As musicians, we don’t often think about the technological revolution that’s taking place in the music industry today! No longer is it enough to practice, compose and then wait around for someone to come “Discover” you. With the latest innovations in technology, mobile devices, applications and social media, you can sell yourself by cutting out the middlemen and at the same time reducing expenses related to technical expertise, publicists and big-name Record Companies.
Publish your music without having to spend a bundle of cash! What it does take, however, is effort, discipline and a firm belief in your potential.
We bring you 7 innovations which can empower musicians to independently market their own music.
1. Get Familiar with the Basics.
So you can strum your guitar and sing along to some popular numbers, are you now at the point where you can call honestly call yourself a musician? Do you create music?
Two of the most popular, open-source, music editing softwares – Audacity which is Free, and Cubase (which can be downloaded for a free 30-day trial, after which you have to pay) help you record your own music.
Unless you’re an extremely rare, gifted artist like the late Kurt Cobain of the Alt-Rock giants, Nirvana, you’re going to need to practice your craft and learn the basics of music structuring.
Guitar Jam Tracks Scales Buddy is an android app for guitarists that helps you practice jamming and teaches you the essentials of various genres of music including Rock, Blues, Reggae and Jazz.
Music Tutor Sight Read is another app which comes in handy for beginners learning to sight, read (and write) music. Its quiz-game format is extremely useful for serious musicians who want to graduate from the amateur level.
3. Record Yourself
Now that you’ve started playing, especially if you’ve started writing your own music, it’s time to hear what you sound like; not just in your room or your head, but as an impartial listener.
The Cubase app is a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) – don’t be intimidated by the fancy terminology. If you want to know what its like to record in a studio with your vocals and guitar/piano/keyboard, then this is the app to use. All you need additionally is a reasonably up-to-date Laptop/PC, sound card, and 2 mic stands.
Ableton Live on the other hand (while also a DAW), is primarily used as an Instrument for live performances to accompany (or even Create) your own music. It is one of the most popular tools used by DJs across the world. Considering the market space EDM (Electronic Dance Music) occupies in todays’ music scenario, you can imagine just how popular it is. With this app, suddenly everybody can be a DJ!
4. Promote Yourself
Create your own YouTube Channel and upload videos of yourself performing (just ask a friend with a decent smartphone camera to record you playing or do it yourself and upload the video on YouTube)
Soundcloud works the same way but with audio files only. Open an account with your audio files and people can log in to hear live streams of your music without being able to download the music file.
5. Be Patiently Proactive
Don’t mope when you don’t get work. Instead use the time to educate yourself about the intricacies of the music business. Sites like SongWritingFever help you get started when it comes to writing your own material. Another good idea is to copyright your music and register yourself with officially recognized music associations of India such as the Cine Musicians’ Association and expand your reach into the music community.
6. Use Every Opportunity to Perform
Sometimes you’re on to a good thing but get stuck and are unable to take the song or melody forward. In such instances connect and collaborate with musicians from across the globe through communities like Kompoz or Indababa Music to finish, fine-tune or remix your track. There are plenty of web-savvy musicians out there who’d be more than willing to come up with that perfect beat, sound effect or guitar or synth parts which could help complete the track.
So remember, you no longer need agents/publicists or large capital to bring your music to the market. Step up your game. Sing, play, perform, record and publish your music using simple, innovative technology.
NOTE: All the Hardware/Software mentioned in this feature is available here.