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Page last updated at 16:49 GMT, Friday, 15 January 2010
Bob Fischer's top tips to get your band played on BBC
Join Bob Fischer in the evening from 8 to 10pm Monday to Friday
Join Bob Fischer in the evening from 8pm to 10pm Monday to Friday

Bob Fischer's Top Five Tips for getting your songs played on BBC Tees' BBC Introducing programme:

1. Be startlingly original.

I hear lots of bands that are clearly, desperately, trying to sound exactly like their own favourite bands, and that's understandable… we've all got our influences!

But I'd much rather hear something that sounds like YOU.

Anything quirky or new or exciting in a song that leaps out and makes me think 'Oooh! I've never heard anything like THAT before!' absolutely makes my day.

Seriously, it does… I jump around the BBC Tees newsroom and do a Happy Snoopy Dance. I get some strange looks from the sports department.

2. Keep your songs radio-friendly.

That doesn't mean you have to sound like Mika or Lady Gaga, but bear in mind that I generally won't play anything over about five minutes long, and I can't really play anything with swearing in it, either. Sorry!

I'm fully prepared to believe that your expletive-ridden 12-minute metal odyssey is going to storm the charts for six months and topple Simon Cowell from his lofty perch, but unfortunately I won't be able to play it on my show.

Send me it anyway though, and I'll listen to it in the car.

3. Don't worry too much about slick packaging.

Lots of bands have clearly spent a fortune on a glossy photo-shoot, and send me moody black and white pictures of themselves leaning against derelict buildings, together with a professional-looking press release and a properly pressed-up CD.

Honestly, don't worry… if anything I find a nice, personal handwritten note and a Tesco CD-R a bit more endearing.

If you really want to stand out from the crowd, put some biscuits in the jiffy bag. I like Blue Ribands and Breakaways the best, but anything with chocolate on is fine.

4. Use BBC Introducing.

Seriously, apart from Doctor Who, this is the BEST THING THE BBC HAVE EVER DONE.

I've met a couple of bands that seem a bit suspicious about it, but honestly - there is no catch.

You're not surrendering ownership of your music to the BBC, I promise. Go to:

Upload your songs and a bit of blurb about yourself.

It all gets sent directly to me, I listen to it all, and I play two songs from the BBC Introducing site on my show most nights.

Once I've played them, they get automatically forwarded to Tom Robinson at BBC 6 Music, and considered for play on his national show. This has happened!

Several bands have had 6 Music play purely because I've played them on my show! Honestly, do it.

5. Keep trying.

Don't get remotely disheartened if the music business isn't hammering down your door after your second gig.

I've seen lots of bands that have started out sounding pretty ropey getting better and better as they play more gigs and write more songs, and it can take a few years… but it's lovely to watch.

Even if I'm not playing your very first, dodgy-sounding demo on my show every night, I'm happy to listen to it, and don't be discouraged from sending me your next, slightly less dodgy-sounding demo… and so on, and so on, and so on, until you're headlining Wembley Stadium and having me turned away by burly security men.

Presenter Profile: Bob Fischer
16 Jul 09 |  TV & Radio
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15 Jul 09 |  Arts & Culture
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03 Feb 10 |  BBC Introducing
Top tips on getting a local gig
03 Feb 10 |  BBC Introducing



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