Below are some great music and music business resources and tools for artists of any type. From online and offline music marketing, to learning how to sing and play piano and much much more, these resources are here for you to take advantage of and to help get you to the next level with your music career!
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Music Practice, Creation and Songwriting
Books & Videos
How to Rap: The Art and Science of the Hip-Hop MC – This is a great book that is packed with interviews from some of the biggest names in Hip-Hop and Rap. The information offered in this book is invaluable for all emcees, beginners and experts alike. Definitely a MUST READ for anyone trying to become a rapper.
Shortcuts to Hit Songwriting – This book is a great resource for both singers and rappers. It gives great information about how to craft hit songs through your hooks and lyrics. There are over a hundred different tips and tricks you can apply to your songs TODAY.
Hear And Play Vocal Mastery Set – The ULTIMATE resource for anyone trying to become a professional singer. The people at Hear And Play make amazing training products and this 10 DVD set will take your voice to the next level, no matter where you’re at in your career.
The Secrets to Playing Piano by Ear – This is another amazing course from Hear and Play. This 300+ page book will teach you how to play the piano like a pro without having to read sheet music. It’s a great course and learning to play piano can take your live show to another level! Imagine singing your song while being able to play the music on the piano yourself.
Hear and Play Chords Vol 1+2 – This is the next level to mastering the piano. Once you go through the book above, or if you already know the basics of playing piano, check out this course that will guide you through playing every different type of piano chords in existence.
Music Recording and Production
Books & Videos
Music Theory for Computer Musicians – This is a great book for anyone who makes music on a computer and wants to learn more about music theory. Whether you’re a rapper, singer, DJ, producer, musician or songwriter, learning about music theory can help elevate your game to the next level.
The Complete Idiots Guide To Music Theory – Another great book about music theory. The “Complete Idiots” series of books is similar to the “Dummies” books and are intended for beginners.
Hardware & Equipment
Rode NT1-A Vocal Condenser Microphone – This is the same microphone we use to record all vocals at PBE Music. It’s got a really great, neutral sound and is pretty inexpensive when it comes to microphones.
Audio Technica AT2035 Condenser Microphone – Another great vocal microphone. We know a lot of artists and producers who use this inexpensive microphone and they love the sound of it.
Neumann u87 Professional Studio Microphone – This is the industry standard microphone that has an absolutely amazing sound. This is the stuff the real pro’s use, but it has a really high price tag. If you can afford it, this is the ONLY vocal microphone you’ll ever need.
Audio Interfaces (Sound Cards)
Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 Firewire Audio Interface – Focusrite audio interfaces are great pieces of equipment that have some really clean and awesome sounding components inside them. This is a great option that has two microphone inputs plus additional inputs and outputs. (Note: You need a FireWire card in your computer to use this device)
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Audio Interface – This is another audio interface from Focusrite that features the same great microphone pre-amps and components, but for a cheaper price. A great option for any entry-level artists and producers or those who don’t have FireWire cards in their computers.
TC Electronic Desktop Konnect 6 Firewire Audio Interface – This is another FireWire audio interface that only has one microphone input, but it contains world-class microphone pre-amps that will make your recordings sound amazing! It’s really a great audio interface.
Recording Software (DAWs – Digital Audio Workstations)
Reaper Studio Software (MAC/PC) – This is an AMAZING studio application that’s very easy to use and understand. It’s also free (almost)! You can download a copy right from the Reaper website and use it fully without limitations. We at PBE Music use Reaper to record, mix and master all our tracks.
Cubase 6 Studio – Cubase is a standard in the music business. This software is used by thousands of producers and artists to make and produce music. We at PBE Music use Cubase to make beats and also to do some recording, mixing and mastering.
Waves Platinum Bundle Effects Package – The Waves plugins are also industry standard EQs, Reverbs, Delays, Compressors and other digital effects used in mixing and mastering music. We use TONS of Waves plugins to produce, mix and master our music. GREAT STUFF!
Internal Firewire Card for Desktop Computers – You’ll need one of these to connect a FireWire audio interface if you don’t already have it in your computer.
Microphone Stand – Something you’ll need to put your microphone on
Microphone Pop-Screen – These are the microphone spit-guards that stop the harsh sounds from being recorded.
Beats by Dre Studio Isolation Headphones – It’s a good idea to have a good pair of headphones to hear your music while recording, mixing or mastering.
Music Manufacturing and Merchandise
Mixonic CD/DVD Replication and Duplication – When you are finished making an EP or album, you need professional CDs. Mixonic can help you out with professional CD and DVD manufacturing services
Wordans Custom T-Shirts and Apparel – Another great product to have for your live shows and website is T-Shirts, Hoodies, Hats and other types of music apparel with you band or artist name on it. Wordans provides professional custom clothing manufacturing.
Music Distribution Services
TuneCore Online Music Distribution – TuneCore is a company that can get your music on iTunes, Amazon.com, MP3.com, Napster and a bunch of other online retailers. They handle all the hard work so you can sell your music all over the world.
CDBaby Online and Physical Music Distribution – CDBaby is a service similar to TuneCore but they also sell physical CDs.
Music Marketing and Promotion
Direct To Fan Marketing
Topspin Media – TopSpin is a platform you can use to sell your music and merchandise directly to fans from your website.
Fanbridge – FanBridge is a great fan management platform. You can collect fan email addresses, send them updates and free exclusive tracks and much more.
Aweber Email Marketing – Aweber is the premier professional email marketing and management platform. You can collect fans email addresses and keep them updated with an automated series of emails. Once someone signs-up for your email list, they will automatically get sent the emails you set up. Just set it and forget it.
PayPal – The best and most trusted way to send and receive money online. Sign up for a free account that you can use to collect payments for you music and send payments for you marketing, etc.
Books & Videos
Guerilla Music Marketing Handbook – This is THE ORIGINAL music marketing guide for independent rappers, singers and bands. The author Bob Baker does a great job of describing how you can promote your music without spending a ton of money.
Guerilla Music Marketing Online – This is another Bob Baker book that talks specifically about promoting your music online. Great book with lots of good info.
Music Success in 9 Weeks – Ariel Hyatt is the author of this book. She is a music publicist who helps artists get their music and their story out there. This book is a 9 week program that will help you gain more fans.
The Indie Bible – This is the ULTIMATE resource for independent musicians. It is a HUGE book filled with thousands and thousands of websites where you can upload your music, radio stations where you can send your music, industry resources you can use to take your career to the next level and tons more! They even have great articles at the end of the book that talk about music production, promotion, marketing and more. GREAT BOOK! MUST HAVE FOR ALL RAPPERS/SINGERS/BANDS!
Building an Artist Website
WordPress.com – This is the Content Management System (CMS) we use at PBE Music to design all our music websites. It’s an easy-to-use and fully-featured system to build a website on. You don’t need to know how to program or write HTML/CSS to build an AMAZING looking website on WordPress. It’s not just for blogging, but for websites too!
BlueHost Website Hosting – When you have your own website, you need a place to put it online. BlueHost can host your website for you and keep everything running smooth for a cheap price.
Tribal WordPress Theme – This is a great theme (design template) you can use with WordPress to design a spectacular and professional looking music artist/band website. Check out a live preview here.
Brooklyn WordPress Theme – Another great theme for use with WordPress websites. Similar to Tribal Theme but with different colours and design. Makes great artist websites. Check out a live preview here.
Setlist WordPress Theme – This is another great WordPress theme for music artist/band websites. Check out a preview here.
Thesis WordPress Theme Framework – This is a very powerful WordPress theme that can be fully customized to look the way you want. It’s very complex and hard to use but if you know how to program or develop websites, you can do some really cool stuff with it. This is the theme that PhatBootyEnt.com is built on.
Touring and Live Shows
Books & Videos
The Indie Venue Bible – This is a book that’s similar to the Indie Bible, but it lists thousands and thousands of different venues that you can play LIVE in. It’s a MUST HAVE resource for any rapper, singer or band that plans on touring and playing live across their country or around the world.
Tom Jackson’s On Stage Success – Tom Jackson is a LIVE music producer that can turn your live show into an unforgettable experience. The things that this man does to make your live show a real experience is absolutely AMAZING.