Top Podcast Picks for Musicians: Education and Inspiration

The Rise of Podcasts as a Resource for Musicians

picture of podcast studio with microphone and pop-filter.
Podcasting can help you reach more fans.

Forget about dusty libraries and expensive masterclasses; podcasts are the new gold mines for musicians seeking knowledge and inspiration. With a surge in popularity across various demographics, these audio treasures offer a wealth of information accessible with just a click. 

Let’s tune into how these digital dialogues are revolutionizing learning for musicians.

How Musicians Can Benefit from Podcasts

Imagine having a backstage pass to the music industry’s biggest secrets. Podcasts serve up industry insights and trends on a silver platter, with professionals and peers sharing their experiences. Whether you’re looking for inspiration, creative ideas, or just a good story, there’s a podcast episode out there waiting to be your muse.

Selection Criteria for Featured Podcasts

But how do you sift through the sea of podcasts to find the ones that hit the right note? It’s all about content quality, relevance, and the expertise of the host and their guests. Add listener engagement and reviews into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a playlist of podcasts that are music to your ears.

“Song Exploder” – A Deep Dive into Songwriting and Production

Ever wondered what it’s like to crawl inside the mind of a songwriter and unpack the mystery behind a hit track? Cue “Song Exploder,” the podcast where the veil of the music creation process is lifted, offering musicians a front-row seat to the inner workings of songwriting and production.

Overview of the Podcast

Hosted by the insightful Hrishikesh Hirway, “Song Exploder” is a masterclass in musical dissection. With its unique concept and format, the podcast invites artists to break down their songs piece by piece, sharing the intimate details of their creative journey. It’s not just about the chords and the melody; it’s the raw stories and the emotions that form the backbone of the music we love.

Notable Episodes for Musicians

From the haunting ballads of indie artists to the chart-topping hits of global superstars, “Song Exploder” spans genres and eras, making it a treasure trove for musicians hungry for diversity and depth. Each episode is a narrative, weaving together the technicalities of song construction with the personal anecdotes of artists, offering listeners a comprehensive look at the creative process.

Learning Outcomes

By tuning in, musicians can glean song construction insights that are worth their weight in gold records. It’s about understanding the layers that make a song tick, from the initial spark of inspiration to the final polish in the studio. For any musician looking to refine their craft, “Song Exploder” is the sonic blueprint for success.

“Music Business Worldwide” – Navigating the Industry

Let’s face it, the music biz can be as confusing as a concept album about quantum physics. But fear not, “Music Business Worldwide” is the podcast GPS guiding you through the industry’s labyrinthine twists and turns. It’s where the trade secrets are as open as a high-hat on a funk track.

Podcast Focus and Audience

This podcast is a backstage pass to the latest industry buzz, offering a blend of topics that cater to the curious newbie and the seasoned pro alike. With discussions led by industry experts, “Music Business Worldwide” covers everything from music marketing to the legalities of song ownership. It’s like having a music mogul in your ear, minus the cigar smoke.

Key Episodes for Up-and-Coming Musicians

As an up-and-coming artist, you’ll want to bookmark the episodes that dive into music marketing and promotion. They’re jam-packed with strategies that can turn your side hustle into headline news. And for those days when you’re feeling as lost as a bar line in free jazz, the legal and financial advice episodes are your go-to resource.

Practical Takeaways

By tuning in, you’ll gain a clearer understanding of music business dynamics and strategies for career development that are more effective than a viral dance challenge. “Music Business Worldwide” is the practical playbook for anyone looking to make serious moves in the music industry.

“Switched on Pop” – Understanding Pop Music

Pop music: the sweet confectionery of the airwaves, the soundtrack to our showers, and the unsung hero of grocery store aisles. “Switched on Pop” is the podcast that dissects the sugar, spice, and everything scientifically nice about those catchy tunes that stick like gum to your brain.

The Science of Pop Music

Ever wonder why certain songs make you want to dance like nobody’s watching, while others have you sobbing into your pillow? “Switched on Pop” hosts, musicologist Nate Sloan and songwriter Charlie Harding, serve up a slice of pop music analysis that’s as delicious as it is nutritious for your musical intellect. They delve into the anatomy of hits, discussing everything from chord progressions to lyrical themes, making the Billboard charts suddenly look like a musical periodic table.

Episodes That Resonate with Musicians

For musicians, this podcast is like having a decoder ring for the secrets of chart-topping hits. Episodes that dissect song elements, interview industry giants, and explore the cultural impact of pop music are akin to a masterclass in hit-making. It’s where you learn that the difference between a one-hit-wonder and a pop legend might just be a well-placed bridge or a killer hook.

Knowledge Gained

By tuning into “Switched on Pop,” you’re signing up for a deep dive into pop music theory and composition. It’s about engaging with pop culture through music and understanding the ‘why’ behind the ‘wow’ when that chorus hits. So, whether you’re looking to craft the next summer anthem or just want to impress your friends at trivia night, this podcast is your golden ticket to the pop kingdom.

“DIY Musician Podcast” – Empowering Independent Artists

podcasting studio for beginners.
Podcasting is easy and provides great music promotion benefits.

Let’s face it, the life of an independent musician isn’t always glitz and glamour—it’s more like grit and grind. Enter the “DIY Musician Podcast,” the audio beacon of hope for the unsigned and unrefined. This isn’t just a podcast; it’s a battle cry for all the bedroom producers, garage band heroes, and coffee shop crooners determined to make it without selling their soul to a corporate label.

Emphasis on the DIY Ethos

The “DIY Musician Podcast” is the Swiss Army knife in your auditory toolbox. It’s about self-releasing music without the need for a middleman. The hosts are like the cool uncles of the music world, sharing war stories of independent artist success and teaching you how to navigate the digital landscape without a GPS—because who needs a label when you have Wi-Fi and a dream?

Must-Listen Segments

Every episode is packed with nuggets of wisdom, but the segments on marketing on a shoestring budget and building a fanbase from scratch are pure gold. They talk about harnessing social media like a digital lasso, wrangling those elusive fans into your corner of the internet. It’s about creating a brand that’s as authentic as a live vinyl recording, crackles and all.

Skills and Strategies Discussed

The podcast doesn’t just stop at pep talks; it dives into the nitty-gritty of digital distribution and streaming, ensuring your tunes travel from your hard drive to the world’s headphones. It’s also a networking masterclass, turning you into a community-building maestro, orchestrating a symphony of supporters who’ll follow you to the ends of the earth—or at least to your next gig at the local dive bar.

“The Third Story” – Conversations with Music Creators

Imagine eavesdropping on a conversation between music’s most innovative minds—now, that’s “The Third Story” podcast for you. It’s like being a fly on the wall in a room full of geniuses, except you’re invited, and no one’s swatting at you. This podcast is a treasure trove of personal tales, career advice, and industry secrets that’s as engaging as it is enlightening for musicians of all stripes.

Podcast Concept and Host Credentials

Hosted by the ever-curious Leo Sidran, “The Third Story” is your backstage pass to the lives of diverse musicians. Leo’s not just some guy with a mic—he’s a Grammy-winning producer, musician, and songwriter who knows the right questions to ask. He dives deep, uncovering the personal and musical journeys that shaped today’s music creators, giving you more layers than a triple-tiered cake at a wedding you weren’t invited to.

Standout Episodes for Musicians

Every episode is a standout, really, but the ones that delve into genre-specific discussions and career pathways are like finding a twenty in your old gig bag. They’re the episodes that make you pause, rewind, and take notes because the insights are just that good. Whether you’re a jazz cat, a rock dog, or an EDM owl, there’s something in there that’ll resonate with your musical soul.

Impact on Personal Growth

But “The Third Story” isn’t just about nodding along to interesting anecdotes—it’s about applying what you learn to your own musical journey. It’s about relatable experiences that inspire, advice that pushes you to new heights, and expanding your musical perspectives wider than that time you tried to fit your entire band on a tiny stage. It’s about growing, not just as a musician, but as a human being with a melody in your heart and a beat in your step.

“The Working Songwriter” – Insights from the Trenches

Strumming the strings of reality, “The Working Songwriter” podcast is the audio diary of every musician who’s ever wondered if their next gig could be their big break or just another night playing for a half-interested crowd. Hosted by Joe Pug, a singer-songwriter who’s seen more bars than a Hershey’s factory, this podcast is a raw look at the life of a musician hustling to make a name for themselves.

Podcast Theme and Host Experience

Joe’s not just spinning yarns; he’s lived the highs and the lows, from sold-out shows to singing for spare change. “The Working Songwriter” is a collection of stories, tips, and tears, all shared with the candor of a troubadour who’s played more chords than you’ve had hot dinners. It’s about the grind, the glory, and the guts it takes to keep going when the road gets rough.

Episodes for Aspiring Songwriters

Each episode is a chapter in the great American novel of songwriting. Joe chats with renowned songwriters, uncovering the secrets behind their lyrics and the methods to their musical madness. It’s like a masterclass in melody making, with anecdotes that stick in your mind like the hook of a chart-topping hit. For the aspiring songwriter, it’s not just a podcast—it’s a lifeline.

Valuable Lessons

But what can you really learn from a bunch of songwriters talking shop? How about navigating the songwriting landscape without a compass, or keeping your creative juices flowing like a fountain of youth? “The Working Songwriter” is a GPS for your musical journey, pointing you towards the path of persistence, passion, and maybe, just maybe, a paycheck that doesn’t bounce.

So, tune in and turn up the volume on “The Working Songwriter.” It’s the podcast that doesn’t just talk the talk—it walks the walk, with a guitar on its back and a song in its heart. And who knows? After a few listens, you might just find yourself writing the soundtrack to your own success story.

“And The Writer Is…” – Celebrating Songwriters and Producers

For the melody makers and beat shakers out there, “And The Writer Is…” is the podcast equivalent of a VIP backstage pass to the music industry’s hit parade. Hosted by Ross Golan, a songwriter whose pen game is as sharp as a tack, this podcast peels back the curtain on the creative geniuses crafting the soundtracks of our lives. It’s where the unsung heroes of the top 40 get to sing their own praises—and share a few trade secrets along the way.

Inside the Songwriting Process

Ever wondered how a song goes from a hummed melody in the shower to a platinum hit? “And The Writer Is…” dives into the nitty-gritty of songwriting, with hitmakers spilling the beans on their creative processes. It’s like a cooking show for music, except instead of soufflés, they’re whipping up earworms that stick in your head for days. And the best part? You get the recipes to try at home.

Episodes Highlighting Key Industry Players

Each episode is a who’s who of the music biz, featuring profiles of top songwriters and producers who’ve been there, done that, and have the royalty checks to prove it. These are the folks who’ve turned do-re-mi into dollars and cents, and they’re not shy about sharing how they climbed the charts. It’s like sitting down for coffee with the cool kids in the music school cafeteria.

Career Inspiration

But “And The Writer Is…” isn’t just about basking in the glow of successful careers—it’s about lighting a fire under your own aspirations. The podcast is jam-packed with success stories and career guidance that can help you navigate the maze of the music industry. It’s about finding your voice, honing your craft, and learning the art of collaboration. Because in the end, it’s not just who you know—it’s what you write.

“Sound Opinions” – Music Critique and Discovery

Let’s face it, in a world where everyone and their grandma is dropping a mixtape, standing out is tougher than a two-dollar steak. Enter “Sound Opinions,” the podcast that slices through the noise like a hot guitar riff through butter. Hosted by veteran music critics Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis, this show isn’t just about fluffing up artists’ egos—it’s about the raw, unvarnished truth of music critique and discovery.

The Role of Music Criticism

Now, don’t get your treble clefs in a twist. Music criticism isn’t about tearing down your favorite band’s latest album—it’s about understanding the layers, the textures, and what makes a song tick or tank. With backgrounds that have seen more concerts than most people have hot meals, Kot and DeRogatis dissect tracks with the precision of a surgeon and the passion of a true audiophile.

Episodes for Broadening Musical Knowledge

Whether you’re a musician looking to sharpen your sound or a fan eager to geek out on genre explorations, “Sound Opinions” has you covered. From deep dives into music history to spotlighting the next wave of chart-toppers, these episodes are like a masterclass in music appreciation. And who knows? You might just find your new favorite band or the inspiration for your next hit.

Developing a Critical Ear

But here’s the kicker: developing a critical ear isn’t just about judging tunes—it’s about refining your own musical palette. As you tune in to “Sound Opinions,” you’ll start to pick apart what works in a track and what falls flat. It’s like having a sixth sense for sound, and it’s an invaluable tool whether you’re in the studio or strumming on a street corner.

“Pensado’s Place” – For the Audio Engineers and Producers

Behind every chart-topping hit and earworm is an audio engineer or producer, twiddling knobs and pushing faders to polished perfection. If you’re looking to sharpen your technical chops, “Pensado’s Place” is the digital dojo you’ve been searching for. Hosted by the mix master himself, Dave Pensado, this podcast is a treasure trove of audio engineering wizardry and production prowess.

Podcast Overview

Forget about dusty textbooks and outdated tutorials; “Pensado’s Place” is where the rubber meets the road in the fast-paced world of music production. With a focus on the technical side of music, the podcast delivers interviews with top engineers and producers who’ve been behind the boards for some of the biggest names in the biz. It’s like having a backstage pass to the recording studio’s control room.

Essential Episodes for Audio Professionals

Whether you’re mixing your first track or mastering your umpteenth album, there’s something for everyone. From in-the-weeds discussions on mixing and mastering techniques to gear reviews that’ll have you drooling, these episodes are packed with insights that can turn your home studio into a hit factory. And let’s be real, who doesn’t want to geek out over the latest audio plugins and analog compressors?

Technical Mastery

Staying current with audio technology trends is crucial, and “Pensado’s Place” ensures you’re not left fiddling with a 2-track while the world moves to 32-bit float. Advancing your production skills is the name of the game, and Dave Pensado is the coach you need in your corner. So plug in, press play, and prepare to elevate your audio game to stratospheric heights.

“Get More Streams” is not affiliated with Amazon or other mentioned brands; all trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Information provided is for general purposes only and not a substitute for professional advice.


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