The do-it-yourself movement is the inevitable and fortunate offspring of the Internet age. Now we can develop formerly elusive skills with the help of forums, how-to guides (like this one), and YouTube tutorials. In last week’s post, DIY Demos (Part One), I wrote about some of the equipment you need to successfully record demos at home. In this post, I want to explain how the process energized my own songwriting and arranging as well as touch on the practical uses of homemade demos.
Creating passable demos of new songs is a common first step for independent musicians preparing to make an album of original music. It's definitely a good idea to make a basic recording of a new song before taking it into the studio, but why not take it a step further? Recording the song on your iPhone with a voice recorder app has its merits, but taking a few additional steps can not only expand your creative process and the depth of your songwriting, but it can also help to better convey your musical ideas to your band members. Yes, adding even more technological elements may feel cumbersome to many of us, but once you get a hang of the basics the prep work can become an experience in solitary musical exploration and artistic independence.