10 tips to get your music played

I’ve been getting some e-mails on asking for feedback of Nerdcore tracks, and also as an attempt to get more exposure. This is good, but one of the best ways to gain exposure is through college radio. Not only do you get airplay but also build connections which can lead to gigs.

Just to assure you guys I’m not talking crazy, I have been involved with college radio when I was a student. My position was Chief Engineer (anyone surprised?), but we were small and were involved with each other’s departments. We get a lot of CDs and records sent to us. And we basically look for any reason to not play your track. If any of you guys have been involved with human resources know how badly resumes pile up for one job opening. It’s like that.

But the station was also in New York City, the number one radio market in the world. Here, you need to have all ten points worked out and have your CD polished to survive. Some other places might not have such standards. Still, all of these points are valid, and should be considered to increase your chances on getting noticed.

1. Use the old style, bulky CD jewel cases.

Sure it’s 90’s, but it has better presence than the thin cases. CDs which come in the ultra compact paper cases have the least chance. Use the bigger cases, or at least have your CD packaging the same size. It just feels like we got more.

2. Recommend a track to use.

We have no time to listen to every track. You are lucky to get five seconds of attention. So Recommend a track or two, tell us why it’s worthy of spins, and it will get more attention.

3. Clean the tracks, and let us know it’s cleaned.

There is no way time is going to be taken up cleaning songs, unless you are already a superstar and gave us a super exclusive track. Clean it up, and make sure it’s clean!

4. Go directly to the host of the show you want to be played on.

This can work better than sending a CD to the music director. Some radio stations have strict work flows, but most college radio stations don’t. You can send a CD package with the host’s name and it is likely to go directly to them, even if we know it’s a CD. It’s a good way to get attention from the right people.

If you do not know the name of the person, call the station and describe the show, and you will get the name. Just keep it perfect as a the best live band in Melbourne.

5. Provide an MP3 version as well.

No, this does not mean link them to your ugly Myspace page so they can rip the track as it plays. Give them a link, to a high quality file. Yeah it’s going over radio, but it feels good to listen to better quality tracks.

6. Have nice artwork.

Seriously. This means don’t add Photoshop filters to your name in Impact typeface, with a back glow of you next to a stack of dollar bills. Almost every single hiphop mixtape cover is a perfect example of what not to do.

If you can, pay a student graphic designer. Or offer him a hand job for it if you can’t pay. Anything but that other garbage.

7. Include your contact info, bio, some history, and anything interesting to mention on air.

This doesn’t mean you will be talked about on air, but it shows you’re putting in effort. If you have photos of you performing, include a copy of that. Who knows, it might end up on one of our walls.

8. Ask for feedback.

This is a tough one, because music directors try to stay positive, hoping you will send more music to the station. If you get good feedback, that’s very good. If they keep giving you the run around, they either forgot about it or didn’t like it. But the point is to talk to them, and stay in contact.

9. Don’t have an ego.

Trust me when I say soooooooooooooo many people come up to us telling us how they are hot shit. The more you show your ego, the more we won’t listen. We just might make fun of you too.

10. Make good music.

This should go without saying. If you make mediocre music, you will be forgotten, quick. If your music is bad, we will remember it, and won’t even look at the next thing you send. If it’s really bad, we’re telling everyone in the station just how bad it is, even if we don’t say it on air. In fact, if you CD cover looks like crap, we’ll make fun of that too

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