One of the most exciting aspects of music is that it’s always changing. And as a musician, it’s your job to stay on top of those changes! A great way to do this is to read music magazines, and there are many great publications on the market to help with this. Whether you’re into jazz, rock, folk, electronic, music production, composition, or just the latest music gossip, there’s a magazine out there that caters to you.
Here are some of the best music magazines out there:
New Bay Media publishes magazines geared toward performing instrumentalists. Bass Player, Guitar Player and Keyboard magazine are all great publications that feature instrument-specific articles, interviews, and in-depth lessons. They all cover the latest gear and also feature articles on historical musical figures and instruments. Guest editorials have covered various subjects, such as recording, music philosophy, music theory, and harmonics.
- Billboard magazine is known as the music industry Bible. It’s also one of oldest trade magazines in the world, founded in 1894. Billboard features in-depth articles on all aspects of music, from touring to airplay. It features several internationally-recognized music charts that track sales, touring revenue, radio airplay, and Internet streaming data for almost every musical genre. If you want to keep abreast of what is selling or is getting played and streamed in the music industry, Billboard is a must-read magazine. It also publishes several annual special editions, which cover specific areas of the business such as management firms and production companies.
- Alternative Press is a magazine geared toward music lovers and performers. It features band interviews, information on upcoming releases and tours, and alternative music charts. If you want to learn about your favorite bands or discover new artists, Alternative Press is a great read. It began as a local fanzine in Cleveland in 1985, as a means of getting information out about bands that were outside the mainstream and were being overlooked by the media and radio stations. Monthly columns include “The AP Poll,” “In The Studio,” “AP&R (Unsigned bands of the month),” “Chalkboard Confessional,” “Musician Of The Month,” “My Favorite Gear,” “Next Exit,” “Gig Bag,” “1000 Words,” “Beauty And The Band,” and “10 Essential.”
- Sound on Sound is a British publication that focuses on the professional recording studio, as well home recording enthusiasts. It is full of tutorials, lessons and product reviews featuring the newest software and gear. The monthly columns “PC Notes” and “Apple Notes” focus on the latest software and hardware available. There are also monthly articles that focus on how-to advice and tutorials for the latest audio equipment and software. Other popular columns include “Playback,” which reviews readers recordings, and “Classic Tracks,” which offers in-depth looks at the history of and creation of popular songs and bands. Sound on Sound also publishes several special editions yearly, which include DVDs full of samples, video lessons and content not included in the magazine or on their website.
- Mix Magazine is the perfect magazine for recording studio owners, live audio mixers, and composers. It features monthly articles on mixing, mastering, and tracking audio. It also offers extensive reviews and buyer’s guides for the latest products. Composers interested in working in film, TV, voice-over, and game music creation will also find helpful advice.
Whether you’re a musician or a music educator, it’s important to stay abreast of the latest industry trends, music styles, and popular artists. Music is a lifelong learning adventure. These 5 best music magazines are a good place to start and will help you to continue to grow and learn as your career develops.
Most of these publications also have an Internet presence, and most of the websites offer plenty of free information. Check them out online, or stop by your local library or bookstore to pick up print copies!
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