I want to know specifically what i should put on a demo. i am a guitar player looking for studio work and people keep asking for a demo. should i use rhythm tracks or a drum machine or should it be just the guitar itself. how many styles should i put on, should they be originals and how long should each track be.
All of the above ;D
You should have short pieces in as many different styles as possible. Certainly you need a blues ballad, and an up-tempo jazzy piece. If you are good at rock solos, then do that too, with a full backing track. If you have a preference or specialty (eg country, punk, etc) then include one or two tracks playing that. Remember to balance speed with melody. Be sure to put your name and contact info directly on the CD.
How do you even start to get into studio work?
"I had these dreams that I would learn to play guitar, maybe cross the country, become a rock star"
You start by being able to play any style convincingly and by developing your ear to a high degree. Listening is more important than showing off your chops. If you're serious about studio work , move to a major recording center. But develop your skills first. Learn to read number charts as well as standard notation. A lot of studio work is "head arrangements". Tommy
Tedesco's book "For Guitar Players Only" is great. Also Leon White's "Styles for the Studio".
creator of #1 video"Guitar Playing for Songwriters"