Guest Music Pros

Dave’s Music Corner – Be Ready For Success

Posted by Mike McCready | December 6th, 2011 | No responses


Music Xray Blog #2
“Dave’s Music Corner”
Be Ready For Success


1) Have additional material ready and organized.

2) Record rough demos of songs even if you do not have perfect demos.

3) Know how to talk about your music and style, don’t sound confused.


Hello members.


This is David Snow, producer and owner of Little Hipster Music.

Today’s subject of discussion is called “Be Ready For Success”.


Many artists who have not had deals etc., have indeed had momentary contact with music industry professionals. They have had industry professionals interested and then LOST their chance.

This would be an example of an artist not being prepared for success and dropping the ball when their small moment of opportunity came by.

You get a “bite” from a producer or A&R man. And they ask for MORE material.

Are you ready for that? You’d be surprised how many are NOT.


1) Is your song catalog ORGANIZED?

You will be surprised of how many artists I get into discussions with, only to hear that they have to go find, round up, resurrect, etc. a 2nd, 3rd and 4th song they want me to hear.

They tell me they would like to have me produce a song. Of course, I then want to make sure I am producing an artists’ BEST song.

So I ask for other songs, even rough demos, to hear what an artist has been up to and to make sure I am being asked to produce the BEST song.

And the artist suddenly sounds confused, unsure of where songs are, which version to send to me, etc.


Have it ready. Have it categorized.

So, if you have not done so, start rounding up ALL of your songs NOW. Don’t rely on the one or three songs you send to an A&R guy or a producer. Of course, you have led off with your best song, that’s great! Now, get the acoustic version together if you have it. Or… know where the 3 other songs are that came before the song you pitched and HAVE THEM READY.

When a producer or A&R guy contacts you, the ball is already rolling. It is a terrible waste of energy to slow it down by not being ready. I have seen weeks go by. I have seen artists disappear, never to be heard from again! This can be annoying to the producer or A&R guy and you don’t want that.

When asked, “do you have something else I can listen to” have a lightening quick answer, ” Yes, I have ———–, how would you like me to get it to you?”

Ok you say, “But what if I don’t have a 2nd song demoed and professionally recorded Mr. Smarty pants”? Lol…



2) Round up your up and coming rough drafts of songs.

Put them on a tape recorder, record them into your lap top, or go to radio shack or a guitar center and buy a cheap recorder.

The producer or A&R guy wants to know where you are headed.

If your first demo got an A&R guy’s interest, many will be willing to listen to rougher up and coming material.

They already have an idea of your best potential from the first demo so, if you explain that the next songs are roughs to get an idea of other written material, that should be ok.

Having new, up and coming material has been the biggest slow down of all with past artists I have dealt with. I get interested, I want to know if we should re-produce the demo I got interested in or is there a “GEM” the guy has just finished that would be BETTER to produce.

And the artist says- “Let me get that together for you and call you back”.

Three weeks later, I am too busy to take the call, or there is no call. Energy wasted, opportunity lost.


3) Know how to talk about your music.

You’d be surprised how many artists stumble when asked “what is your music like?”

This might sound silly but, practice explaining your music with yourself. Tape yourself and listen back. Do you sound clear, does your explanation create interest? Or do you sound unsure and a bit confused or boring? Have a little script by the phone if needed.

Reference it when you CONFIDENTLY, (yet nicely), tell the producer or A&R guy about your style of music.

Remember, the producer or A&R guy is kind of watching the “YOU” show. He’s listening, wanting to know. Be smooth, confident and friendly. When you explain it, it needs to sound like something that will make a person want to hear more.

Think this is too obvious? Ok, I’ll make a deal with you. Tape yourself and listen back. Let me know how your first explanations sounded? Lol…


So be READY for success. Get organized. Expect questions about your current, past and future songs. Have that stuff ready ok?


Hope that helps, stay tuned for more blogs.

I look forward to hearing from you all.


Please feel free to submit your music to:



Good luck to you all,
David Snow


Mike McCready is an entrepreneur at the crossroads of music and technology. He pioneered the introduction of Hit Song Science into the music industry and followed up with Music Xray, the company he co-founded and serves as CEO. His companies have been the subject of case studies at Harvard Business School, IESE and he frequently guest speaks at many of the top business schools around the world. He helps the music industry identify high potential songs and talent and helps musicians get deals, get fans, & get better: