Free Musician Resources

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Image by Unsplash, found on Pexels. Licensed under CC0 1.0.

Musician Resources for beginners, hobbyist, or professionals. Find software, lessons, and other artist to collaborate with.

Musician Resources come in various forms. Below is a mixture of lists and paragraphs. This article is helpful rather it is skimmed through or read fully. Make some music 😀

Learning the Craft

Most lessons you find on these topics, will be separated by the instrument being used. However, music theory is a study that can be useful for all. Music theory is the field of study dealing with how music works.

Dave Conservatoire music theory lessons offers progress tracking and videos. This is a very useful way of learning for most, however, if you want a more text based resource, try Open Music Theory. If you need more interaction, LenMus Phonascus is a software for learning music theory. It is available for Linux, Mac, & Windows.

Bass Guitar is a long-necked and solid-bodied stringed instrument, tuned to produce bass or low notes. Devine Bass is a youtube channel for learning bass. Of course, the content is high quality and the teacher is ecstatic about bass, which should get you ecstatic as well. Moreover, combine Devine with Play Bass Now, and you are going to be nicknamed Flea in no time.

Any type of musical instrument of the lute family can technically be called a ‘Guitar’. However, in this article, we only mean the commonly known six string.

Sean Garbelman has a clear passion for these stringed musical instruments. His site Eat.Sleep.Guitar., is a great source of learning for guitar. Sean also has a youtube channel, where you will see him rarely without a guitar in hand.

In addition, Guitar Six offers lessons, tools, and resources. You can tune, practice scales and even use a metronome. The lessons start out very basic, for example: learning the parts of a guitar. Even more Learning resources for Guitar: Justin Guitar | Music Discipline.

Practice & Write

In the first place, here are some terms you will want to know before preceding.

Music notation: the act, process, and method of representing sound by using marks, signs, figures, or characters.

Sheet music: the actual document containing music notation. Usually in paper form, but also electronically.

Tuner: A device, electronic or mechanical, that helps a person tune a musical instrument by showing the deviation of the played pitch from the desired pitch.

All Guitar Chords: This site displays guitar scales with plenty of options to find the one you want. Great way to practice finger movements or to write original pieces.

Chord Book: Provides all the guitar chords and scales you could ever want, online. The sites interface is amazing and interactive.

Denemo: Music notation software. Linux, Mac, and Windows.

FMIT: Free Music Instrument Tuner. Linux, Mac, and Windows.

IMSLP – Petrucci Music Library: International Music Score Library Project. Browse scores(sheet music) by composer, nationality, genre, time period, and even by melody(handy piano interface).

LilyPond: Music notation. Opensource. Linux, Mac, and Windows.

Frescobaldi: LilyPond sheet music text editor. Linux, Mac, Windows.

MuseScore: This site offers scoring software and sheet music. The software is opensource/free(named MuseScore as well). This is a great tool for songwriters!

MusOpen: Sheet music.

Songsterr: Find and play tabs for guitar, bass, and drums.

You Tab: A collection of music lyrics and guitar chords for every(probably) song you could think of.

Record and Edit

Common features of audio software whose main purpose is creation and editing. –  multi-track, recording, editing(cutting pasting clipping etc.), Effects(pitch, tempo, bass and treble). Find downloadable applications for audio recording, creation, manipulation, and playing!

Ardour: Record, Edit, and mix audio. Linux, Mac, and Windows.

Audacity: Open Source. Multi-track, recording, editing, effects. Like Windows Sound Recorder on steroids. Linux, Mac, Windows.

AVL Drums: Drum sample player application( or in plugin form). Linux, Mac, and Windows.

Beast: Music Composition and Synthesis. Linux only.

Synthesis, or synthesizers, are electronic sound makers. Keyboards are often used to control the synthesizers. Ordinarily, synthesizers mimic other instruments.

Drum Gizmo: Linux only multi-channel/multi-layer drum application.

Drumkv1: Old-school drum-kit sampler, for Linux only.

Genpo: Organ emulator. Linux and Windows only.

Helm: Synthesizer. Linux, Mac, Windows.

Hydrogen: Drum Machine. Linux, Mac, and Windows.

Jackbeat: Audio sequencer. Linux, Mac, and Windows.

LMMS: Multimedia Studio. Free alternative to Fruity Loops Software. This music making program allows musicians to start from scratch, using MIDI or synths, and edit or remix/remaster songs already recorded. Linux, Mac, Windows.

MIDI – Musical Instrument Digital Interface. In other words, protocols for electronic instrument and computer communication.

MusE: Open source sequencer. Linux Only.

Qtractor: Audio and MIDI editor. Linux only.

Rosegarden: Compose and edit music. Midi and more! Linux only.

Tux Guitar: Compose music. Linux, Mac, Windows.

Wavosaur: Recording, Multi-track, editing, effects. Windows only.

ZynAddSubFX: Real time synthesizer. Linux, Mac, and Windows.

Mix & Sample

Only use others’ creative works when the item’s usage terms/license, allows for it.

Public Domain items can be freely used and adapted without any permission from the original creator. However, it is encouraged to give attribution to the origins.

FreePD offers a small, but awesome collection of public domain(PD) music. It is from the creator of Incompetech(Site of Royalty free music). Another resource for PD is Open Music Archive. While FreePD dedicates new original work to the PD, Open Music Archive finds already made, out of copyright music.

Creative Commons’ licenses vary, but all are clearly described and easily understandable. The official Creative Commons(CC) site offers all the information you need on this topic. When ever you finish your own work, Viaology suggests you put it under a CC license. It can help you protect your work, looks more official, and contributes to the amazing CC community. Use the ‘Choose a License‘ form(so handy).

Already, over 45,000 musicians(and singers) have came together and offered samples(under Creative Commons) to ccMixter. Need even more!? – check out Free Sound. Free Sound and ccMixter share similar concepts and missions(they are however different sites). The more the merrier!

Free Music Archive(FMA) offers songs in the creative commons, however, some are under other types of licenses. Sometimes free music resources offer songs that are meant to simply be played, and not remixed. Be aware, and verify the type of license per song. Also, the FMA site can offer news that you will find relevant, so check it out often.


Terminology Attribution: “Wiktionary, the free dictionary” by The Wikimedia Foundation, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.