Singing and playing music can be an expensive hobby and career choice to get into. There are music lessons, instruments, and recording sessions to purchase, not to mention all of those miscellaneous items, like amps, music stands, and books. Luckily, there are some things in life that are free, and that includes the wide variety free musical resources at your fingertips every time you go online (I’m going to assume you already have Internet access if you’re reading this post). To get you started on the overwhelming number of decisions, here are 5 free musical resources we love.
1. Ultimate Guitar
I can’t tell you how much I rely on Ultimate Guitar. I’m much more of a pianist than a guitarist, but the free chordal accompaniment it provides for almost any pop, alternative, country, or R&B song you can think of works just as well for piano and ukulele. Best of all, there’s a transpose feature that allows you to choose any key that works for you and a “simplify” feature that adjusts the chords to easier choices. There’s an iPad app you can purchase for full access, but the printable chord sheets on the ultimate guitar site are free.
SoundCloud is a fantastic way to not only discover new bands, but also to find new versions of your favorite songs. I like to use it with my students to help them learn how creative and different from the original cover songs can be. It’s also a great place to share your music and begin to cultivate a following if you have an eye toward the music industry (or even if you just like to sing and share your music).
It almost seemed too obvious to include, but YouTube can be a phenomenal musical resource. Not only is it a free way to listen to almost every song imaginable, but you can usually find live versions and covers as well. My personal favorite use for YouTube is finding live versions of songs to help my students study other singers’ performance technique. Analyzing what you do and don’t like in a live performance can be an extremely effective way to hone your own craft.
4. Musician Tuts
Musician Tuts is a place for music tutorials. Right now, its primary focus is guitar resources, including online lessons and beginning chord charts. The site is fairly new, but I imagine that as it grows it’ll feature tutorials for other instruments as well.
If you’re interested in notating your own song, or if you want your teacher to jot down some easy music for you to play, blanksheetmusic.net can be a great free resource. Just head over to the site and print out some free staff paper, and you’ll never need to purchase those books of staff paper again!