There are so many music how-to book available. How do you know which ones to spend time reading and which ones will actually give you super helpful advice?
Here’s my personal list of books every musician should read (and own to use as a reference book later):
(Of course I am going to recommend our own material here. We lived it and wrote what worked best for us so your ministry could go further and avoid many of the common pitfalls.)
Every Christian musician needs to stay strong on their faith and a good place to start is with a daily devotional book. Of course we recommend ours. It was written from our experience as Christian musicians—the issues we faces, problems we encountered, and the simple joy of music ministry are all covered in this year of daily Scripture, commentary, and prayer written especially for Christian musicians.
A Christian musician or band with the goal of bringing people closer to Jesus cannot always make the same business decisions as a secular band. Their goal is to use music to make ministry more effective, not simply to sell more music. The Christian Band Handbook is a how-to manual for setting up and running your music ministry and business.
Don’t like to read?
Make use of your travel time with audio books.
Most of these books are available on Audible—check out this offer:
For the DIY musician who wants to set up their business. This book will help you ask the right questions and come up with the best answers to get your business functioning effectively and easily. You can avoid many problems with band mates by discussing the issues presented here step-by-step.
This is the book you need to read before signing a deal with a label. It is used as a textbook is many college music classes and includes the details of how the music industry works. DIY musicians might not find it to be what they need, but you definitely need to read it if you are even thinking about working with a label.
Music does not sell because it is good. Good music sells because it is marketed well. Learn how to get your music noticed on a budget with advice from Bobby Borg.
Bob Baker is the master of DIY music marketing. With this manual, you’ll discover that music marketing doesn’t have to be expensive or flashy to be effective. This book is also available as 5 separate Kindle e-books.
Learn how to use social media to find new fans and keep your current fans engaged using Ariel’s social media house plan. She’ll show you how to start with the foundation and build up to create a social media strategy that works. Her plan is not a get fans quick scheme, it is a solid well planned strategy to establish relationships with an ever growing fanbase. Ariel has taught Social Media for Musicians at Berklee College of Music.
The book reveals a host of online insider tips and tricks that will help you gain more fans and followers, increase your views, and grow your ticket and merch sales. Social Media Promotions for Musicians shows artists, bands, engineers and producers the latest techniques and strategies to increase your online presence more effectively and efficiently than you ever thought possible.
This book just came out in October 2016 and is already getting rave reviews. Ariel Hyatt outlines includes killer strategies, sample emails, social media posts and a day by day action plan that takes you through your entire campaign. These are the strategies she used to raise over $60,000 in her own crowdfunding campaign.
Christian songwriting is a little different than secular songwriting because of the emphasis on the message of the song. Robert Sterling is the master at teaching you how to craft the highest quality and most impactful Christian songs. Mr. Sterling is best known for teaching songwriting at the Academy of Gospel Music Arts for 8 years.
You can’t go wrong with anything by Bobby Owsinski. He is best known for sound production, mixing, and engineering. This book is a must have for every band.
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