Music is a fast-paced, ever-changing industry, and navigating different channels of music distribution can at times be overwhelming. Sometimes the best way to ease this frustration is simply to sit back, relax, and read a good book – especially one that will help you with your musical career. We’ve made a list of four books that every indie musician should read, both to help you in the indie world and to inspire you as an artist.
- The Indie Band Survival Guide
This book is a comprehensive guide to making it as a DIY musician. Its authors, Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan, are themselves members of the Chicago indie rock band Beatnik Turtle, and they provide an in-depth, first-hand account of how to succeed in the modern music industry. While other guides to the music industry are becoming outdated, their updated 2nd edition remains relevant and is packed full of invaluable information. Read this book to find out how to use the internet to market your band, how to get on different music distribution platforms like iTunes and Spotify, how to use social media, and learn about legal aspects of the indie music industry.
- The New Rockstar Philosophy
This book is another valuable resource for the DIY artist in the modern musical era. It’s authors, Matt Voyno and Roshan Hoover, have been on all sides of the industry, as musicians, promoters, managers, and marketers. It talks about the philosophy of the new music industry and gives insights into how it works, but it also gives advice on real things musicians can do to make their careers more successful – specifically how to utilize the digital world. It is useful for anyone interested in a music career, as an artist, producer, or otherwise.
- Songwriters on Songwriting
This book is an unbelievable compilation of interviews with some of the greatest singer-songwriters of all time. Written by Paul Zollo, it has been expanded three times and now contains over 60 interviews with icons of the music industry – including Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Paul Simon, Lenny Kravitz, Alanis Morissette, Carole King, and many more. It is an opportunity to look inside the minds of the greats, learn how they approach songwriting, and just to be inspired by great musicians. It is a great read for anyone who is interested in how artists make their music, and also a possible cure to writer’s block.
- The Music Lesson – A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music
This is the only fictional book on this list, and it is all about how music is connected to out lives. Written by Victor Wooten, Grammy-winner and renowned bassist, it’s an important read for anyone who listens to or makes music, and it will deepen your relationship with the music in your life. While it isn’t about music theory or the indie music industry, it might change your perspective on music, make you see it in a new light, and perhaps inspire you to make more of it.
We hope these four books help you in your journey as an indie musician. If you’re done reading them and still want to find out more about music distribution and indie music news, follow our SongCast blog!