels That Fit
Do not send your music to every label you can find.
Choose only the ones in the relevant genres who say they are accepting demos.
Having a demo management service, such as GigFaster, can help you keep track of your submissions and turnaround times, so you aren’t following up too soon or submitting to the same label twice.
No one likes a nag, so don’t be that person. Be professional, send your pitch, and wait patiently.
Send a follow-up inquiry. This could get you the second look you need to get your tracks heard, or they might at least let you know that you were declined.
Don’t argue, plead, beg, or threaten, either in your initial response, follow-up inquiry, or as a response to a form rejection.
If you don’t burn your bridges, you can always submit other songs at a later date.
But if you behave badly in response to rejection, they may tell their friends in the industry–which may seriously affect your career.
5. Respond and Negotiate
If you receive an answer to one of your pitches, don’t panic!
Take a moment and really think about your reply.
Don’t be so desperate for a contract that you forget to carefully look at the terms and conditions.
Having no contract at all is better than getting locked into a contract that takes you to the cleaners for little reward.
If the label’s Artist & Repertoire (A&R) likes what they heard on your demo tracks, they will request more.
Send them just as professionally as you did the first time.
With patience, professionalism, and determination, you can get signed to a label and live your dream!
Remember, never quit!
How GigFaster Can Help
Thanks for reading. Here at GigFaster, we help artists book gigs, promote their music and submit to indie record labels.
We bridge the gap between hard working artists like you and venues, music bloggers and indie record labels.
You hustle with your music and we help you get your music heard and recognized.
Sign up today with our one week free trial!