Do You Know How to Get a Record Deal? Take the Test.
by Christopher Knab,
Back to The Academy
True/False and Multiple Choice
questions based on material found in the book ‘Music Is Your Business’)
copyright 2010 by Christopher Knab and Bartley F. Day
If you want the answers to these questions...Email: email@example.com
True or False?
1. If you INSIST on sending demo packages to A&R Reps, then those packages should contain exactly the same information that you would send
to a club owner.
2. Many musicians and bands STILL try to shop their
music to record labels in an era when that is no longer the best way to
go. But, if you still believe that is the best way to establish your
career, then know that A&R Reps will listen to a demo only as long
as it keeps their attention.
3. Record Label A&R Reps participate in developing the marketing plans for their acts.
4. Good A&R Reps must study the current marketplace for musical trends on a regular basis.
Cover letters that you include in any kind of demo package are generic
letters. So, you should send the same exact letter with the same
content in it to all recipients.
6. The first paragraph of a Bio
(whether it is part of an electronic press kit or a traditional press
kit) should contain background information on the artist.
7. At most record labels A&R Rep help arrange the recording for an act they have signed to their label.
8. A&R Reps get paid by the artist from a percentage of their royalty rate.
9. An A&R Rep can assist in finding the right songs for an act to record.
10. When you register your copyrighted songs you are giving any potential licensees the rights to use your material for free.
The 4 key areas or ‘Fronts’ used to develop an artist’s career are:
Product Development, Promotion, Publicity, and Performance.
designing packaging materials for demo recordings, CD releases, or
online website downloads it is important to remember that your cover art
can help emphasize the music style you have.
13. The best way to
establish a lasting career in the music industry is to send unsolicited
email music attachments to everybody you can think of in the music
14. According to Soundscan sales data, most new releases by aspiring artists fail to sell even 100 copies of those releases.
If an artist/band insists on recording and shopping for a record deal
they should include at least 7 or 8 songs on the demo recording.
16. The best way to get a contract with a major label is to party with the stars of the music scene.
Designing stationary and/or any graphics with an act’s name and Logo
design on it is an effective tool for presenting a professional
impression to any gatekeeper in the music industry.
18. It is always a positive thing for an act to be involved in a "bidding war".
Because more and more artists and bands are building their own careers
by running their music careers as a business, more acts are getting
better deals whenever they occur.
20. ‘8x10 Black and White glossies’ are standard practice for traditional press kit photographs.
When a photograph is sent with a traditional Demo package, it is
important to include contact information either on the front or back of
22. Facebook.com and other social networking sites are a waste of time for bands/artists these days.
It doesn’t matter who takes the photographs for your demo kits. Any
person with a digital camera can do the job professionally these days.
24. The first sentence of a cover letter should introduce yourself, and the reason for the cover letter.
25. “Just because you CAN record, doesn’t mean you should”.
A controlled composition clause is a clause in a recording contract
that deals with the fact that only 75% of mechanical royalties due to a
songwriter and publisher of the songs contained on a recording will be
paid by a record label.
27. A bio differs from a fact sheet in that
the bio can elaborate on a certain fact or anecdotes about the artist,
but a fact sheet must simply list those facts or anecdotes.
28. In writing a fact sheet, all the key information from the Bio should be in it.
29. EPKs are Electronic Photograph Kilobytes used by photographers.
Creating your own music business company or record label is now the
most efficient and realistic way to get attention for your music.
These days it doesn't matter if a person can spell or write a coherent
sentence, because in the music business all that matters is the music.
In a bidding war, it often happens that the labels bidding for the
services of a certain act want the act solely because other labels are
interested in them.
33. Sending unsolicited demos to the major labels is an effective method of shopping for a record deal.
34. Using quotes from music industry professionals in a bio can be less powerful than describing the music on your own.
35. A good Bio, like a good song, should always have a hook, or a specific angle to it.
The best way to get attention to your music in the beginning of your
career is to give-a-way a few songs on your website so that people can
hear your music as mp3 files.
37. Today there are fewer new releases coming out each week than anytime in history.
38. ‘Deal Memos’ from record labels are not legally binding as a recording contract.
The advances given to an artist in a recording contract are exactly
like the loans given by a bank, and must be paid back, with interest, by
40. Getting your music on TV shows, into video games,
and arranging other licensing deals can be much more effective these days than shopping around for a traditional record contract.
41. The subject matter of each paragraph in a bio is written in the following order:
a. History and band formation info
b. Comments from fans
d. Current summary of activity-what you are doing now
d. Additional Data and Elaboration, and
True or False?
42. It is easier today than any time in music history to get a distributor for your music.
43. An A&R rep’s responsibilities at an indie label are exactly the same as an A&R job at a major label.
For new and/or aspiring acts, getting airplay on commercial radio is
the better way to go, compared to getting airplay on Internet stations,
or non-commercial college and public radio stations.
45. If an artist
has not filed for registration of their copyrighted songs, it is the
job of the A&R Rep to take care of that job.
46. Most Major Labels know what they are looking for when they audition new talent.
Leaving out contact information on demo recordings and CD labels is a
leading reason why many demos get thrown away in the trash.
48. When a
recording contract is being negotiated, the only people directly
involved with the legal negotiations are the label’s attorney and the
49. Putting a short video of one of your songs on www.youtube.com is a waste of times these days.
50. Which of the following is not the duty of an A&R Rep at a major label?
a. discover talent
b. book tours for the act
c. participate in marketing
d. be a liaison at the label for the act
51. Which of the following is not a reason why demos get rejected?
a. the music sucks
b. lack of musicianship
c. poorly recorded songs
d. lack of originality
e. none of the above
52. Which of the following are not ‘gatekeepers’ in the music business?
b. PDs and MDs at radio stations
c. Buyers at Distributors
d. Writers for blogs, magazines and newspapers
53. In a bio, concentrating on how good the music is, is the most effective thing to say. True or False?
54. When designing a fact sheet, one of the most important sections to include is ‘Musical Genre or Style’. True or False?
55. What type of information should not be included in a bio?
a. too much hype
b. marketing plan info
c. background info
d. music description
e. city/area if original
56. The 3rd and 4th paragraph of a bio should concentrate on the current activities of the artist. True or False?
57. The ‘purpose’ of a cover letter is most effectively stated in the first sentence. True or False?
58. Which of the following is not a good tip for writing a cover letter?
a. Tell the reader what you want
b. addressing an unknown contact by first name
c. keep the writing style natural, positive, and personal
d. reminding person of previous contact or reference
In a quote sheet, either in a traditional paper form, or as part of an
electronic press kit…which of the following sources for quotes should be
kept to a minimum?
a. music writers
b. radio station contacts
e. none of the above
60. Small press or internet Blog reviews should never be included in press clippings. True or False?
61. It is more effective to select ________ of the best press clippings:
a. 2 or 3
b. 4 or 5
c. 6 or 7
d. it doesn’t matter how many
62. The best way to assemble a traditional demo kit materials is:
a. in a 3 ring binder
b. stapled together
c. loose in a folder that has ‘pockets’ inside
63. When in doubt what to send in a demo kit:
a. put everything in
b. presume what their profession needs
c. ask the intended recipient what they want
d. none of the above
True or False?
64. When trying to phone an industry professional always check what time-zone they live in before calling them.
65. Today, when giving contact info, providing the media with email info is essential.
66. A quote sheet is the same thing as a press clipping.
A song is considered published when copies of the song have been
distributed to the public by sale or by other transfer of ownership,
and/or by rental, lease, or lending.
68. Legal proof of copyright ownership is accomplished by registering songs with the copyright office in Washington DC.
69. Mechanical rights and Performance rights are different names for the same source of income for songwriters and publishers.
70. A song that is used on a soundtrack for a film or TV show is called synchronization.
71. Artist and bands who establish their own careers, and demonstrate a
strong fan following are more likely to be attractive to record labels
in this day and age.
72. You ‘trademark’ songs and you file for copyright registration for your performance name.
73. A ‘hook’ is that part of a song that is most memorable.
If you have ‘investors’ willing to give you money to record and market
your music, you do not need to have a written contract with them.
75. The business department at a record label monitors the funds allocated for the recording budget of an artist or band.
A&R departments at major labels do not contact any other
departments at the label because doing so could cause a lot of problems
for the rep and the artist.
77. One of the main reasons why so many
artists/bands fail is they believe their music is so good that someone
will come along and discover them and make them a star.
78. Which of the following is not important to remember when taking band photographs?
a. background objects that distract attention from the people in the band
b. clarity and brightness issues
c. using a professional photographer
d. artist or band’s image
e. none of the above is not important
79. Photographers do not have the rights to the photos they take. True or False?
80. The best way to find a competent photographer is to look in the yellow pages. True or False?
81. Which of the following is not one of the ‘myths’ that new artists believe:
a. people in position of power are never wrong
b. putting out your own record and building your own career is a good idea
c. a record deal means success
d. the best way to make contacts is to party with the stars
e. record labels know what they are looking for
The world of the A&R rep is very structured, and every rep is
trained and disciplined to evaluate, search, and discover talent in the
same exact way. True or False?
83. Booking agents and Artist Managers are easy to get for new bands or artists. True or False?
84. It costs more money to promote and market a recording than it does to record it. True or False?
85. Most attorneys charge their fees on an hourly basis.
True or False?
86. As an artist career develops, a business manager is brought on board to handle the money. True or False?
87. For new acts, which of the following are rarely negotiated when a recording contract is offered:
a. ownership of the masters
b. recoupment issues
c. term of contract
d. exclusivity issues
e. recording budgets
True or False?
88. Traditional record stores are doing better than ever in this era of downloadable music.
89. There are no governmental regulations or statutes that affect music industry contracts.
‘Band Agreements’ of ‘Partnership Agreements’ are essential for any
band to have if they are serious about making it in the music industry.
91. Barcodes are not necessary when releasing your own CD.
92. A music publishing company is another name for a record company.
93. ASCAP and BMI are known as Performance Rights Organizations.
94. If you have a Facebook or Twitter page, you don’t need to bother having your own website.
95. “Artist Development” is a term that means the same as ‘Product Development’.
96. Independent Labels are more likely to offer some kind of “profit split” deals these days.
97. SoundExchange is the first organization to represent labels and artists
in negotiating fair licensing deals in the new digital age.
98. Program Directors at radio stations do the same job as a Music Director at a station might do.
99. Today, music oriented radio stations receive between 700-800 new
recordings a week that they have to listen to and decide whether to play
any of them or not
100. Today, most artists believe that that the art of recording music can be separated from the business of doing music.
If you want the answers to this
test, EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
book 'Music Is Your Business'
is available as a printed book
or a PDF book at the website
of Christopher Knab and FourFront
Media and Music's bookstore:
you didn't get at least 90%
of these questions right...you
need this book!
Knab is available for personal
consultations on how to establish
your music career. You can reach
him by email at: email@example.com for
more information on his services.
Christopher Knab is an independent music business consultant based in Seattle, Washington. He
is available for private consultations on promoting and marketing independent music, and can be reached by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Knab's book, 'Music Is Your Business'
is available from the Music Biz Academy bookstore.
Visit the FourFront Media and
Music website for more information on the business of music from