Guitars on the Net - The six string Web
Issue #3 February 2002

Indie Resources

Welcome to a series of articles guiding you through the wealth of guitar related information on the internet. Here, I will try to recommend what's good, tell you what's bad and hopefully save you some time while looking for the information you want.

In this issue, I’m going to tackle the formidable task of checking out some worthy Indie resources on the net. Let’s face it, you need help. The Indie movement is incredibly strong and the reason is that there are other artists, companies, governments and associations available and willing to assist in the creation of great Canadian talent. All the help you need is out there, you just have to find it. So here, I will try to point you toward the help you want and need in order to get your music heard, because we all know how good we are, the trick is letting others know it too!

As I waved my mouse over the vast expanse of the Internet, looking for great Indie resources, I came to two conclusions. First, there is an ocean of Indie links out there, most of which are a waste of time and lot’s that are somewhat useful. The value you put on each site is directly relevant to your goals. For instance, do you just want to be heard? Will publishing free mp3’s on the net satisfy you? Are you an Indie performer that wants to stay Indie, or are you actively looking to sign a publishing deal? Each goal has a range of sites, from the corporate to the ridiculous. Get your goals laid out and work from there. The second conclusion that I have made is that unlike many other topics that I’ve covered, with this one, the quality of the site is nearly irrelevant. What I mean is this…a site that has been made BY Indie artists, FOR Indie artists, may look amateurish or weak, but before you pass it by, look it over. The look may not be as polished as a big corporate site, but the content may be just what you’re looking for. Think about it, if it’s published by other Indie artists, they are just as busy as you, collecting info, practicing their tunes and pounding the pavement trying to get heard, not sitting down and learning HTML, JavaScript, Applets or other fluff that is all too time consuming. Don’t get me wrong, in most cases that kind of thing is necessary, but in this case it’s not. So, roll up your sleeves, fire up your mouse and let’s get started!

 

SOCAN - http://www.socan.ca/

Your first stop on your quest for Independent fame should be SOCAN. The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada. SOCAN “is a performing rights society that licenses the public performance and telecommunication of the world’s repertoire of copyright-protected musical works in Canada and then distributes royalties to its members and affiliated international societies.” If you aren’t registered with them yet, do it now. It’s the best way to protect your creations, qualify for government assistance and most importantly…get paid!

 

Indie Pool - http://www.indiepool.com/

Now this is good stuff! Want your music listed in the National Library of Canada? Want your stuff displayed in HMV, Sam’s or Chapters? Want your music heard internationally? Need I say more? No…I’ll let them say it - “Indie Pool is globally recognized as the World's most complete resource for those seeking Canadian independent music.” Make no mistake here people. This site is the nitty-gritty business side of things. Don’t waste your time here, unless you want your music distributed. If you do, and you’re serious, this is the place you want to be. Click on the ‘Info’ link in the menu and read the whole thing. Serious help for serious musicians!

 

CleverJoe's Musician's Resource Centre - http://www.cleverjoe.com/canada.html

This site may or may not be useful to you, however, I listed it here because it has a ‘link listing’ of quite a number of Canadian Campus Radio stations, which I thought was unique and particularly useful for the independent community. Check it out and you decide.

 

F.A.C.T.O.R. - http://www.factor.ca/

Time, space and a phobia of red tape prohibits me from going into the HUGE list of available government programs and resources here. (Maybe in a future issue) So for now, I will limit it to FACTOR. According to them…“FACTOR is dedicated to providing assistance toward the growth and development of the Canadian independent recording industry.” How do they do this? Cash, that’s how! These people distribute over $7 million, yes kids..that’s $7,000,000 in recording assistance to Independent artists every year for everything from recording assistance to making your video to touring! Go get some!

 

The Canadian Independent Record Production Association - http://www.CIRPA.ca/

CIRPA’s mandate is huge. Although, not an organization for Independent musicians, it IS for the record producers, record labels, recording studios, managers of recording acts, music publishers, music publicists, music video producers and directors who specialize in the independent field. This is all about focus. There is no point wasting your time and money contacting someone who doesn’t deal with independent musicians. Therefore, if you DO want to find a worthwhile contact with minimal effort (and who doesn’t?), click on the Membership Directory, choose a category and you will get a list of LEGIT people who can really help you out!

This article has barely touched the surface of the resources available on the net and really deserves deeper attention. If you are Indie and you need something, it’s out there. Stay focused and remember…time is money and the money is yours. Use it wisely.

 

In the next issue, I will be listening to some of the best online guitar tunes available. Grab your headphones and I’ll see you there!

Driving the gear van down the Information SuperHighway, I'm Dave Alexander.

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