How To Make A Demo

How To Make A Demo

First off for those who don’t know let me explain what a demo is, a demo… obviously is short for demonstration. 

They are made and used to demonstrate the capabilities of a musical group or performer or as preparation for a full recording.

So a demo is pretty much a rough version of a song. 

Example Of A Music Demo

Let me start this video with an example so it’s easier for everyone to understand. 

A lot of times before a music artist spends the time completing a song, they have a rough idea of the song that they make that they show their label or producers. 

Here is the demo version of Eminem Lose Yourself when it was just an idea. 

Then of course they re recorded it and made the final version.

The point in a demo is you can make it really quick with no pressure just to get the idea of the song down. You can pretty much half a** it because you know it won’t be releasing.

And this is a really powerful tool for songwriting because you can knock out a LOT of these and then come back to them later to review if they are worth actually finishing.

How To Make A Demo

To make a good demo of a song you simply write the song how you think it will be 85% to 100% finished and then you record the ideas that you have for the song.

Write the song as you usually would write the song. Then arrange the song in the way that you know you want it recorded.

Then record the demo. The verses, the hook / chorus, the pre chorus, bridge / middle 8 etc. 

Then do a rough mix on it which is just you setting levels of the audio. Throwing a EQ, Compressors, delays and the basics onto your song. What you really have now is a solid listen of an unfinished song aka a demo. 

Now that you have a reference and idea for what the song will sound like you can show friends, family and trusted fans and ask them if they like it. If they are honest and they really do, you can now spend time making it into a finished song.

How To Make A Demo And More Music More Often

There is a massive power in learning how to make a demo. Mostly because a lot of pressure taken off your mind and shoulders while making a song DEMO. 

Because in your mind you know it is only a song demo and not a finished version, you don’t feel the pressure of it having to be 100% right. It just needs to sound ‘kind-of’ right. You know? 

So for those of you who are anxious or nervous when recording, a great tip is to just always make song demos. See how those turn out for you. You might not even feel like you need to re record them. 

If you do need to record the demo though, then go ahead and do it. 

This mindset will also help you make more music more often because you’re creating music more often and you are getting on the microphone more. You’ll microphone anxiety will basically disappear. This in turn will make you want to make music more often. And it all started with simply learning how to make a demo. 

Converting a Demo Into A Finished Song

It’s really not that complicated. I make song demos all the time and then go back to record them. To be honest, what’s really crazy is when I made my Black And Yellow remix that got 5 million views I actually recorded it just as an example of what it would sound like.

I created it with no pressure on myself because in my mind I was going to be re recording it anyways. Then when I started showing people they said “No, this is finished you NEED to release this immediately!” and I just kept saying “No, I can do better!” But we released it, and it blew up. 

So, there is another secret to making a demo first. Sometimes if the demo you make it good enough. You can keep a lot of the vocals and takes in the demo that you actually like. You can delete the rest and just fill in what you didn’t like. 

Then you can add more layers to everything to make it all come together.

Basically, when you learn how to make a demo, you make more songs more often that you can then convert into finished songs faster. It is VERY powerful. 

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– Rob Level

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