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Instruments and Resources for Musicians

This list probably will grow more than any other as we add links to instructional and instrument-specific sites.

AbeBooks offers almost 50 categories of music books. Most are genres, with a few aimed at training, appreciation and similar topics. “The magic of AbeBooks is filling your shelves with affordable books, discovering that long-lost title, finding an out-of-print or collectible book that’s become hard to find, or discovering something magical from the past that you simply did not know existed – perhaps a letter from a famous author, a 19th century postcard or a copy of a long-defunct magazine.”

ACT4Music, or Advancing Creative Transformation for Music is an artist-centric organization dedicated to the furthering of creative music and the uplift of the many musicians who contribute to this community.

A Brief History of Drums – Where it all Began
They just want to play…

History of Drums
…and bang on the drum all day.

Americana Music Association
The Americana Music Association is a professional trade organization whose mission is to advocate for the authentic voice of American Roots Music around the world.

The Americana Music Association® works closely with those in our industry, whether artists, labels, radio stations, retailers, print media, festivals, agents, publishers, etc. to help organize and build the infrastructure necessary for our genre to achieve success both creatively and financially.

All Record Labels is a database of over 25,000 record label/netlabel web sites or Wikipedia links indexed by genre, format, and location. Browsing by genre, format, city and country

The site seems to have stopped updating in 2012, but much valuable data certainly is available for those doing a deep dive. The databases seem massive.

All the Musical Instruments of the World
Images of hundreds of instruments.

American Federation of Musicians
80,000 musicians comprise the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM). We perform in orchestras, backup bands, festivals, clubs and theaters—both on Broadway and on tour. AFM members also make music for films, TV, commercials and sound recordings. As the largest union of musicians in the world, we have the power to make the music industry work for musicians.

Nina Simone

BandMix.com is the largest musicians wanted and musician classifieds online! With thousands of musicians in your area, you have thousands of opportunities to connect.

You take care of the music/We’ll take care of the industry. The system makes it hard for independent artists. Beat The System with Beatchain. Tools to help you connect with your fans. Distribution to every major streaming platform.

A Brief History of the Guitar
The guitar is an ancient and noble instrument, whose history can be traced back over 4000 years. Many theories have been advanced about the instrument’s ancestry. It has often been claimed that the guitar is a development of the lute, or even of the ancient Greek kithara. Research done by Dr. Michael Kasha in the 1960’s showed these claims to be without merit. He showed that the lute is a result of a separate line of development, sharing common ancestors with the guitar, but having had no influence on its evolution. The influence in the opposite direction is undeniable, however – the guitar’s immediate forefathers were a major influence on the development of the fretted lute from the fretless oud which the Moors brought with them to Spain.

American Federation of Musicians
80,000 musicians comprise the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM). We perform in orchestras, backup bands, festivals, clubs and theaters—both on Broadway and on tour. AFM members also make music for films, TV, commercials and sound recordings. As the largest union of musicians in the world, we have the power to make the music industry work for musicians.

BandMix.com is the largest musicians wanted and musician classifieds online! With thousands of musicians in your area, you have thousands of opportunities to connect.

The Caravan Project
The idea of this site is to capture the [songwriting] process, share ideas and hopefully learn a thing or two along the way. Of course it’ll also be a place where I put anything else that interests me (that’s why I made a “Stuff” category in the nav bar). In fact over the past year or so I’ve refined the kind of content I put up with the addition of lists probably the main thing. I’ve always loved lists in any form, and it’s a bunch of fun coming up with ideas and presenting the results.

History of the Guitar
Acoustic to Electric, Ancient to Modern: There’s something about a guitar solo that can make an unremarkable song into a phenomenon, and even non-musicians will usually have a favorite guitarist, whether that’s Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, or, well, you get the picture… Music is a vital part of our cultural expression, and perhaps no musical instrument has shaped the development of music through modern history as much as the guitar. But what’s the history of the guitar itself? Why did this one instrument become the iconic symbol of 20th Century musical genres such as jazz, blues, and—of course—rock and roll?

The Institute of Musical Instrument Technology
The Institute of Musical Instrument Technology was founded in 1938 from the ideas of Sydney Hurren to advance musical instrument technology through the exchange of information and ideas.

Since its foundation the Institute of Musical Instrument Technology (IMIT) has been recognised as the main professional body covering the whole of the musical instrument industry. Past presidents have included piano-makers, organ-builders, a harpsichord-maker and bell-founder among others. Its membership includes leaders in design, construction, maintenance and restoration of most types of musical instruments, such as brass, woodwind, and bowed stringed instrument makers, as well as electronic instrument innovators and constructors. Membership of the Institute is the only professional qualification covering the whole field of musical instruments.

The Jazz Journalists Association
The Jazz Journalists Association (JJA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that supports the creation and dissemination of accurate, balanced, ethical and informative journalism on all of jazz’s genres and encourages the creative use of media to spur the growth, development and education of the audience for jazz. It is a membership-supported organization, providing forums for the discussion of jazz-related issues and events, fostering the development of journalistic and presentation skills among emerging journalists (writers, photographers, broadcasters, videographers, and new media users) as well as offering opportunities and encouraging the development of new skills — including knowledge of online and social medi — to journalists already engaged in the field.

Know Your Bass Player
It’s not a chord until we play a note!

It all started one ordinary day in 2014 when a notable veteran media colleague inquired “…was Paul McCartney the bass player in The Beatles?” Later that evening, my wife and I were watching Later…with Jools Holland on the telly and she suddenly turned to me and said “Sting plays a guitar that looks like yours…is he a bass player?”  Right then, I was on a mission.

LiveTrigger is the most advanced live music community of the planet. It connects bands, venues, bookers and musicians to book amazing live music shows!

If you are an Artist, on LiveTrigger you will find those venues you would like to play at, and the artist you would like to play with. It will open you heaps of new opportunities!

If you are a Venue or a Promoter, on LiveTrigger you will find those artists you would like to work with. It will save you time and money!

Music Business Worldwide
Music Business Worldwide (MBW) is a free, in-depth news, jobs and analysis platform for the global music industry.

Musical Instrument Guide
The evolution, mechanisms, and playing methods of a range of instruments.” The story covers 21 families of instruments.

Music Ally launched in 2002 with a mission to help the global music industry to thrive from digital disruption rather than fear it. In those early days, we published news and analysis of the way technology was impacting the industry, and provided strategy and research to enable music companies to navigate that landscape. We have always maintained a balanced view, paid for by subscriptions rather than advertising.

Musician’s Friend
Musician’s Friend was founded in 1983 by Rob and DeAnna Eastman. Newly married, the Eastmans financed the start-up with a $5,000 loan from Rob’s parents and ran the business out of their suburban California garage. Eventually relocating headquarters from San Diego to a dairy barn in Southern Oregon, Rob and DeAnna, along with brother-in-law, Al Dinardi, grew the business into a prominent direct marketer of music gear.

Our first catalog was just a simple two-color flyer offering discounted guitar strings and a handful of other accessories. With a combination of hard work and intimate knowledge of the music business, things quickly changed. We were among the earliest catalog marketers of music gear and the first to focus on rock-band gear, so we experienced amazingly rapid growth.

Robert Hunter. Photo: Brian Gatens
Robert Hunter

Oddmusic is home to unique, odd, ethnic, experimental and unusual musical instruments and resources. Tour the Gallery, see in-depth sections featuring artisans who blazed new trails or are on the cutting edge of new and previously unheard musical instruments. Look, listen, and explore music and musical instruments that aren’t part of the mainstream

Artist Development and Production
Artist Development and Production.com is a blog destination where you can find information about pursuing your career as a singer, songwriter, or recording artist.

ASCAP is a membership association of more than 740,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers. We uphold the value of our members’ music, and help them thrive alongside the businesses that use their music every day.

In between tours, Chris worked at the record label, building websites for multi-platinum selling artists. To save time, he built a “control panel” to let managers and artists make the changes themselves. Realizing this could also help independent bands and musicians build and update their own websites, Chris launched Bandzoogle in late 2003.

It links to lots of Looking for music books? Biblio.com hosts over 5500 of the finest online book stores and booksellers, including specialists in music. Use the list below to locate a specific specialist bookseller or book store near you. Or, use the form below to search the inventory of all booksellers who specialize in music.

Create with 45,000 musicians around the world — through a community of sharing and open music. Explore remixes, samples and polls. Join the mixversation in our forums. Creative Commons allows free non-commercial use of our music – just Attribute. (CC-BY tracks can even be used commercially with Attribution!)

CD Baby
CD Baby, Inc. is the largest online distributor of independent music in the world. The company has been described as an “anti-label” by Tracy Maddux. CD Baby is the only digital aggregator with top preferred partner status with both Spotify and Apple Music, and it is home to more than 650,000 artists and 9 million tracks that are made available to over 100 digital services and platforms around the globe. (Description: Wikipedia)

Civil War Sheet Music
The Civil War Sheet Music Collection at the Library of Congress consists of over 2500 pieces culled from the Library’s collections. This collection is unique in that it offers a contemporary perspective from both sides of the conflict, unfiltered by generations of historical interpretation. Recurring themes in this collection include emancipation (represented by sundry polkas and quicksteps), constitutional reconstruction, reconciling the nation, and of course, songs heralding the Union or the Confederacy. The collection is limited to music about the war and therefore does not include every piece of sheet music published during the war. In addition to the music, many of the covers are worth noting. They treat a variety of subjects ranging from conventional portraits of generals to battlefield scenes to the popular image of Jefferson Davis escaping in petticoats.

They call themselves “The source for new music from emerging bands” but there’s so much from established bands here as well. Daytrotter records live sessions with musicians (recently: Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers) and makes them available for you to watch/listen to (you need to be a member to watch videos). You can queue up music in the Daytrotter player on the bottom of your page while you listen to varied playlists from readers as well as artists. (Description: Forbes)

The heart of Discogs is a user-built database of music. More than 492,000 people have contributed some piece of knowledge, to build up a catalog of more than 11,934,000 recordings and 6,115,000 artists. We’re far from done and you can contribute too! Discogs also offers the ability to catalog your music collection, wantlist, and share your ratings and reviews.

We dedicated ourselves to creating a culture of mutual support between artists and help them advance their careers by providing: Innovative Music Promotion Tools; Platform for Exchange of Services and Earning Income; Environment Encouraging Networking and Collaboration

Imagine a community where you can connect with others to collaborate, exchange ideas and share knowledge. A place that unites all musicians and provides them with a unique approach to promote their work. The musical home for all artists worldwide.

Elicit Magazine is an online music magazine based out of Buffalo, NY. We work to give musicians the opportunity to be heard by the people they’ve always dreamed would vibe to their music. Maximum exposure is great, quality exposure is better.

“We’re interested in the singers and songwriters who are so passionate about what they do, that no matter what, they will always be a music artist. We’re looking for people who have a dream to succeed, to persevere through the rejection letters and phone calls from the record labels that they wanted to be a part of the most.

Free Music Archive
We welcome all creators around the world to search, find and use music from our websites in their projects. The options: If your project has no budget check out SEARCH FMA and make sure you respect and follow the (CC) licensing conditions. If you have a (small) budget and need verified, safe to use music for your project… check SAFE, ROYALTY FREE MUSIC.

Fret 12
From studio to stage and everywhere between, Fret Twelve peels back the curtain with a raw, behind-the-scenes look into the bands and artists that make music culture what it is today.

The Sound and The Story Documentary Series, produced by Fret Twelve, boasts never-before-seen interviews, storytelling and in-depth coverage of some of today’s most influential musicians.

Albert Collins (Photo: Sumori)

Good Music All Day
Mission: To provide people access to the best music daily and provide artists, aspiring and established, a platform to connect with fans even closer.

Guitar World
Guitar World  is the world’s leading guitar magazine. Professionals and beginners alike turn to Guitar World for top-flight coverage of their favorite artists, from rock titans like Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Metallica’s Kirk Hammett to contemporary stars like the White Stripes’ Jack White and Tool’s Adam Jones. Every issue of Guitar World magazine offers broad-ranging interviews that cover technique, instruments and lifestyles as well as Guitar World’s famously thorough lessons and transcriptions. [Editor’s Note: Four other titles – Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar Techniques and Bass Player – link to Guitar World. They seem to be more or less discreet sites, but work off the Guitar World URL.

Guitarist is the longest established UK guitar magazine, offering gear reviews, artist interviews, techniques lessons and loads more, in print, on tablet and on smartphones

Hal Leonard
In its catalog of more than 1 million available titles, Hal Leonard represents many of the world’s best known and most respected publishers, artists, songwriters, arrangers and musical instrument manufacturers. Its products are sold in more than 65 countries throughout the world through Hal Leonard offices and a large network of distributors. Domestically, the company markets to more than 7,500 music stores in the United States and Canada through a team of 50 in-house sales representatives.

HearThis.at offers “2.000.000+ tracks, sounds and mixes” and the ability for users to upload their own up to 500 MB of music each week for free. It offers detailed real time stats for streams, downloads and podcast; cover, background and image slideshows for tracks and more.

Every day we share the news, trends, and tools driving the new music industry. Music Business, Music Tech, DIY and other tabs at the top of the site will help you explore our content.

Incredibox is a music app that lets you create your own music with the help of a merry crew of beatboxers. Choose your musical style among 7 impressive atmospheres and start to lay down, record and share your mix.

Inspiration is Everything
We are a team of artists, songwriters, label executives, A&R, composers, music supervisors, filmmakers and archivists who have seen firsthand the power of telling a good story.

With the support of like-minded partners, we are working to aggregate the stories behind songs and document the artist perspective – always first-person, artist-told. This is our focus today. Together, we are re-igniting a culture of storytelling that propels music to a new place.

Discover labels, release demos, contribute or add your own label to the fast growing record labels database.

LiveTrigger is the most advanced live music community of the planet. It connects bands, venues, bookers and musicians to book amazing live music shows!

If you are an Artist, on LiveTrigger you will find those venues you would like to play at, and the artist you would like to play with. It will open you heaps of new opportunities!

If you are a Venue or a Promoter, on LiveTrigger you will find those artists you would like to work with. It will save you time and money!

MostlyMusic.com, the first online Jewish music retailer, is the internet’s number one seller of Jewish music.

We know that if sounds get our attention, the stories hold it; if the songs create fans, the stories create super fans. We believe song stories come in all shapes and sizes and, most importantly, belong in the same place – connected by their genre – and decade-spanning similarities.

The stories found at Music.com are the origins of culture on display – destined for a national museum.

If You are an artist (y)our song stories belong in the archive. We will work tirelessly to propel and nurture your story. We will give it lasting relevance in a world that seems to conspire to make it disposable. Get creative and have fun with it: documentary-style, selfie-style, animated, slideshow, VR – this is another form of creative expression.

If You are a fan (c)ome explore, engage, and support the artists that help make the world go around.

This is a frustrating site: It offers music training electronically, but doesn’t provide any details or deeper description. It seems to feature flute, trombone, double reeds, saxophone, soprano and bass clarinet, French horn and tuba, trumpet, viola, violin and cello.

Myspace is a place where people come to connect, discover, and share. Showcasing artists and their work, the site gives people access to 53 million tracks and videos-the world’s largest digital music library. With roots in music and social, the platform is built to empower all artists-from musicians and designers to writers and photographers-helping them connect with audiences, collaborators, and partners to achieve their goals.

New Music USA
New Music USA is the leading national resource for new music. We are here for the whole new music community – we support and connect music makers, organizations, and audiences by: providing financial support through our project grants; fostering new connections through our programs and deepening knowledge and encouraging appreciation through our online magazine NewMusicBox, our radio station Counterstream, and our New Music Directory.

gary davis
Rev. Gary Davis

Online Music Database
[Y]ou can browse through all the Artists in the database, enter artist/album information, view/add music related links, get some simple database statistics or search the database. Sorry if you are put off by the simple look and design of this site – it’s always been our philosophy (put so well on the back of a Todd Rundgren t-shirt during the No World Order “Todd Pod” tour) that “It’s the content, stupid!”. There are currently over 23000 albums and 8800 artists listed in this database. The database has existed in several forms and locations on the WWW since 1993. Without users like you it could never have happened.

Pollstar, The Voice of Live Entertainment for over 38 years, provides the most up-to-date, relevant and useful data available for the global concert industry, delivering an unmatched archive of live entertainment data, a focus on editorial excellence, and the most powerful metrics of entertainment industry success available anywhere.

Premiere Guitar
Premier Guitar is the world’s foremost authority on all things guitar and bass, bringing the best gear coverage to readers on every platform. Our staff is comprised of experienced, passionate musicians who are committed to delivering high-quality, independent journalism to a global audience. Our award-winning content is viewed worldwide by millions of guitarists and bassists.

Society for Musical Theory
The Society for Music Theory promotes the development of and engagement with music theory as a scholarly and pedagogical discipline. We construe this discipline broadly as embracing all approaches, from conceptual to practical, and all perspectives, including those of the scholar, listener, composer, performer, teacher, and student. The Society is committed to fostering diversity, inclusivity, and gender equity in the field.

Songwhip is a free smart music link service that allows artists to reach their entire audience with a single link. It’s smart algorithm is able to create rich landing pages that link out to over 14 music streaming platforms, in just a few seconds.

We’re a small team, but we’re passionate. Our staff is highly dedicated to get you sorted out in case you run into any problems. We never allow any kind of harassment or bullying on our site.

As a company, we always strive to be ethical, without cutting any corners. We allow our artists to sell or license their music through us, and believe that there will always be plenty of people willing to support artists by purchasing their music. We take copyrights very serious. Because we believe that artists deserve to be properly credited and reimbursed for their art.

As the world’s largest music and audio platform, SoundCloud lets people discover and enjoy the greatest selection of music from the most diverse creator community on earth. Since launching in 2008, the platform has become renowned for its unique content and features, including the ability to share music and connect directly with artists, as well as unearth breakthrough tracks, raw demos, podcasts and more. This is made possible by an open platform that directly connects creators and their fans across the globe. Music and audio creators use SoundCloud to both share and monetise their content with a global audience, as well as receive detailed stats and feedback from the SoundCloud community.

We’re providing a home for the creative and curious to discover something new and take a leap forward in their musical journey. On Soundfly, you can explore a great article about how your favorite artist achieved her sound, sign up for a free course that challenges you in a single sitting, or invest in your sound by joining a Mainstage course with a personal mentor.

Most importantly, we’re here to nerd out with you about this magical thing we all love called music…

Soundtrap is the first cloud-based audio recording platform to work across all operating systems, enabling users to co-create music and podcasts anywhere in the world. There are three Soundtrap products: Soundtrap for Storytellers, a podcasting solution; Soundtrap for Music Makers, a music creation tool; and Soundtrap for Education, used by children 6 to 16 years and through higher/further-education markets.

Digital royalties are fees that service providers such as Pandora, SiriusXM and webcasters are required by law to pay for streaming musical content. These royalties are paid by the services to SoundExchange, and accompanied with playlists of all the recordings played by the service provider.

It is our role to take these payments, allocate the fees to the recordings according to how often each song was played, and then pay the featured artist(s) and rights owners of those recordings. We have paid out more than $5 billion in royalties since our first distribution.

Sheet Music Plus
Sheet Music Plus features all styles of music, for every talent level and instrument. Whether you’re a music teacher seeking instructional titles for your students or you’re purchasing music for your band, orchestra or chorus, we have what you need.

Total Guitar
The one-stop shop for all things guitar: the best new gear, guitar lessons and scoops on the players you care about.

Before TuneCore, artists needed a label to get their music sold online. In 2006, we changed the game by partnering with digital stores to allow any musician to sell their songs worldwide while keeping 100% of their sales revenue. Today, TuneCore is the world’s leading digital music aggregator. Upload your music, complete the checkout, and we’ll do the rest. Your music will hit digital stores like Spotify and Apple Music in no time.

We started Tunescribers in early 2016, when one of us (Jeff) really wanted to learn how to play a Chinese pop song called 雙魚的責任 (Shuangyu de zeren) by Bill Bounce.  He went online to find someone to create the sheet music, and soon discovered that these services were surprisingly expensive, and the process for purchasing the services was slow and cumbersome and really didn’t fit today’s “get it fast, get it right” model for buying online.  So turning a problem into an opportunity, Jeff put a team together and started Tunescribers.

Ultimate Guitar
With chords and tabs for over 1,100,000 songs, Ultimate Guitar (UG) is easily the most badass and fastest growing guitarist community in the world that creates, learns and shares tabs.

VAI Music
Video Artists International is an independent record/ video label. We opened our doors in 1983.

For over 30 years, our mission is to issue definitive performing arts recordings by the world’s foremost artists. Our catalogue ranges from historical recordings on CD and DVD to state-of-the-art digital Blu-ray offerings.

Vintage Guitar Magazine
JOIN THE PARTY! Vintage and new in one place! So, yes, you can have it both ways! Vintage Guitar magazine delivers info on the coolest vintage gear, the hottest new gear and music, and all the great players, new and old.

West Music
Our goal isn’t to link to music training, though we cover sites that focus on musicians and the Web. That said, we also cheat. This looks like a good collection: “For classic string compositions, books on jazz saxophone method, beginner horn pieces, performance guides for seasonal music and much more, West Music has cultivated a wonderfully diverse selection of musical texts. These books are perfect for all skill levels and compatible with many different jazz, stage band and orchestral instruments. Students can improve their musicianship by playing along with etudes from the classical canon or through transcribed pieces from contemporary film and popular music. Browse our collection of specialized sheet music and find the right book for you or your students!