One thing that’s so incredible about the indie songwriting community is how many people are willing to help other songwriters. There are so many wonderful resources out there to those interested in learning more.
In gratitude of the nuggets of wisdom I’ve received in the past few years, I thought I’d share a list of those that I have come across in case someone finds this blog post when looking for online songwriting resources. Some I’ve had personal experience with (which could mean I’ve attended their workshops or webinars even if I had my camera off and didn’t interact at all), while others are some that I’m only aware of but haven’t had a chance to learn from yet. (Note: mentions don’t indicate an endorsement – do your own research.)
Kris Bradley/Produce Like a Boss: Songwriter and producer Kris Bradley teaches other songwriters how to produce their own songs. I’ve learned SO much from her – she is so passionate about what she does and explains production in easy-to-understand terms. She’s created an incredible community, with a supportive Facebook group and live Q&As. Since my original goal when starting my songwriting journey was to record better versions of the songs I’d written through the years, I’m especially grateful for her courses.
Bree Noble/Profitable Musician: Founder of Women of Substance Radio, an online radio station, and the Female Indie Musician Community. She’s the author of “The Musician’s Profit Path” and I’ve learned a lot through her podcast “The Profitable Musician Show.” I’m a member of her Female Indie Musician Community, which provides wonderful resources in a community setting.
Sherilyn Keller, Release Music Like a Pro: I participated in Sherilyn’s mentor program earlier this year and released my first song, so I’m very grateful for her program. As part of the program, she walks you through the steps to release a song and is very encouraging and supportive along the way. This was sort of a dream course for me, as it was a small group and covered so many topics I had questions about.
Success With Music Conference
Modern Musician/Michael Walker: Modern Musician recently organized SWM 2022: Success With Music, a virtual music conference, which offered an incredible opportunity to learn from a variety of leaders in the music industry. Other Modern Musician programs include the Modern Musician Podcast, and workshops to help musicians grow their fanbase and make a profit.
Here were some of those who spoke at the SWM 2022 conference (in addition to Bree Noble and Kris Bradley; the other presenters are listed in the order they spoke at the conference) – each offers information and programs about different aspects of the music agency so whether you find this information helpful will depend where you are on your journey and where you want to go.
- Adam Ivy – marketing mentor and music producer who provides a lot of valuable information in his YouTube videos
- Chris SD/Sync Songwriter – music producer teachers musicians about licensing music to TV and film and provides a lot of good information on his blog/vlog.
- ill.Gates/Dylan Lane – online music education portal and Producer Dojo record label
- Sean Taylor – tips on how to find success with TikTok and Instagram Reels
- Tobias Rauscher/Fanbase Academy – growing an online fanbase
- Kristine Mirelle – A pop artist and founder of Music Hustler, where she provides a number of resources for artists
- Wendy Parr – Songwriter, vocal coach, vocal producer, speaker, educator and creator of The Artist Circle
- Ariel Hyatt – founder of Cyber PR, “an artist development and marketing strategy firm serving musicians and music-related brands.” Her website offers lots of free resources for musicians related to marketing and social media
- Friedemann Findeisen/Holistic Songwriting – Songwriting coach with a YouTube channel, “Holistic Songwriting“; author of “The Addiction Formula” and “Getting Things Made,” an interactive journal; and creator of “The Songwriting Decks.”
- Michael Elsner/Master Music Licensing: A guitarist, songwriter, composer and producer who teaches songwriters and musicians about successfully licensing their music to TV shows, films, video games, commercials and more. His programs include a Master Music Licensing Course, a seven-day sync-ready challenge and a free-ebook, “The 4-Step Plan to Licensing Success.”
- Gabe Schillinger/Legion Beats/Midi Money – teaches music producers how to sell beats
- Danielle Tucker – Singer and vocal coach
- Andrea Stolpe – Creative consultant who holds retreats for songwriters and the author of “Popular Lyric Writing: 10 Steps to Effective Storytelling.” Her site also features songwriting videos.
- Sidney Eugene/Learn MBE: Learn MBE (Learn Music Business Essentials) is an “international educational space dedicated to helping creatives monetize their music more effectively.”
What an incredible wealth of knowledge and generosity that Modern Musician put together for this conference! (Full disclosure, I was working during most of the conference so wasn’t able to attend live and am still in the process of watching the videos…) Before this I only knew about Kris Bradley, Bree Noble and Michael Elsner so I appreciated learning about the others as well.
Additional songwriting resources
Here are a few other helpful resources I’ve found along the way that I hope to learn more about in the future (in no particular order):
Ari Herstand/Ari’s Take Academy: Offers music business education courses. Ari Herstand is the author of “How to Make it in the New Music Business” and host of the New Music Business podcast – he also presents a lot of helpful information on his social media channels.
Songtown: A songwriting community founded by pro-songwriters Marty Dodson and Clay Mills. Lots of great songwriting resources there and The SongTown Podcast. (The most recent episode is called “Sharks in the Water” and warns about scammers and bad deals in the music industry so that’s important to be aware of, too.)
Sync It! Music: Indie artists Sonnet Simmons and John Clinebell founded the Licensing Basecamp sync community. John Clinebell was the main instructor when I took Catch the Moon’s Six-Figure Songwriting course, which was created by the incredible Cathy Heller) so it’s cool to see what he’s up to now!
Sam’s Recording Academy: Sam Knaak (who produced the song I just released last month) has a mentorship program for recording, mixing and production that I hope to explore soon, too.
Steve Collom: Steve was a guest in the Release Music Like Pro class and has a great positive energy and enthusiasm for helping songwriters.
Cari Cole: I learned about Cari Cole at the beginning of the pandemic when she generously offered her “Step Up to the Spotlight” course for free. I learned a lot through her course and through her encouraging live Facebook Live events.
Kevin Thomas/Songwriting Planet: Lots of helpful information about songwriting.
Ryan Waczek/Indie Music Academy: Resources for Indie musicians
I’m sure there are many more I’m missing, but hopefully these are some starting points for those looking for resources. (You can also try local resources – like songwriting communities in your area. Shout out to the Arizona Songwriters Association, which has been an important part of my own journey.)
In trying to decide what to do next, I’m trying to figure out what my goal actually is.
Originally it was simply to make high-quality recordings of the songs I’d written since high school. So far I haven’t done that because I ended up starting writing new songs instead and have spent the past few years learning about the craft of songwriting and writing lots of songs.
My goal for this year was to record and release a song (and thanks to Sherilyn’s guidance, I did that!) Now I have many more songs I want to record so do I focus on learning more production skills so I can record my own songs? Or do I work with a producer/musician who can write better music to my songs because I only know a few chords and have only very basic knowledge of music theory? Or do I work on improving my guitar and piano skills so I can write my own music? I guess my next step is to figure out which direction to go and I’m very appreciative to all of the above for their willingness to educate others.
Feel free to add additional resources in the comments!