Musicians have a big enough to-do list while they’re building their careers, so any help to make their growth easier is always a plus.
From writing music, to performing live, selling NFTs, and learning new skills, the list is always growing and oftentimes has no end in sight.
But thankfully there are a lot of really good products and services that can keep musicians organized, on track for success, and continuously learning new skills to hone their craft.
In this post, we’re going to share our favorite products and services for musicians.
Note: The information presented in this article, such as pricing and package offerings, is subject to change at any time and may differ than what’s posted in this article. We will do our best to keep the information here updated.
The 21 best tools for musicians to grow their careers in 2022
Sharing audio files on Dropbox, Google Drive, and SoundCloud is becoming outdated technology. DISCO has quickly become a gold standard for sharing audio files with others, especially music supervisors. They almost always use DISCO to organize their libraries of music.
DISCO allows users to create playlists, upload stems, provide contact information, lyrics, publishing information, IPI numbers, and more directly in their upload, thus removing the need for multiple documents for each track.
DISCO’s Lite plan allows for one user and 500 tracks for $10/mo. Plus starts at $15/mo. and increases track limit to 1,000. Their Pro starts at $25/mo. and includes everything in their Plus plan in addition to custom fields, password protection, and distributor ingestion.
Box is an online cloud storage platform. They are one of the best cloud storage services on the market and are headquartered in Redwood City, California.
Keeping all of your files in one centralized location makes it easier for you and your team to access them whenever, wherever. With Box, users can upload most file types, add comments for collaborating on documents, and backing up your files.
Box offers an Individual, Personal Pro, Business Starter, and Business Plans. The individual plan is for a single user, allows for a 250MB file upload limit, and 10GB of storage. Their Personal Pro plan provides up to 100GB of storage and a 5GB file upload. Their Business Plans allow for more users and unlimited storage, which may be more ideal if you’re looking to use it as a backup solution.
Jamvana is a premiere music distribution platform that gives musicians the tools to distribute and monetize their music onto leading service providers like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and more.
Getting your music onto digital distribution services is one thing, but getting it in front of the right audience is much more difficult. Jamvana’s custom-built content management system has tools built in to curate your audience, get playlisted, and get heard. Jamvana actively pitches music to DSPs and their playlist editors and work diligently to ensure your release goes as smoothly as possible.
In addition, Jamvana has the most transparent and detailed royalty reports of any other music distributor.
It’s $7.99 per single and $19.99 per album and you’ll keep 100% of your royalties. Get started here.
Similar to Box, Google Drive is a great solution for backing up, storing files, and working collaboratively with others.
The most attractive feature of having a free Google account are their office suite programs, such as Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Forms, among others. They’re continuously adding new features to each program. Docs and Sheets are great programs to utilize when writing lyrics, writing press releases, and keeping a rolodex of industry contacts.
Their Google One plan provides multiple tiers that include 15GB for free, $1.99/mo. for 100GB, $2.99/mo. for 200GB, and $9.99/mo. for 2TB of storage.
Professional email address
The music industry is all about networking, so you’ll be sending a lot of emails. It’s important that you look professional online, and a branded email can help with that.
A branded email is an email that utilizes your artist, band, or business name. For example, instead of email@example.com, you could have firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are a number of ways to go about creating this, but the easiest is to use Google Workspace. It’s easy to set up and will allow you to keep the aforementioned Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms under the same account. A Google Workspace account can be created for as little as $6/mo.
Explore the other methods of setting up a business email address.
Digital audio workstation
A digital audio workstation (or DAW) is a computer application that provides musicians and producers to write, record, mix, and master their music.
No digital audio workstation is better than the other, per se, but they each will have different features that may make it easier for you to get ideas out when those moments arise. Just because one producer uses Ableton doesn’t mean that it’s going to work for you. Research which DAW has the features you’re looking for and explore those options extensively.
Here is a list of the most popular DAWs in 2022, according to MusicRadar:
- Studio One
- FL Studio
- Logic Pro X
- Pro Tools
- Cakewalk by BandLab
DocuSign is an e-signature company headquartered in San Francisco, California. With DocuSign, users can upload documents and send them to the parties who need to sign.
Before working with anybody on music (including your best friend) it’s important to have agreements written and signed by everybody contributing to the work. These agreements typically include who owns how much of the publishing and the master, admin privileges, how royalties are split up, and more.
You can use a program like Google Docs to draft up a basic agreement and then use DocuSign to have the other parties digitally sign it. This acts as a legally-binding document.
DocuSign offers a free 30-day trial to get you started. Their Personal plan is $10/mo., Standard is $25/mo., and Business Pro is $40/mo. You can also choose to pay annually and save $120, $300, or $480, respectively.
Alternatives: HelloSign and Adobe Sign
If you aren’t sure how to write up an agreement or have additional nuanced questions about your specific situation, contact an entertainment attorney.
Songtrust is a music publishing administration company. They provide tools that allow artists and songwriters to collect their music publishing royalties. They are headquartered in New York and owned by Downtown Music Holdings.
Songtrust will collect your publishing royalties from around the globe while you maintain 100% ownership of your music. Should you land a sync deal, you’ll retain 100% of the sync fees. They have contracts with more than 215 collection societies around the world.
When your song is played on radio in France, Songtrust will collect those royalties. If it’s aired on a TV show in Switzerland, they’ll collect those royalties.
It’s worth noting that Songtrust is not a publisher.
Songtrust costs a flat one-time fee of $100 to get set up. They’ll then keep 15% of the royalties they collect.
Unless you want to manually strike deals with collection societies for your publishing royalties across Europe, Africa, or Asia, then Songtrust is well worth the $100 fee and 15% of the royalties.
It’s very important to be able to put out high quality photos and videos. You most likely already own a high end camera: your phone.
Any mobile device made within the last 3-5 years is likely capable of shooting HD photos and videos. They can be used to create social media content and even film music videos. The music video for Lady Gaga’s “Stupid Love” was shot entirely on an iPhone Pro 11.
Gumroad is an online e-commerce platform that allows content creators, including musicians, to sell anything. They were founded in 2011 and are headquartered in San Francisco, California.
In the digital world, people want and will pay for just about anything if they can have instant access to it and it’s helpful. This also gives fans of artists’ work another avenue to support them.
To give you some ideas, you could sell sheet music, the WAV file to your latest single, a project file, top 10 lists, a subscription to a mini series, and much more. Think of your talents and how you could package them up into a digital asset that you could sell. Gumroad could provide you with a really good source of additional income alongside your streaming revenue.
Gumroad is free to get started, and as you sell more they will take less in fees.
Squarespace is a website building and hosting company headquartered in New York. Their online website builder is easy to use, set up, and affordable. Features include e-commerce integrations with platforms like Shopify, appointment scheduling, and free templates.
Websites for musicians help with their visibility in the digital realm. They act as a digital resume where fans and industry professionals can go to find and read everything about you. Some pages that should be on an artist’s website include a biography, high resolution press pictures, social media links, and music.
Squarespace offers four different plans: Personal ($14/mo.), Business ($23/mo.), Basic Commerce ($27/mo.), and Advanced Commerce ($49/mo.).
Their personal plan is probably sufficient enough for artists just getting started; however, the inclusion of the professional email from Google is a nice perk in their Business plan.
MasterClass is an online learning platform that hosts courses from industry pioneers like Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, deadmau5, Alicia Keys, and more. Their courses span a wide gamut of cooking, film making, sports, music, and more.
Continuing education is vital to remaining with the times. The music industry evolves at an alarming rate, and new techniques and programs are always being introduced. MasterClass is a solid solution for independent music professionals to remain at the top of their game.
Starting at $15/mo., one user can sign up for MasterClass’s Individual plan. Their Duo plan offers one account for two devices for $20/mo. Finally, they have a Family plan for one account and six devices for $23/mo. The difference between the plans is the Individual one does not offer downloading for offline viewing.
Alternatives to MasterClass: LinkedIn Learning, SkillShare, Coursera
Splice is a cloud-based music creation and collaboration platform. They offer industry-leading sample libraries, audio plug-ins, and integrations with most digital audio workstations, including Ableton, Logic Pro X, and FL Studio.
Losing your projects is a nightmare and worst-case scenario for every musician and producer. Artists can save and automatically backup their projects with every digital audio workstation to Splice for free. Their paid subscriptions grant access into the sample libraries, plug-ins, exclusive online events, and more. Even if you’re not interested in using their sample libraries, saving them to the cloud and having unlimited storage is a no-brainer.
Splice offers three plans: Sounds+ for $9.99/mo., Creator for $19.99/mo., and Creator+ for $29.99/mo.
Linktree is a free “link in bio” tool and landing page for content creators. They are headquartered in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia.
The way that Linktree works is that creators get one link that they can use in social media bios, emails, SMS marketing, and more. This Linktree link will take people who click on it to a landing page “tree” that links to other places, such as a merch store, Spotify profile, place to buy tickets for a tour, a recent podcast interview, and more. You can link to where you’d like.
Linktree has a few tiers, including a free tier. Their Starter plan is $4.5/mo., Pro is $8/mo., and Premium is $21/mo. All plans include unlimited links, a QR code, music links, Spotify embeds, and social icons.
Alternatives to Linktree: SmartURL, Koji, Tap Bio, Linkin.bio, Taplink
Hunter.io is a program used to find and verify email addresses. Personally, I’ve used this application in the past and have found it to be very useful.
Trying to contact someone at a record label or publishing company can be difficult unless you already know someone who has previously connected with them. As mentioned above, you’ll most likely be reaching out to these people quite frequently. Unless someone is very public facing, it can be difficult to get in touch with them and Hunter can help find and verify that email address.
Hunter uses a number of techniques to find and verify emails, such as scouring the internet and skimming, for example, an article a person may have done where their email is published.
While incredibly helpful and valuable, their pricing can get expensive if you’re on a budget. They do have a free plan that allows for 25 monthly searches and 50 monthly verifications. After that their Starter plan is $49/mo., Growth is $99/mo., Pro is $199/mo., and Business is $399/mo.
Alternatives to Hunter.io: RocketReach, ZoomInfo, Apollo.io, and UpLead
Clubhouse is a social audio platform that rose to prominence in 2020 at the start of the pandemic. They used to be invite-only, but it is now open to everyone on iOS and Android. They are headquartered in San Francisco, California and developed by Alpha Exploration Co.
Clubhouse is a great place to connect with other music professionals, perform live in rooms, and join in on conversations to showcase your expertise. A number of high profile experts across varying sectors of music are always joining in on rooms sharing their knowledge. It’s a best practice to find and follow the people you want to learn from so you are notified when they speak in a room.
Clubhouse is free to join and use.
Alternatives to Clubhouse: Twitter Spaces, Facebook Live Audio Rooms, Reddit Talk, Spotify Greenroom
GigSalad is a full-service platform for booking gigs. Musicians and creatives alike can join the platform and start getting booked for events in their area. They are headquartered in Springfield, Missouri.
Musicians looking to get their name out there could use GigSalad to expand their horizons and begin performing at events like weddings, concerts, birthday parties, and much more. If you live in a music hub like Los Angeles or Nashville, for example, you never know who’s going to be at a birthday party you’re hired for. That could be your next big break!
GigSalad offers a few tiers for those looking to get their name out and start getting events booked. They offer a free plan, but they claim it provides the fewest leads and there’s a 5% booking fee. Their Pro plan is $139/3 mos., and Featured is $169/3mos. and they claim it garners an average of 26x more leads than the Free plan.
Alternatives to GigSalad: The Bash, StarNow, Backstage, Jammcard
Acquired by Epic Games in 2022, Bandcamp is an online music streaming service that gives musicians an alternative to selling their music. Fans can purchase high quality music directly from their favorite artists. They are headquartered in Oakland, California.
Bandcamp is a great tool for musicians because of its ease of use and ability for fans to easily connect and support the music they love. Similar to distributing music through a distributor like Jamvana, they give musicians the flexibility they need to release music when and how they want. They can also set a minimum price for how much they’d like to receive for their album.
Bandcamp is free to use, but they will take a commission on every sale. They’ll charge 15% for digital items and when you reach $5,000 in sales, that rate drops to 10%. Bandcamp also charges a 10% fee for physical items as well as shipping and tax and their payment processor fees between 4-6%.
Bandcamp is not a distributor. In order to get your music on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, etc, you’ll need to use a service like Jamvana.
MusicTheory.net is a free resource for everything related to music theory. You can practice scales, do ear training, and even take short lessons to freshen up on those pesky Neapolitan chords.
Staying fresh on music theory and learning new techniques will only better you as a musician, and MusicTheory.net is an impeccable resource for that. Their exercises are great if you find yourself with 15-minutes of downtime like at the airport or the in-laws’ Thanksgiving get together.
Backblaze is an online cloud storage and data backup company that is headquartered in San Mateo, California.
Backblaze operates slightly differently than Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box does. It’s great for those with hard drives filled with samples, project files, and audio files. Download the free Backblaze application, plug in your hard drive, and it’ll begin uploading all of the files to Backblaze’s servers. You’ll get unlimited storage, files, and file size.
Backblaze will save up to 30 days worth of backups and then begin overwriting them with the most current ones after that. If your hard drive crashes, you can download the files for free from the web or have it shipped to you on a flash drive for $99 or an external drive for $189. You’ll receive a full refund upon the return of the flash drive or hard drive.
Their personal plan is only $7/mo.
Zapier is an online tool with thousands of integrations between web applications, allowing users to automate almost everything. They are based in Sunnyvale, California.
There are endless use cases for musicians and Zapier. One example would be everytime someone purchases a song on Bandcamp, add their contact information to a Google Sheet. Then when that Google Sheet is updated, Zapier can be triggered to send a notification in your team Slack. The chain of automations and possibilities are unlimited.
They do have a free tier, but it’s pretty limited in features. Their other plans are: Starter ($29.99/mo.), Professional ($73.50/mo.), Team ($448.50/mo.), and Company ($898.50/mo). The free plan should be enough to get your feet wet, and the Starter plan would be a great next step, especially if you’re going to need more automation.
There are new tools that can increase productivity popping up every single day and it can become difficult to sift through the herd of which ones are usable, how they function, and if they’re worth the price they’re charging. From automating your life with Zapier to selling your music on Bandcamp, all of these tools can fill in a blank in your career.
The products and services listed in this post are some of the most beneficial for artists and musicians.
Are there any products or services we missed? Share them in the comments because we’re always looking for the best products to improve productivity.