Top 10 free online music resources

We’ve scoured the web to find the best free online music resources out there for artists, songwriters and composers...

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 23 Jul 2014
  • min read
They say that knowledge is power, but with an exploding web of information and a forever changing digital world, it can be hard to get anywhere fast online.

So, we’ve scoured Google and spoken to our contacts around the industry to find the best free online music resources currently out there for artists, songwriters, composers and musicians.

From sourcing funding opportunities, music courses and apprenticeships, to learning about the publishing world or discovering your vocal range, you’ll find a wealth of practical advice and insider knowledge to help your career and broaden your horizons.

Here are our top picks:

Apart from the lauded BBC Introducing scheme that helps upcoming acts graduate into the big time through a network of regional radio shows, the beeb’s associated website is a treasure trove of advice for songwriters and unsigned artists. If you're making music, you'll find everything you need to know, whether you want to make the most of your time in the studio, take your live show to the next level or just find out more about the business. With advice from people working in the industry and artists who have been there and done it, you'll definitely find something worthwhile.

Music Radar
The Music Radar website is a little advert-heavy, but underneath the giant billboard ads you’ll find a wealth of practical advice. The site is part of Future PLC, the media group which publishes Total Guitar, Rhythm, Computer Music and more. Underneath its Tuition banner, you’ll find the best in-depth features and advice articles from across all the titles. With headlines like ‘Essential reverb mixing tips’, ’Cubase secrets you might not know about’ and ‘Five drum tuning tips’, it's geared towards home producers and DIY experimentalists. Well worth a look.

Meet & Jam is a new network for musicians and a booking/calendar system for rehearsal and recording studios. Musicians put up profiles with location details, instruments, influences, kit, video and audio. You can browse and contact each other, book studios and advertise for new band members, teachers, pupils or jam buddies in the classified sections, all for free. All you need to do is sign up, create a profile and then start networking.

BBC Sing
This essential singing portal provides step-by-step guides on perfecting your art, including breathing and warming up exercises to prepare your voice for a performance and top tips to become a better singer. You’ll find plenty of video tutorials, professional advice and a simple process that helps you determine your vocal range. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can also find out about singing groups in your area.

UK Music’s Music Education Directory tracks more than 1,200 courses across the UK and Ireland. The data is divided by geographical region and level of qualification, to help make your course hunting straightforward. With an emphasis on degree level opportunities, you’ll find university and programme information alongside contact details and website links: an essential resource for anyone wishing to formalise their music training. You can also find information about UK Music’s apprenticeship scheme.

Based in Newcastle, and with a strong focus on the North East, Generator is an essential resource for its local catchment area. But the good work doesn’t stop there: the Generator toolbox has spread far and wide. Tasked with developing talent and generating business for the creative industries, the initiative brings a joined up approach to the music industry, offering musicians and songwriters a 360 degree view of their career. From successful artist development programmes to digital literacy training and business coaching, the Generator website is an important resource for emerging talent around the country.

The Musicians’ Union (MU) looks after the interests of more than 30,000 professional musicians, offering practical advice and downloadable resources for those working across all industry sectors. Under its online Advice & Downloads tab, you’ll find a public resource section that carries a range of MU documents produced for its members but which are also pertinent to the wider music industry. These include the Fair Play Guide and codes of practice for outdoor events and festivals. Definitely worth checking in with.

PRS for Music Foundation website
PRS for Music Foundation is the UK's leading funder of new music across all genres. Since it was established in 2000, it has given over £19.5m to the creation and performance of new music and has spearheaded important support programmes including Momentum Music Fund, International Showcase Fund and Women Make Music. On its website, you’ll find loads of handy information on funding programmes, eligibility, the application process, deadlines and more.

The Music Publishers Association (MPA) makes an interesting pit-stop for those wanting to learn more about the world of publishing and copyright, are looking for UK publisher contact details, or would like to learn more about the MPA’s own programme of training courses, seminars and events. It also provides advice for songwriters on securing a publishing deal, offers professional development for those already working in publishing and gives an insight into the industry for those thinking of forming a publishing company themselves.

Point Blank
Point Blank is an online training centre that offers dynamic music production and DJ courses with a slant on electronic music and personalised teaching. Aside from the paid-for courses, Point Blank’s website and YouTube channel offer exclusive free access to training videos, advice forums and weekly live tutorials – the Friday Forum Live – bringing an interactive element to the learning process. Below you can watch a video from Point Blank’s Ableton Live course tutor Sie Medway-Smith, who explains how to prepare your mix, thicken your drums, get creative with Racks and much more. Check out their free stuff –