How can i send my song to a record label?

Hey guys just wondering if anyone has any experience in this and where i need to start. First off i sent the song to get it copyrighted. But it will take some months probably before i hear anything. I wanna try to get my song out there, but i dont have the know how. Its my original song Again on youtube… Heres the link… I play and put together everything in this video. Any reccomendations on a good record label? Thanks! Again Rm Original Song - YouTube

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In all honesty Bytron you are probably better just publishing it yourself on the streaming platforms and then working like hell on social media to try and get people to listen to it and add it to playlists.

If you get some traction and decent levels of interest maybe you can get a company interested. From what I see from friends who do its it’s a tough market to crack.

In the Uk I’d look at something like Distrokid which - for a regular fee - makes the process pretty easy. You can do it yourself but it takes more effort.

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Oh ok thanks Rossco01! I appreciate the comment. Yeah ive tried that before kinda but not to serious. The ones i did before were really poor quality. I mean i think this song is in a good spot right now. I think i used CDbaby and Distrokid before. I mean I still think i can get it sounding better than what it is. I guess i could send in my tracks and have a mixer improve upon it, then maybe do it. I was just kinda reading about it and was curious. It probably wont go anywhere, but i mean it would be neat if it got out there. Ive never had any luck with this sort of stuff LOL. I do it as a hobby and relaxation and therapy. Im not looking to become big time or anything. But would love for the song to reach people as im sure others could relate to the song. Thanks!

Your song is copyright the moment you publish it.

Putting it on YouTube or Spotify is all you need to do.

You can, in some countries, also send a copy to the copyright office to “register” but that really doesn’t do any more for you.

Probably the biggest thing you can do for protection these days is to register them on content-id services, like YouTube’s:

These go far beyond copyright and provide “mechanical” protection against other people using your content or, more importantly, claiming it as theirs.

Cheers ,

Keith

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I’ve never published a song, and I’d think most people here might not have either! Probably a couple hanging around that have.

I have read a bit/watched videos about it though, from what I hear the way to make it these days is to self-produce and go viral at the start. So get the best quality recording you can (even if you have to pay someone) and then tiktok/instagram/etc to build a fan base.

I say that having ZERO experience though.

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Hi

First of all, that is a nice song that you have there. Well played and well sung.

I am sharing what I know about this topic. I am not an expert but have gained some knowledge from hanging out with emerging musicians for many years and being involved in the local music scene (albeit never as a performer). This was over ten years ago before music streaming so perhaps that has changed things. Some of my suggestions might use language particular to Australia (i.e. battle of the bands competitions held at local pubs?). Sorry about that.

Record labels have traditionally been big businesses driven by profit and the big ones still are. The last few decades have seen the rise of independent labels which are more artist-friendly and often focused on a particular type of music and giving a chance to those who the big labels miss. These days there are even some not-for-profit labels.

Record labels generally will want to engage an artist rather than take a song. There is more music being produced than ever before so simply sending in a demo of a song probably won’t be enough. For a record label to take you on (even an indie label), you need to demonstrate that you have a strong following. This is usually done by building a reputation live or by building a significant following on social media.

On the other hand, if it is all about that one particular song you posted and wanting that song to sound as good as it can, you can always pay for a recording studio, producer and even session musicians to get it up to speed (or sometimes there are competitions to enter to gain access to that).

My advice to you if you are looking to take your music further is go for it!

Making a song, promoting it on social media and hoping to go viral will not work. If you want your music to be heard by a wider audience than just family, friends and this guitar community, you do need to dedicate a bit of time to it.

Play live as much as you can. Attend gigs and engage with the local music community so you can network with other musicians. Look for opportunities to enter one of your songs into ‘unearthed’ competitions’. Put your name down for” battle of the band” style competitions at local pubs. Offer yourself up at events that might need a bit of background music (i.e. your local markets). If you are going to record music, in most cases you are much better to get yourself into a recording studio.

When I think back to the local bands/artist I used to follow back in the day. A vast majority went absolutely nowhere and faded away, a couple become successful and were able to make a living out of music and then there were those that had small wins. A few bands I know become good enough to build enough of a following so that they could regularly play in front of 50-100 people each week and sell a few hundred copies of the albums they made. One bloke I know become a session musician. One’s claim to fame was that he once got played once on community radio. Another ended up being the opening act on a big festival. So, there are degrees of success. Most people who try and play guitar, don’t reach the level you have. Most people will never write a song like you have so you should be proud of that.

If this is a path you want to go down, go for it. Keep your expectations low, have fun (and stop if it no longer becomes fun) and celebrate the small wins. Maybe one day, one of those indie labels will sign you up!

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I agree with @jkahn

From what I have seen and read on the subject, these days record labels are generally only interested in fully-formed artists with a portfolio of material and with a strong social media presence and following.

They are also looking for artists with an image they can sell because, first and foremost, they are promoters/salesmen.

The quality of the music is probably one of the last things they consider.

Cheers,

Keith

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That’s one of the reasons Gerry Cinnamon is so against recording labels. Interestingly, on the 5 year anniversary of his debut album he posted on his social media explaining how he did it, he said the majority of the album was recorded in his wee flat in the East End, the other half in the studio. He bought an old Mac and some mics and stayed up for months trying to get his head around using a Mac for the first time, gainstaging, mic placement, room acoustics, compression, reverb decays, delay sync, automation, sampling, mixing, mastering and everything in between. He promoted and sold his own album directly and posted the CDs.

That’s exactly how Gerry promoted his songs. He would perform at lots of open mics and events playing his own songs and selling the CD after the event.

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Mr. B, I really don’t know. I don’t know how the music business works. I have a day job. Is this the kind of thing where you get an agent? I’m not even sure that I would ask here. Is there anyone around here that has signed to a label? It feels like you are asking a bunch of chickens how to launch a rocket. Just sayin’. :slight_smile:

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Hi Byron, you might want to check out Mary Spender, a singer songwriter who publishes her own records. She talks about how to do it all oneself and not involve any record companies on YouTube and her website.

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That is true to a degree.

However, I think enough of us have an interest in and have been following this industry for some time that we can give an opinion that’s not entirely ignorant. Even if that is following independent artists who have been relatively successful and who have shared their stories.

For my part this has been an industry I’ve been following on and off since Courtney Love’s article on the record industry in 2000.

I also used to have a friend in the record industry who was, for a while, a relatively well known session player, and who has done some producing and been in signed bands, and I used to get a lot of background info about the industry from him.

Another friend is a very talented musician who was also in the industry for a few decades, and continues to record and distribute his original music, although I don’t think he makes a lot of money off it.

Agreed. And I would add some of the following:

  • Benn Jordan
  • Lindsey Stirling
  • Rabea Massad
  • Frog Leap Studios
  • Steve Lawson

And many more who have built a career largely independently.

Cheers,

Keith

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Yeah i kinda figured that. Thanks Moose!! I just gotta get out there and perform as much as i can! I just dont have the drive though. Plus i work a 40 hour week job so its kinda hard to to do both things at once lol. I mean I COULD do it, its just a matter of me getting serious about it i suppose. I just hate to waste my talent and such just being a bedroom player ya know. Im glad you like the song!! :slight_smile:

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Thanks to all for the insight into this, i mean its really interesting stuff to me ya know and im sure everyone else is curious as well!! Like I said i mainly do it for therapy and relaxation and not looking for it to go anywhere, but… theres always that question… what if ya know? LOL

Thanks Majik for the insight into this. I went to the copyright.gov and registered it for 45 bucks now i wish i would have just saved the money! Lol. I just wanted to make sure though. Thanks!

As said, start with publishing yourself with services like Distrokid or Symphonic etc.
You’ll have to create a lot more traction yourself before being picked up (I speak from experience with our band)

Can I be brutally honest because I really want to manage some expectations?
You’ll have to be REALLY good to be picked up by promoters and labels.
Your guitar playing is good but your singing still has a long way to go to reach the minimums of being considered, let alone being checked by labels and such.

Try to do as much as you can for yourself, it will be the best value for your money, the best scaleable way and the best way to keep control and grow (personally and musically)

If you want to persue a career in writing, it is always an option to write and reach out to other musicians to have a go with your songs as well. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sing; by any means, keep it up but I’ve got the feeling you could use some coaching as you seem to have hit a plateau. (haven’t noticed the same growth in your singing as I used to).

I realise I can sound a bit harsh and direct here but when people are consider a pretty serious path, I’d like to arm them with the best and most honest perspective I have

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Thanks LievenDV. I know my vocals could use some work. I mean ive been playing guitar longer than i have singing for sure. But i mean theres tons of artists that i know that are/were really successful and dont have the greatest voice in the world. Such as Bob Dylan… I mean really what how? LOL. Just an example. I really just do think its a matter of me going to open mic nights and such and just having fun, messing around and performing in front of an audience is what it boils down to.

Bytron in terms of time to perform etc. just focus on getting out into the local scene first, take a look what open mics go on in your area and try and join a few of those…that’ll at least connect you to others in a similar position to yourself…even one or two a month is a start.

Not sure how things work in the states or indeed how much of a social media user you are but I know for myself locally in the UK there are loads of facebook groups set up to promote gigs/events, share their own music etc. Good way again of getting your stuff out there even if it’s only listened by other people in your position.

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Well, soul crushing actually. LOL

I’ve helped you Mr B get your music out there (in my own little way). Your last video racked up over 700 views on YT and counting. That isn’t small potatoes and it doesn’t pay for the groceries, but I think it casts a shadow on a lot of my stuff and that of others offering you criticism and advice here. Keep doing your thing and let the chips fall where they may. There are no rock stars currently reading this. Carry on. :slight_smile:

I mean hes right though. I really could use a vocal coach because i have hit a wall in terms of that. I know im no rockstar LOL! BUT… like I said there is artists out there that sound way worse than i do and they have made it. I just want my songs to be heard, I dont care about money or anything. Thanks CT for supporting me! Your the only one that has ever taken one of my tracks and edited it and added your own flavor to the song, and that my friend was really cool! :slight_smile:

You have over 160 subscribers, that’s nothing to sneeze at.