Linktree for Musicians

About a year or two ago I saw a few people start using Linktree. It basically is a site where you can put all your links on in a nice to look at page. Like a mini-bio thing, where you can put your socials on there (linkedin, instagram, twitter, email, youtube), and other various links. It’s a great idea.

However, their pricing model is really stupid. $6 a month for a PRO level, or they have a free level. While I would love to get SOME of the PRO features, $6 a month is too much for this. There should be a middle tier, a member tier, that is $10 or $12 a year where you can get more customization, fonts and styles and some other things, but where you wouldn’t get like Integrations with Mailchimp/Facebook, video links, etc.

I think the idea and the service are great. For a lot of people it would be a great substitute to having a “website”. Most people probably do not need a “website” as perhaps all their work is all over the internet. This service would allow them to consolidate all their things into one landing page. It’s a great idea, but I think is doomed to failure cause of pricing.

Anyhow, I am still using it. I love it. I would pay for it, but $6 a month is a little too expensive. Again, a scaled back version that is a yearly $10-$12 price would ensure that this service continues forward this decade. Linktree, you listening?

Christmas Gifts 2021 (Misc)

Some gift ideas of things that aren’t really music related, or software music related.

Luggage Tags – I love these aluminum ones. You can put your business card in them and affix them to your instruments or bags. They look great.

Business Card Holder – Speaking of business cards, if you have cards (which is sort of old school but….) these are great.

Apple Airtags/Tile Trackers – I have yet to get an Apple Airtag, but I have been a Tile user for a long time. I do sort of like the piece of mind I have that my items do have some sort of tracking with them incase they are stolen or lost. I do recommend you sort of hide them inside the case.

Label Maker – I am not really BIG into labeling things, but I DO label a lot of things that tend to get lost. Cables. Various items.

DYMO Labelwriter – Keeping with the above pick, take your labeling to another level with a thermal printer. I use labels made by these for all sorts of labeling tasks. Including making my QR Code luggage tags.

Gig Hacks

One of the things I think a lot of people do not do is label their equipment. Like your cords. Your bags. Your GEAR. There are a couple of things I use to keep track of my gear.

Number one is getting tags. I long time ago, I got some of these Aluminum Luggage tags that I can put my business cards in. They are great. However, the HACK part is that I also use a DYMO LabelWriter to put my contact info and my Linktree QR code on there. So then if someone DOES find my wayward item, they have additional ways of getting the item back to me.

Second hack is to label my cables or other items that tend to go missing. The Brother P-Touch labeler works great for that. It does cable printing as well (so it can wrap around a cable). I also have them marked with this multi-patterned colored electrical tape I bought at Staples a while ago. I can’t seem to find anything like it on Amazon. It’s sorta like striped? Something that everyone knows like it is your cable.

Christmas Gifts 2021 (Software)

Yet another list for 2021. This time for software. This is iOS/Apple heavy, so……you were warned.

Logic Pro X – You need a DAW. To record. To make music. This program does it all. And it is ridiculously cheap. Apple updates it a lot. No subscription required. Tons of sounds. If you are a student or have access to get the educational discount from Apple, get it with Mainstage and Final Cut Pro for $199.

Transcribe! – This is an essential tool to help you figure out music. It runs on Mac or PC. I can’t tell you how much I use this (a LOT). Essential.

Amazing Slow Downer – Sometimes you need to SAVE things slower. Or put it in a different key. This program does that. Also runs on iOS.

Audio Hijack – When the pandemic hit, this piece of software has been essential. Lets you do audio routing, and apply plugins or effects to your audio. Makes teaching over Zoom bearable. Loopback is another item to consider as well.

forScore – This is THE iOS gigging music program. Make set lists. Sync them to your computer. If you use an iPad for music, you need this. Period.

Downie – Essential tool to get video or audio off the web.

iStroboSoft Tuner – There are a lot of tuners out there. And I have a TON of them. But this is the one I keep going back to. The Strobe tuner. Simple, effective, accurate.

Finale – Yes, there are lots of other software that you can use to notate music with. But Finale is really a mature, stable platform. I’ve been using it since version……2.5 I think? I have the floppy disks here somewhere…..

Band in a Box – Yes. This ALWAYS makes my list. This software is so much fun to use. And essential for any musician. I mean, you can throw it a chord progression, and boom, you have something to practice with. And it sounds GREAT.

Backblaze/Arq Backup– You NEED to backup your stuff. Most of us have laptops, so, it makes sense to back it up to the cloud. For those of us with ONE machine with a LOT of files, I’d recommend Backblaze. It’s $7 a month for UNLIMITED storage. So if you have terabytes of files, this is the one to go to. If you have multiple computers and UNDER a terabyte of stuff, I can totally recommend Arq Backup. I have my laptop, my mom’s laptop, and some other machines backed up with this. BOTH of these just do their work in the background, and hopefully the day will not come when you need to retrieve files from them. But it DOES happen (accidentally deleting a file perhaps), and on BOTH services, it is really easy to restore backed up files.

Christmas Gifts 2021 (Hardware)

There are lots of people putting out lists of what to get people. This is yet another one.

iPad – The most essential things you need is an iPad. You can put ALL your music on there. You can take it to gigs. You can write on it using a Apple Pencil (gen 1) or Logitech Crayon. I’d recommend the Crayon. You don’t NEED an iPad Pro. The standard, 2021 current gen iPad is fine. It will set you back about $350 for a 64 gig one. More storage is always better.

Roland Aerophone Pro AE-30 – I was on the fence on this. I still don’t like the key noise. HOWEVER, it is just a JOY to play. It responds great….it plays great….it has amazing, editable sounds. It has Roland Cloud support for getting new sounds. The more I play it, the more I like it. It is THE EWI to get right now. Forget all the other ones. Spend the $1600 and get this.

Just Joe’s Sax Gel Strap – There are a TON of neck straps out there. This one I love. I have two. Might get another when gigging comes back. Absolutely the most comfortable neck strap I’ve used.

Woodwind Design Stands – Honestly, this guy is genius. His stands are amazing. It is so cool to be able to have everything just RIGHT with the horn. Forget those stupid looking Hercules stands. Carbon fiber is the new Yellow. The stands are not cheap. But they are worth it. Why spend thousands on an instrument to have it supported by a $30 stand. Would you spend $30 on a case for your horn?

Get-A-Sax Ligature – I got one of these for my alto. It’s awesome.

A Bag – It’s good to get a bag of some sort to carry all your accessories (microphone, cable, extra reeds, etc). I have this older Landsend laptop bag that I use, that they don’t seem to make anymore. Some sort of larger bag. Made of good material. Sort of like this bag, but made better (this one looks cheap). I believe my bag is canvas, and I’ve had it since the late 90s.

Amazon Basics Case – Get a couple of these to organize your stuff in the bag. A case for reeds. A case for tools. A case for your mic. Protect your stuff. These little cases are great.

Next up will be a software list……enjoy the holidays!

Sheet Of The Week – Move (Santana and Rob Thomas)

Gotta love Santana and Rob Thomas together. Never go back to Matchbox 21 Rob.

  Move by Santana and Rob Thomas for Eb Instruments (108.6 KiB, 0 hits)
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  Move by Santana and Rob Thomas for Bb Instruments (109.7 KiB, 0 hits)
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Sheet Of The Week – Let Somebody Go (Coldplay)

Great tune by Coldplay. Good to see them back.

  Let Somebody Go by Coldplay for Eb Instruments (136.2 KiB, 2 hits)
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  Let Somebody Go by Coldplay for Bb Instruments (133.1 KiB, 1 hits)
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