Whether you’re an aspiring musician or a full-on professional, these are some of the resources I’ve found useful throughout my years as a drummer and musician.
Whether you simply want to get your work out there or you want to stream your work (and possibly collect ad revenue), internet video sites are the new cable channels.
YouTube – YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world after Google. Watch and learn with the myriad of “how to’s” and other instructional videos.
Vimeo – Less ads than YouTube and a place for the creative types to share their work.
In addition to YouTube and Vimeo above, these sites offer music-hosting only, though they often include “Buy” links or enable users to download your music (if you allow them to).
Soundcloud – Free hosting for your songs.
Amazon – You can buy just about anything from this online retailer.
iTunes – Buy and sell mp3s through their web store.
Last.fm – Online music streaming available worldwide (unlike pandora.com).
MySpace – One of the first online music-streaming services out there. Has been eclipsed by more recent offerings such as Soundcloud.
Audacity – Free and open source recording and editing software.
Garageband – Apple’s consumer-level recording studio. Bundled with every Mac.
Logic – Apple’s more professional recording software. Lots of folks have recommended this one to me.
Kompoz – A neat site that gathers musicians from around the world over the internet. Although you can record with whatever you want, Kompoz requires you to install its own proprietary software to collaborate.
It’s part of the business. Many of the resources in this post offer free or premium services. Those premium services are your friend because they help pay the bills. Whether it’s royalties, downloads, books, instructional videos or whatever, the following programs may help you generate more income streams.
Scribd – Offer your written work for free or a fee. Easy to use for everybody involved.
Amazon Affiliates – Largest online retailer has an affiliates program where you earn a commission on each product sold through your link.
Google Adsense – Love em or hate em, ads pay for a lot of the “free” stuff we consume.
WordPress.com – You’re not just a musician any more. Get a blog and advertise your work. Free or premium.
Bandcamp – Offer your songs for free or on a pay-what-you-want deal.
CD Baby – Music distribution service, both digital and hard copy.
Tunecore – Another music distribution service.
eJunkie – Site dedicated to distributing digital content. Books, CDs, etc.
Createspace – Print-on-demand books, CDs and DVDs. Run by Amazon.
Backing up your work is a good idea. Don’t let those ideas get lost in the digital void. There are several cloud-storage companies out there, including Amazon, but Dropbox and Box can synch right to your home computer, tablet or other device. They both offer free and paid services.
Dropbox – Probably one of the easiest cloud-storage programs to use.
Box – Another cloud-storage program.
Admittedly this is skewed towards drummers because I am one. There are lots of resources out there for the aspiring and professional musician. These are just a few that I use.
Modern Drummer – World’s best selling drum magazine.
Drum! – A little more cheeky than Modern Drummer
Rhythm – The UK’s drum magazine of choice. Part of a larger network of music publications.
Musician Wages – Great online resource for those who want to learn more about the working life of a musician.
Music Think Tank – Not sure who runs this but sometimes there are some good articles on it.