I’ve noticed that there has been a lot of controversy when it comes to tagging instrumentals. For those of you who don’t know, “tagging” is an extra security measure that music producers take to protect their beats from being stolen or used without their consent. There are many different ways to tag instrumentals. You may do a vocal tag or even add on a signature sound effect. The choice is yours. However, I’m just going to give you my input on why you should tag your beats, why you should not tag your beats, why I personally tag my beats and some of my tagging strategies. So, let’s begin!
As I mentioned before, “tagging” is an extra security measure that music producers take to protect their beats from being stolen or used without their consent. However, that is not the only use of tagging beats, because there are so many more uses and benefits of it. One use and benefit of tagging your beats includes brand building. Your tag attaches an identity to your instrumental, so every time someone hears your signature tag, they know that it’s no one other than you! Think of some of your favorite artists. What are some of the things that they mutter or do on a track that helps you identify that it’s them? I notice Akon says, “Konvict music,” on some of his songs or DJ Khaled yells, “We the best!” Then again, producers like, Lex Luger, have a signature rise and who can forget Jahlil Beats’ tag that says, “Jahlil Beats! Holla at me,” or Cardiak’s “flatline” sound effect. Conversely, brand building through “tagging” is not only limited to the music industry. Many industries implant some sort of identity into their product and release it to the public for all to hear or see. Look at Nike and how they carefully place their logo on each design. Also, for those of you who like cars, have you noticed that you can tell who manufactured a car just by looking at the fashion of it? Do you remember Coca Cola’s signature jingle? Did you notice the banner on my website? Therefore, I believe it is safe to say that “tagging” is all around you. Also, with brand building through tagging comes prestige. When people have more of an idea of who you are, your tag will become legendary.
Ready to hear the cons of tagging an instrumental? Yeah? Well, there are many, but one con of tagging an instrumental is that it does not always work as that “extra security measure” you need. Because of this,you are safer with a copyright on your beat, because there are listeners out there who will do anything to obtain your music “illegally,” especially if they really enjoy your music. Also, it is said that when you are offering samples of your music to A&Rs or artists with your tag on it, your music is overlooked and put to the side. Some artists prefer to record to tracks immediately and your tag on it delays that process. (However, there are many mixed views on this topic, because others claim that an A&R or music artist may enjoy the track, but have no idea who the producer of the track is, whichmay also lead to the death of your chances for landing a placement.) Other fans and listeners find that tags on instrumentals are extremely annoying, (especially when not done right,) and this kills their vibe and prevents them from listening to your track any further.
Initially, I tagged my instrumentals to protect my beats and I still do. Also, as mentioned before, I tag my instrumentals to build my brand name, to make it “legendary” and to let listeners know who produced the track.
There’s many strategies that goes into tagging instrumentals. I have many vocal tags, but I have four vocal tags that I use officially and interchangeably, so you will not hear them on every beat. The two most common tags I use are the “DAH Trump,” and the “Keep it 100″ vocal tag. Usually, I have a tag somewhere in the intro, near the transition to the chorus and in very few places in the verse. Personally, I try not to tag every crevice and crack of my beat, because I care about the listener and I really do not want to kill their vibe, while they’re listening to my music.
When sending music to credible artists, I make sure I have at least one tag on it, so if they ever hear that tag again in life, they may have a clue who to connect it to. I also believe that adding copyright protection to instrumentals is a great idea and should be a priority if you’re really concerned with safeguarding your music.
Another great method for tagging your instrumentals is ID3 tagging. With ID3 tagging, you’re labeling your instrumental’s artist, album and composer name, the date of your instrumental’s release, the link to your website or other contact information and the list can go on. This ensures that when your music is sent out, listeners will know who you are and where to find you if they ever take interest in your music.
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Keep it 100.
Article By DAH Trump