Hey UPSTAGE family! Happy Tuesday.
Incase you have non- artist loved ones who have been striking out on practical but thoughtful gifts for you this year or have been finding themselves asking "what does one even buy for a musician?" I'm here to help you give them some ideas! Better yet- most of these go without completely breaking the bank (also while saving them a miserable call with a Guitar Center sales representative.)
I've been having lots of conversations with artists recently surrounding the topic of efficiency and self- management. As it turns out- this is the hardest aspect of being a professional musician. We're all in the same boat! From business operations, to organization, accountability, and even self- production, there's a lot of areas that could always need help in becoming more DIY efficient.
We all have our wishlists that sit in our Sweetwater cart for months on end, but as I like to say- not even the best gear can fix a bad song or a bad musician. (Did I say that too loud?)
Below: I've put together a list of items that over the course of my last four years of professional musicianship have been at the top of my shopping lists at one point or another. (And most of these aren't gear.) Without further ado, I present to you, the 2023 independent musician's wishlist, if you will!
THE 2023 INDEPENDENT MUSICIAN'S WISHLIST:
1. Black Archiving Cambridge Journals - cost: about $10.00 a piece.
Great for note taking, songwriting, production planning and more- this is a classic notebook with just a couple simple features such as pockets, printed date features, and an archiving sticker system that keeps me well organized as I work through multiple journals a year. (Also I love them because they're black- an engineer's favorite color.)
2. Square Reader - cost: about $10.00 for lightning cable or 3.5 mm head jack connector.
For having a way to take card payments wherever you are, of course! Someone that wants to buy a merch item or tip you but don't have cash or Venmo? No problem. Other options are out there of course, but this is the cheapest.
3. Chartmetric Subscription- cost: $10.00/ month
The science driven platform for artists that allows musicians to know their influence, popularity, and overall growth on the main social networks and music streaming platforms.
4. Adobe Premiere Pro Trial or Subscription: $21.00/ month
You're not a filmmaker you say? WRONG. You need to be the best DIY filmmaker you know if you wanna produce music videos, YouTube covers, or even quality social media videos on a budget. Start fiddling around in Premiere and you'll get the hang of it. Remember- you're not just a musician, you wear SO many different hats.
5. The Artist’s Guide to Success in the Music Industry, paperback book by Loren Weisman- cost: $23.00
Can you just do one chapter a week? You'll make it through in less than six months.
6. Beyond talent, paperback book by Angela Beeching- cost: $30.00
Again, just give it a go- do or try the e-book version if you prefer.
7. The Indie Bible- cost: about $60.00
2000 magazines and music blogs, 4500 radio stations, 960 labels and distributors, 410 promotion,
marketing, management, and PR services,190 sites where you can upload your music or videos, updated weekly. Ad- ons include streaming playlist reasources.
8. The brand new 3rd edition of "How to Make it in The New Music Business" by Ari Herstand- out Jan 17th, pre order available now: - about $30.00
The first two editions noted as an “indispensable” guide for musicians according to (Forbes), this is the newest version.
9. LaCie Rugged Hard Drive - cost: starts at $99.00 for 2TB of storage.
Something I finally bought this year - (way too late.) I bought the 6TB but it's durable and could probably even withstand an attack from my dog. Protect your files folks!
10. Logic Pro X- One time purchase cost: $200
Do I need to explain? If you're not an engineer but want to start building your own demos or production on a budget, start here. If you want me to teach you how to use it- you know where to find me.
11. UPSTAGE ARTIST OR PROJECT DEVELOPMENT WITH ME! - I'm running holiday specials for the year of 2023 so reach out via email to inquire at email@example.com
Love ya'll, and have a very merry holiday - whatever you celebrate.
Jada & UPSTAGE LLC