Nicola’s list of awesome resources for singers

I get a lot of questions on where I source my stuff and people I go to for advice so I thought I’d list all my favourite resources here for you. I’ve used pretty much everything on this page personally and I’ll keep adding to it or updating things up as the industry changes.

Microphones

Shure SM58S Vocal Microphone (with On Off Switch) – This is the industry standard microphone for performance and a great starting point for your first professional mic.

Rode K2 Tube Vocal Microphone – Is the condenser microphone that I use to record the audio for my YouTube videos, demos and other recording projects. Its a decent price and the sound quality is excellent. I find that because it is a tube mic, you get a nice smooth sound.

Music Home Studio Recording Software

Steinberg Cubase Pro 8 Retail – Is a professional level software package that will do everything you need it to.

Ableton Live 9 Intro – For recording and also playing samples during live performance (its awesome). At just $99 for the intro version its a bargain.

Avid Pro Tools 11 with FREE Fast Track Solo Recording Software and USB Interface – Another awesome pro level software package for recording that does everything. Some people say they prefer Pro Tools over Cubase and vice versa. I use Cubase personally but I know producers that use both.

Ear Training

The Relative Pitch Ear Training Course – Every singer needs to develop her hearing and the Relative Pitch Ear Training Course is hands down, the fastest (and easiest) way to get your ears working for you. Ear training is crucial for singing in tune and for singing more difficult songs as you progress. I have personally used this course and it really does work.

Ear Trainer – A cheap, simple app that also works well.

Music Notation Software

Sibelius 7.5 – Is what I personally use to create all of my sheet music and vocal charts for performing. Its powerful, fast and easy to use. You can easily transpose your music into any key for yourself and different instruments to perform.

Cheap Instruments and Other Gear

Musician’s Friend – You can buy and sell second hand gear here and get some REALLY good deals. I personally don’t buy brand new keyboards anymore because you need to upgrade constantly anyway so I get them second hand.

It costs WAY less and you can get brilliant deals from this site.

Promotion

WordPress – Build your very own website with WordPress. In my book, this is the best platform you can use. It’s FREE and with heaps of flexibility so you can theme it however you want, add a bunch of plugins to display upcoming shows etc…

Media Temple – (hosting) I personally use Media Temple to host my websites. It’s easy-peasy to use, has one-click installations for programs like WordPress, you can buy your domain name from them and keep it all in one spot and they have excellent customer support… and it’s cheap.

BandPage – You can create a band website here for FREE and it will look awesome. Alternatively, use them for their widgets and pull those into your existing website. That’s what I do for my Shows Widget because Google will pick up your show listings and display them when people search for you – if you are using BandPage.

Active Campaign – Email marketing software. Its super sophisticated and way cheaper than most of the other providers on the market. I use it and I love it!

LeadPages – The best platform for great looking email boxes, shop fronts, landing pages and more.

Singing Training

The Singer’s Secret Academy – An 8 week online singing training program designed to transform your voice and prepare you for the world of professional singing. Perfect for jazz, blues & folk singers (and also non-pop styles of singing i.e country, soul etc)

Vocal Warm Up Secrets – My super mini course designed to reduce vocal cracks, breaks and sore throats when you sing.

Songwriting Training

Hit Song Highway – Learn to write super catchy songs that SELL, even if you have zero inspiration and no idea where to start. Its a 5 step songwriting system that can be used no matter what style of music you’re into.

Recommended Reading

Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered – (By Austin Kleon) This is a short and fun read and I highly recommend it to any musician or artist trying to build a following online.

Informative Music Websites

The Jazz Spotlight –  My friend Yannick runs a really interesting podcast for those interested in jazz. I was interviewed for Episode 24 ‘The One Thing To Understand To Get More Gigs’.

CD Baby DIY Musician – Has heaps of really decent articles on music marketing. I guest post for these guys regularly!

Getting Gigs

Sonic Bids is a site I have been using to find some of my gigs. Its best for those living in the USA. I’ve found the gigs for Australia really light on although some major festivals and music bodies use Sonic Bids as their preferred pitching platform.

Selling Your Music Online

I love CD Baby. There are quite a few distributors operating in this market but I personally use CD Baby and I like their service so they get my tick of approval.