Derek Sivers

Blah blah blah... What not to say


At CD Baby, we would ask musicians to give a one-sentence description of their style. You’d be surprised how many artists say, “A sound like no other. A hot new artist for the new millennium. A band you’re sure to enjoy!”

Imagine if a business-owner told you about his company, “We’re a top-notch 9-person company. We believe in service, quality, and dependability. This is a business you’re sure to enjoy!”

Would you remember it a minute later or give a damn what that business did?

Nope. They lost you.

Think how many people you’re losing when you describe your music in a boring, or generic way.

When writing their description, bands say things like, “The members grew up in Boston and met in high school. After the bassist left to pursue another career, they found a replacement who has solidified the lineup as it stands today. They regularly play the local club scene.”

Imagine a computer store saying, “Our VP of finance graduated from Penn State. We found our office manager through an employment agency. After our initial marketing director left, we solidified our lineup as it stands today.”

Why should I care?!

Get out of your own skin, and describe your music in a way that’s interesting to other people, not just yourself.