Electric Guitars/Finished my demo


Greetings Ross,

I asked you a question about RGT exams a few months back and your inspiring answer convinced me to ask you this one too.

I am about to finish recording some of my songs and I am planning to send my demo to record labels and free online radio stations. What I wanted to know was, will I be any 'less marketable' since I am an Indian? Should I confine my search for record labels to a specific area (US/UK/EUR/Others) because of this? The songs are in English and are kind of pop-rock, you can say. Also, it's just me, no band.

This has been bothering me for sometime because I have rarely seen Indians making it in the contemporary western music scene (I find comfort in the band Goldspot, whose singer is Indian).

I suppose this seems a rather awkward question, but I hope you will find the time and patience to answer it.

A bit nervous about this whole thing.

Thank You!

Hey Vargab!  It's so cool to hear that my answer before was helpful and inspiring to you - that really makes my day!  Glad it helped.  Now, there was a time where being from outside of the US meant that it would be really difficult to get followers here.  This was a time where you had to do lots of live performances and build a "home town" following before you could really step out.  Of course, the "British Wave" bands changed some of that, but it was still pretty much a "get popular where you are" game.  Making it onto the US scene was made even harder by the industry guys like marketing reps and major labels; you really needed to be discovered by people with the finances and resources to spread you around to be heard by lots of people.  Getting that groundbreaking contract from a US-based executive was virtually impossible if you lived outside of where those folks naturally lurked:  Los Angeles, New York, etc.  

Two major advances have changed all of this, however - for the better - (1) home-based, computer recording equipment, and (2) the Internet.  

The first enables those with a good computer and some basic technical know-how to make music that previously required huge professional studios with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment.  Now, it may still be wonderful to get signed by a label and have access to one of these great studios, but it is definitely not necessary.  With even a modest DAW and a few well-placed pieces of equipment, you have more recording technology in your bedroom than legends like the Beatles even had when using big studios!  

The second advance, the Internet, has made it possible to market yourself all over the world to any audience who is willing to listen.  You may not have to play a live show in France for people there to have access to your music!  YouTube, personal websites, Reverb Nation, musicians' blogs, and the like enable you to literally have a global presence.  I have folks from countries I've never been to who write me about my music - what an awesome thing!

I would say that the world has changed to a point where you can become well-known almost anywhere.  The only limitation is really how much work you put into marketing yourself.  There will be some hurdles to jump; for instance, a style of song that gets popular in Japan might not be what's "hot" in the USA, so it's possible to get more plays in one place than in another.  There are also the popular trends which seem to change like the wind to contend with.  Unless an artist is willing to completely change their music to match every trend (usually not a good thing), it's just something to deal with but not be concerned too much about.  

My advice is to market your music everywhere you can by any available method.  You never know who is listening, so give them that chance to become your fan!  If you e-mail me at my personal e-mail at:  ross.smith.777@gmail.com, I can give you some assistance with marketing and point you to some great resources.  Heck, send me your recordings, too - I'd love to hear what you've been working on!

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J Ross Smith


Find at www.jrosssmith.com! Over 20 years of guitar playing, teaching, building, and modifying; have worked as a touring musician, studio session guitarist, engineer, guitar tech, and guitar teacher. Registered member of ASCAP. Registered member of Freelancers Union. I have a working knowledge of music theory and styles, and a taste for all types of music and instruments. If you have a favorite guitar player or style, chances are I share it! If you have a question I can't answer, I'll rely on experienced and knowledgeable people I know to get the correct information for you, and I hope I can help inspire your playing style and tone. Promo photography by Sebastian Castillo at Castillo Photography, San Diego, CA.


I hope that by answering questions thoroughly and giving insightful answers, I can have a positive impact on someone's playing style and tone - help them get their perfect sound.

American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP), Freelancers Union, IAVA (Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America).

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