3 Online Tools for Music Makers to Market Themselves

Over a decade ago I was what you might consider, an aspiring hip hop artist. Before CD burners were in every computer and before blank discs could be purchased at your local electronics store, a group of friends and I formed a small collective. Calling ourselves "Eternal Rhythm Records" or "E.R." for short, we dreamed of being noticed by an A&R scout who represented one of subsidiary labels owned by the "big 4". The talent scout was our ticket to connecting with everyone in the world who might be interested in our music. Fans, record stores, event organizers, radio stations, and the all important record executives who would pour money into our collective and help us spend the rest of our days doing what we loved. Without sounding like I am sharing my own "I walked to school, in the snow, uphill... both ways!" story, I think it would be interesting to share some of the initial technical hurdles we ran into when time came to share our music with the universe. Keep in mind the iPod wasn't even a twinkle in Steve Jobs' eye and only a small number of people were lucky enough to be hijacking their phone lines by using AOL 2.0 to access the internet. Within a year or so we had amassed a number of tracks and we were ready to give anyone and everyone an opportunity to hear what E.R. Records had to offer. We mail order a spindle of 50 blank CD's which cost us over $100 and waited days for it to arrive. Worse yet, CD burners at the time were only 2x. That means for every minute of music we wanted to burn onto the CD we had to wait 30 seconds while it was zapped onto the disc. Whether the disc had practice beats, completed tracks for the car, or discs we wanted to give to that much needed label connection ... we sat around in the makeshift home studio eagerly waiting for that one or two discs to come popping out of the computer way too long. Fast forward to 2009 and boy have thing changed! There has never been so many ways for musicians and singers to get noticed. Major labels had control over who got heard and who gets drowned out by the noise of the big acts. Today everyone is the talent scout and can quickly share an incredible new song with friends. Rather than waiting to be discovered, determined artists can devise creative music videos to share on Youtube, connect with fans via the multitude of social networks, and distribute there own music on the web. No middle man is required and neither is the assistance of a major label. If your an "aspiring" artist then read on to discover some tools and services i have found to help you amplify your presence on the web and ultimately get in fron of those who want your music. Besides the usual big sites like the previously mentioned Youtube and others like MySpace, Facebook, Virb and Twitter... here are a few additional tools that can help artists promote their music and possibly make some money in the process:

ArtistData:

Already signed up and active on the usual social networks? Then ArtistData is a great place to sign up next. They state on their homepage "ArtistData tirelessly works to give musicians more time to be creative. ". How do they do that? By providing you a dashboard that synchs information like your tour show schedule, recent news, status updates, blog posts and more across multiple networks saving you tons of time. It even submits your upcoming shows to a variety of concert databases with a couple clicks. As ArtistData expands, I quickly see it becoming one of the most sought after tools for independent artists. picture-6

SoundCloud:

One of the most impressive audio services to be launched over the last couple years has to be SoundCloud. SoundCloud is a great service that enables users to easily upload, share, and discover music.  So many features that I can't list them all, but if you want to embed one of your songs into any web site, blog, or share it on a social network... this is the tool. A few notable items include SoundCloud's "Drop Box" which is the place for others who want to upload audio files to your account (makes collaborating easy) and the easy to use Facebook application. Almost everything is customizable and the user interface pushes the limits of what a web based service should feel like. picture-5 Here is an embedded player from SoundCloud with one of my friends from the old E.R. Records crew.What do you think?

TuneCore:

It's a rewarding experience to see that people are downloading your music from MySpace and other places, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to make a little dough off your work? TuneCore can help you make a little pocket change or maybe your next million. TuneCore charges a flat fee for submission of your music to all the major online music store inluding iTunes, Amazon, & Rhapsody. You keep all the rights to your work and 100% royalties on each sale.  It's really as simple as that!

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There you have it. These tools and services should set you off on the path to independent stardom. Whats your excuse for being undiscovered now? Turn up the volume man!

About the Author

Adam Helwah is an independent lifestyle advocate!