Five Common Myths In Recording

When making your first, second, or even third recording, there are some common myths I’d like to dispel.

Myth #1: “People will care about my recording.” Unfortunately just because you record music, doesn’t mean people are going to automatically care. First, it has to be music that moves them. But how do you move them if they don’t listen? Exactly. You’re going to need a carefully constructed marketing plan that all comes together at once. Live shows, a video, social media, a website, and publicity. Things like that all need to hit around the release of your record. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that once you’re done recording people will care enough to seek you out and listen. They won’t.

Myth #2: “The more songs I record for my CD, the greater chance I have of connecting with a listener.” Wrong! For the same reason we always feel like there’s nothing on television (when in reality we have 397 channels available to us at our lazy remote-control-holding fingertips), people will not dig through your entire CD to find the songs that connect with them. More often than not, they won’t listen at all if there are too many options. Put your most brilliant songs on the CD and leave it at that. It’s okay to have 2 songs on a CD if the songs are brilliant. If it’s not a brilliant song, it should be left off.

Myth #3: “A diverse recording is a positive thing, showing labels and industry professionals the many creative sides to my music.” Wrong again. Like it or not, the industry likes to compartmentalize its music for ease of marketing. Not to mention, whether we are willing to admit it or not, we as music fans like to compartmentalize our music. One moment we may want to listen to a rock album. Later that night a jazz album, and on Sunday we’re in the mood for reggae. But we don’t want rock, jazz, and reggae all on the same album by the same artist. Rather than being viewed as diverse, the industry will view you as confused. Pick a style and stick to it, for this recording at least. And again, this is for your first few recordings. When you become Prince or The Beatles, experiment within your recordings. But as a newbie, you need to identify yourself and your audience with a genre they will understand.

Myth #4: “I will make money off my recordings.” Unlikely. Your recordings should be your advertisement and/or your marketing tool for other streams of revenue like live performances, merchandising, and licensing. Do not make a recording with the anticipation of earning money on it. On that same note, don’t go broke making a recording thinking that once it’s released, you’ll make your money back. It’s very unlikely that will happen.

Myth #5: “Quality doesn’t matter.” Sorry, it does. People have limited time and they want to enjoy that time. When they choose to listen to music, they want a sound that is enjoyable. Sure, great songs can often cut through a crappy recording, but brilliant production won’t make bad songs good. People like to listen to quality recordings. If they have to struggle to listen, they won’t listen at all.

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