The Internet is a great tool for independent musicians, as it provides a way to reach new fans, meet new friends, and get new ideas for music creation and promotion. However, the extent of a website’s benefit to musicians is somewhat limited to the online community that said website has developed. Here’s a look at some of the best online communities on the Internet that musicians can use to develop and promote their craft.
- Indaba Music.com – This website allows musicians to create new songs in “sessions” and invite their friends and random fellow musicians to participate. Fellow musicians can upload additional tracks and instruments, giving depth to the original tune, and eventually creating a fantastic, polished finished product. Because it’s all web based, it’s simple to understand and doesn’t consume a whole lot of system resources, although you’ll have to have decent recording ability to participate. This is a great website for getting feedback on songs, and the community for Indaba has grown greatly since comedian Stephen Colbert featured the website on his Comedy Central show.
- Garage Band – A service unrelated to the Mac program of the same name, Garage Band lets musicians upload songs to have them rated and critiqued by other musicians. You have to rate a certain number of songs before receiving your own ratings, and the ratings themselves are carefully gauged by staff to make sure that only legitimate critiques get through; this means that you won’t receive something that says simply “song sucked, try again,” but rather a few carefully thought out sentences or paragraphs explaining what’s good and bad about your music. Serious songwriters are used to criticism, and this is a great way to improve your craft.
- Myspace – Hey, don’t forget the big ones. Nearly every musician in the world has a myspace account which is used for promotion, new show booking, and more, so if you don’t have one, you’re simply missing out. Despite its numerous, annoying ads and preteen fanbase, Myspace is actually a very decent networking website for musicians, and by keeping an updated Myspace page, you’re simply covering all of your bases. While you’re at it, look into a Facebook musician’s account, too.
- Craigslist – When you need to promote a show or find a new band member, the simplicity of Craigslist comes to the rescue, with separate sites for major cities, allowing you to only advertise to (or engage in discussions with) people from your local area. Thousands of people use Craigslist in every major city, so be sure to check out its “music” and “artists” sections and see if you can use it your band’s benefit. There’s always a few good conversations going on in their listings about local music, as well.
Do you know of any other online communities for musicians? Post in our comments section below.