As a musician, you know how important it is to have solid, tried-and-trusted equipment and resources. Whether you’re trying to make it into the big leagues or just working to improve your craft, it pays to have tools you know you can rely on.
It can be tough sometimes to know where to spend your hard-earned money and where it’s okay to skimp a bit. That’s why we’ve put together this quick list of 3 areas where you really don’t want to spare expenses.
1. Solid Recording Tools
We’ve said it again and again (and again – probably more than we even realize!) that recording yourself while you’re playing is an invaluable way to spend your practice sessions. It gives you an opportunity to truly hear yourself and provides a way for you to share your music with other musicians so you can get even more valuable feedback.
You don’t need to have anything fancy to record your practice time, but there are definitely tools available to give you better results. If you’re strapped for cash and can’t buy anything new, try using your smartphone or tablet (such as an iPad) recorder. You’d be surprised at what that little box can do with its built-in microphone!
Take things a step further by investing in some recording apps that will provide you with more capabilities and potentially, better sound quality. Check out the free TASCAM PCM Recorder for iOS or the RecForge II Pro Audio Recorder for Android at just $3.24 US.
If you’re planning to share your work with others, consider making a small investment. Blue’s Mikey Digital plugs into any iPhone or iPad and creates a recording studio on-the-go. It’s small and super easy to set up. If you’re looking for something more affordable, consider the Dayton Audio iMM-6 Calibrated Measurement Microphone – compatible with iOS and Android.
For some other options, check out this article.
2. An Inviting and Informative Website
If you’re hoping to give live performances and book gigs, you probably won’t get very far without having your own website. A dedicated website for your band or your own music is better than any flyer or business card you can pass out. It makes you highly shareable, searchable, and gives you a more feasible way to share your music.
You can set up your own site with user-friendly platforms like WordPress or Blogger, but these options don’t give you any special tools to represent your music or playing skills. Instead, opt to build your site on a platform that was made specifically for musicians. Try out Bandzoogle or Reverbnation. These will both cost you a bit of money, but the investment is well worth it as you work to build a following.
3. Trusted Service Center
If you feel protective of your instrument, we’re not at all surprised. It’s important to take care of it to the best of your ability. But no matter how careful you are, accidents still happen. Normal wear and use can take a toll, too, and you may find yourself in need of repairs or specialized tuning.
Don’t just blindly trust any service center you find on Google. Ask other musicians you know where they bought their instrument or where they take it when they need help. Talk with other pianists and ask them who they trust to tune their piano and how often they do it.
If you don’t know any other musicians in your area, don’t fret! Pull up your local middle or high school website and track down an email address for the band or orchestra director. Send an email introducing yourself and give a short explanation for your note. Ask if they have any suggestions. Music teachers are often well connected in the community and are full of tons of helpful information. They’ll likely be happy to help point you in the right direction!
As you continue to make music, there will come a point when you’ll need to spend a little money to keep your instrument in good shape or to further your dreams. No matter your budget, always be sure to do your homework before investing in anything so you can find the right fit for you. Nobody knows your instrument, your abilities, or your talent better than you, so find the right tools that will help you play to your strengths.
What other tools or investments do you think are important for musicians?
Share with us in the comments!
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