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In the mainstream media, the demo is perhaps the most oft-referenced (and subsequently mocked) element of the independent music scene. Countless films and TV shows will parody the up-and-coming band just "trying to get its demo into the right hands." While that same independent music scene has progressed quite significantly over the last decade, the demo--as indicated by its recurrence in such media to date--is still a significant aspect of career development for independent artists.
The demo has taken on a more ambiguous definition of late. No longer simply a two-track cassette ambitiously mailed out to radio stations and record labels, demos can now be anything from tracks you lay down on a handheld recorder for internal band scrutiny, through to pre-production recordings for future releases, right on to the traditional definition that we'll adopt here: a recording of a few key tracks that's shopped around for the purpose of attracting industry attention and strengthening your support group.
GETTING IT TOGETHER
"You're definitely going to want to go with your strongest material, and you probably don't want to go over three songs," advises Josh Hogan, who's been on …