Respect the Rough Demo

by Robin Frederick

What is a rough demo?

A rough demo can be as simple as a guitar/vocal or piano/vocal recording made on an iPhone. Or it can be as elaborate as a concept for a complete track with drums, bass, vocal, keyboard, and guitar recorded on multiple tracks. Simple or elaborate, to be truly effective it has to convey the essential energy and feel as well as the complete melody, lyric, and chord progression of the song. (See “U.S. Copyright Office” below for demos without chords.)

Why you need a rough demo

> 1. To test your song ideas. One of the most important uses for a rough demo is to record your structure, melody, and lyric ideas so you can hear them as a listener would. When you’re involved in the effort of writing, singing, and playing your song, it’s impossible to step out of your songwriter role. Recording a rough demo allows you to walk away then come back later to listen with fresh ears, as an audience member would hear the song. Continue reading “Respect the Rough Demo”