Tuesday, March 29, 2011


In case you haven't noticed, it's kind of hard to make a living as a musician.  I know that's a shock to all of you long time musicians.  The best way to make it is ... Diversify!  Most successful indie musicians have found that a mixture of performing, songwriting, and teaching are the best approach.  If you are looking to share your musical knowledge with others, and make a few bucks while you're at it, all you really need is, of course, students.  The hard part is getting them.  If Craigslist isn't cutting it for you, there is a new website for teachers of every trade called betterfly.com.  Although it is still in its Beta stage, one would be wise to jump aboard now as it grows in popularity.  As a teacher, you create a profile that tells who you are, what you teach, your qualifications, and your rates.  Potential clients then can search whatever discipline they are interested in, ranging from tuba to underwater basket weaving, and compare prices, qualifications, and reviews of nearby teachers.  It is all free to use, and the interface is quite simple.  To try it out, visit http://betterfly.com/

Friday, March 11, 2011


Alright, lets admit it.  As musicians, we sometimes are so focused on developing our music skills that other important skills often fall by the wayside.  Things like social skills, math, and web savvy kinda get left behind.  While there isn't much this article can do to teach you social skills or how algebra works, we have found a great resource for those that don't know HTML from Hotmail.  If you need a fairly simple website to direct your fans to, Roxer might just be the place.  It's easy to use system allows you to add content, such as boxes, headers, text, photos, links, and videos with the click of a mouse.  A quick tutorial shows how to add content and drag it where you want it.  You can create multiple pages and link text of pictures to other sites, such as Facebook, Myspace or Reverbnation, all for the wonderful price of ... free.  You can use a page name such as www.matthundley.roxer.com, or easily transfer a domain name, such as www.matthundley.com. (Not that I'm shamelessly promoting my personal website or anything like that)  To try Roxer out, visit www.roxer.com.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Band Pages

Sonicicbids.com, reverbnation.com, bandzoogle.com, cdbaby.com, the list goes on and on.  If you're looking for a web page to host your band, who do you choose?  The answer is, you can't choose just one.  In today's competitive music industry, an indie musician needs multiple sites and pages, since each one serves a different purpose.  Rather than explore the hundreds of potential websites that cater to musicians, this article will discuss the Big 4 that you simply can't live without.  They may seem a little bit obvious, but many musicians only utilize one or two of these tools, and just go without the services that the other sites offer.  Here is a discussion of what these sites do and do not offer.

FACEBOOK.COM   Do we even have to discuss this?  Yes, because many musicians have a personal profile for themselves, but don't have a page for their band or music.  Facebook's greatest strength is the ability for pages to go viral, and the simplicity of direct communication to fans that it offers.  Of course there are dozens of apps that a musician to use, but many websites offer these.  The best way to use Facebook is a daily update on the band, including performances, contests that the band has entered, and other tidbits that your fans will find interesting.  Keep the updates casual, as this makes the fans feel closer to the band, and keeps them thinking about you.  If they have an update everyday that interests them, they will stay involved and keep listening to your music.

MYSPACE.COM  Often unfairly called Facebook's trashy older sibling, myspace nonetheless offers valuable tools for the independent musician.  In its efforts to survive in the shadow of Facebook, Myspace has customized its services to the point that it has many more tools for musicians.  Because of this, music reviewers and industry insiders often prefer Myspace over the fancy press kits that other websites offer, because of its simplicity.  The ability to quickly access music, videos, and bios is not only valued by time-pressed music professionals, but by potential fans as well.

REVERBNATION.COM  There's not much that this website doesn't offer for the independent musician.  It offers hundreds of tools not only for musicians, but for record labels, management, venues, and fans.  The unique format allows a fan to search their local area for a specific genre, and browse local artists for just the right style of music.  Unlike Myspace and Facebook, Reverbnation is solely about music, and it shows in the multitude of tools (some free, some not).  This is the place for the musician to make money.  From putting your music on sites such as Pandora and I-Tunes, selling band merchandise, selling CDs, connecting with labels and venues, advertising shows, blogging, syncing your Myspace, Facebook and Twitter accounts, building websites, networking with other musicians, setting up mailing lists, and much more, this is a resource that the indie musician simply can't live without.

YOUTUBE.COM  One word: virality.  Post a video of your band playing a bluegrass version of "Bohemian Rhapsody" on Monday, and boom, you're on Oprah explaining your success by Tuesday.  Think Justin Bieber folks.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Business Cards

A business card with contact info and a website are a must-have for any successful musician.  With the host of affordable and great looking business cards out there, there is no reason to settle for a white piece of paper with a name and address.  Here are just a couple of great business card companies, with their individual pros and cons.

http://www.businesscards24.com/ - Overall the classiest designs.  The best feature is the online template editor that allows you to drag the text wherever you want, as well as customize it however you want.  While they do offer other products, such as address labels, letterheads, and car magnets, they don't offer quite the selection that some other companies do.

http://www.vistaprint.com/  - If you want a one stop place to get just about every kind of media possible, this is the place.  Vista Print offers everything a small business or independent musician could need, ranging from printables such as t-shirts, banners, bumper stickers, to services such as web design and credit card processing.  The great part is, you can create your design just once, then apply it to any of these products. The drawback is, Vista Print is extremely aggressive in selling you these products, to the point of being obnoxious.  They also don't offer the flexibility of design that www.businesscards24.com does.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Indie Bible

This is a resource that is not only growing popular among musicians in the US, it is also commonly used by independent musicians in Europe. The Indie Bible is an annually updated publication that lists thousands of  music reviewers (including http://www.indiemusicreview.org/),  radio stations, venues, record labels, and websites, all geared towards independent musicians.  It isn't a free publication, but many musicians have found it to be a worthy investment in their careers and music.  You can find it at http://www.indiebible.com/.


Welcome to Indie Music Tools!  Indie Music Tools is a blog dedicated to bringing the latest news on websites, marketing techniques, musical education, technology, and many other tools that are needed by professional independent musicians in todays music industry. Indie Music Tools is operated by http://www.indiemusicreview.org/.