Featured image shows someone at a piano and reads Best apps for independent musicians

In today’s music industry, there are really no excuses for not having success as an independent artist in some way or other. Various apps have literally levelled the playing field for new and unheard of artists. In today’s post, we are going to discuss the best apps for independent musicians and why you need to be using these apps to grow your career further.

Key Takeaways on the Best Apps for Independent Musicians

After reading this post, you will…

  • …have a plan of action where you implement at least some of these apps
  • …understand how these apps can support your music career
  • …have the confidence to continue and grow your music career to new heights

Best Apps For Independent Musicians: Distribution and Publishing

DistroKid

I believe Distrokid is probably the quickest app to get your music onto the music streaming and retail platforms. It sends your music to around 150 different platforms so that fans and potential fans can quickly and easily access your music.

Distrokid also offers services such as Shazam identification, lyric uploads and you can also create royalty splits.

However, Distrokid require either an annual payment to keep your music in the online stores and streaming platforms, or alternatively, you can pay an additional fee when you upload your music to Distrokid to keep your music there indefinitely. This has made me really consider whether Distrokid is really right for our music, or whether I should opt for a free alternative.

Free Alternatives to Distrokid

There are plenty of free alternatives to Distrokid. When I say free, I mean no annual costs or hidden charges. However, they each take around 10% of the royalties generated from your music releases. This means they have a vested interest in your music success. They are going to want you to be successful so you’re basically in good hands.

You can find out more about free distribution services here.

Best Apps For Independent Musicians: Music Production

GarageBand (iOS)

GarageBand is a user-friendly app that lets musicians create music with a fully-featured recording studio. It includes a variety of virtual instruments and loops. As it is a fully working digital audio workstation, you can also get free VST plugin instruments and effects to further enhance your music and make the music you always dreamed of.

FL Studio Mobile

As a big fan of FL Studio, I think they have the best digital audio workstation on the market. Image Line (the company who make FL Studio) have created apps for all kinds of hardware devices from desktops to your smartphone.

I believe FL Studio are the best because they have a very user-friendly workflow, an extensive range of stock plugins and they also offer free upgrades for life when you purchase the Producer Edition or higher. Although, the price is between £89 and £515 (depending on how many extra goodies you want thrown into the mix), they are the best, easiest to use and you can create music to exceptionally high standards.

So Now You’re Thinking Should I Opt For Garage Band or FL Studio?

If you are wondering whether you should go for Garage Band or FL Studio, here is my advice.

I believe this decision should really depend on what genre of music you wish to make. If you want to make rock music, go for Garage Band. However, if you wish to make any electronic genre, I highly recommend that you go for FL Studio. Both FL Studio and Garage Band are available on both PC and Mac operating systems.

Plugin Boutique

Plugin Boutique offer a range of free VST plugins and deals. However, there are literally hundreds of instrument and effects plugins on Plugin Boutique. They are my go-to for great deals and even when I want to check a plugin out further, I always check to see whether they have it on Plugin Boutique.

I am an affiliate of Plugin Boutique. Therefore, I often include links to Plugin Boutique in my posts. If you click them and make a purchase, I will make a small commission. I just want to say a BIG THANK YOU in advance if you decide to purchase through my links. This helps me to provide for my wife and son.

Best Apps For Independent Musicians: Promotion and Social Media

Bandcamp

Perhaps the best thing about Bandcamp is that people can decide how much they want to pay for your music. This is what brings people back to Bandcamp time and again. Please note that you can decide on a minimum investment if you want to earn more money from your work. However, it is known that when people are given the option to decide how much they spend, they are more likely to be generous.

You can use Bandcamp for free too.

Scheduling Apps

There are various scheduling apps that are great to use. I actually use two or three of them and share my music far and wide. My scheduling apps are Social Bee, Revive Old Posts and I also use the scheduling service on Canva.

Canva

Canva is fantastic for making all kinds of social media posts, videos, even audios. The content I create is of the highest quality too.

Another thing I like about Canva is the Content Planner. This allows me to plan my content over time. I can also schedule posts through the Content Planner.

Best Apps for Independent Artists: Fan Engagement and Networking

Patreon

As a musician, you can build a subscription content service, where fans can become patrons offering financial support in exchange for exclusive experiences or content. You decide what you want to offer, how much you require from supporters and make sure that you do what you say you will. Remember, your supporters will expect something in return. Even if they want to support you because you make your own music, you need to be sure to make that music and do what you say you will. Therefore, they might not want you to give them anything in return, but they will expect that you do what you say you will and make your content or whatever you do as an artist.

Hypeddit

Hypeddit is another service that I always use. With this service, I can build my social media following, my email list, YouTube subscribers and much more. Most of my email marketing list and my YouTube subscribership have come as a result of using Hypeddit. It is very inexpensive and cheap, yet very effective. I would go so far as to call it a music artist’s best dream.

Best Apps for Independent Artists: Live Performance and Booking

Stageit.com

Stageit.com provide a platform so that you can perform live online, make money from fans, hold contests and much more. I believe it is one of the best apps for independent artists because it is easy to use, free for artists and you can grow your audience and fanbase as a result of using Stageit.com.

For me, performing live is something that I tend to avoid. Even though I have a master’s degree in performance, I believe that my compositional skills are better than my performance skills. I can play five instruments, but don’t really see myself as a performer.

Best Apps For Independent Artists: Learning and Improvement

Learning For Free

YouTube

YouTube is fantastic for learning about anything you want to know. I watch it for a wide range of interests. In fact, I don’t watch terrestrial television any more. The last time I watched the BBC, ITV, or Channel’s 4 or 5 here in the UK was Christmas. I consider TV to be a dying media. Having read that, you might find it surprising that I listen to the radio on most days. I like to listen to the radio when I do the washing up.

YouTube provide me with something like 98% of my video media. So much so, that I am happy to pay for ad-free video viewing. I pay Google £12.99 per month for my YouTube subscription

My wife and I watch a film on a Saturday evening. That is the only time I don’t watch YouTube. .

Blogs and Google

There are many good music marketing blogs. I hope you will consider Krannaken.com to be one of them, but here are a list of blogs that you can start with.

If you know what you’re looking for, you can also do a Google search and you can find many answers to whatever you want to find out.

Music Software Bundles from Pluginboutique.com

Premium Resources

Sonic Academy

Sonic Academy is a fantastic resource if you want to make electronic music. It covers a wide range of digital audio workstations and subgenres of electronic music. Electronic music does cover a multitude of different genres. However, you can search for your genre on Sonic Academy and find something that is great for you and your music tastes.

Producertech

Although it couldn’t be considered to be as prolific as Sonic Academy, Producertech is still an excellent resource. It is particularly good for tutorials about hardware such as Native Instruments’ Maschine series.

Soundgym

The main goal of Soundgym is to train your ears to detect sounds and properly hear what you are recording so that you can make great music. The better your hearing is, the better the music you can make.

Soundgym also has a substantial focus on music production tutorials. Once you are subscribed to Soundgym, the tutorials are an added bonus.

Yousician

An interactive tool for learning guitar, bass, ukulele, piano, or singing. It also provides instant feedback and designed courses to improve skills.

It should be noted that there are different ways to build your performance skills. Different learning methodologies are great for different people. Some people will be able to read music easily in paper form. Others will play by ear. Some people are even perfect pitch. Therefore, Yousician may not be suitable for your own learning preferences.

Udemy

Udemy offers a wealth of different courses in different areas of music. Courses that may interest musicians would include performance training, music production, music business, social media, marketing and email marketing. There is a lot of business tutorials and courses that you can take that can be applied to your music business.

Readly

The final app in this list of the best apps for independent musicians is one of the best. Readly offer daily newspapers, magazines on a wealth of different subjects. However, there are also all of the top music magazines. These include names like Computer Music Magazine, Future Music Magazine, Total Guitar, Guitar Techniques and many others. There are magazines for fans, magazines for businesses and magazines for performers. It’s all hear and I read Readly first when I want to find out anything that I need to know. One great thing about Readly is that they are updated as soon as magazines are published. I even get my daily newspaper, Daily Express, on Readly. The app costs something like £9.99 per month and this gives you unlimited access.

Conclusion

These apps cover a wide range of needs and can help independent musicians handle everything from music creation to fan engagement effectively.

  • How to Promote Your Music With AI

    How to Promote Your Music With AI

    With current and future artificially intelligent technology, the act of promoting your music with AI can be highly effective. You can leverage advanced technologies to reach a broader audience and engage fans. It is something that will feature in the next edition of The Complete Guide to Music Marketing. Therefore, AI is a big deal…

  • How to Promote Your Music With No Money in 2024

    How to Promote Your Music With No Money in 2024

    If you want to promote your music with no money in 2024, you’ve come to the right place. There are numerous reasons why spending as little or no money at all is beneficial to a lot of people. Some people simply don’t have the money. Others just don’t want to spend money when there is…

  • Social Media For Singers:  The Ultimate Guide

    Social Media For Singers: The Ultimate Guide

    Just as with all musicians social media has become an essential asset for singers to share their work, put the word out and build something of a musical career. I know that our music doesn’t really bother with music, preferring the abstract quality, but that’s not the case for everyone. Therefore, I have put together…