The Internet is an incredible, awe-inspiring, captivating, ever-evolving… time waster. At least, it is for most of us once the work day is over. In light of this realization, I decided to seek out some slightly more productive ways for musicians to spend their time online.
Here is the first batch of mostly music sites I’ve encountered on my quest:
This one’s been popping up around the office regularly since last year. Basically, typing any character from A to Z will trigger a beautifully colored shape, which will dance on your computer screen accompanied by a cool audio sample.
Why it’s great: Captivating visuals are paired with lovely sounds, plus, it’s super easy to use.
Who to share it with: Anyone who has a computer
Sign-up requirement: None
Meludia is an engaging ear training tool. It requires that the user employ intuition, focus, and listening skills to work through exercises at various levels. Visually, it is a nice tapestry of pastel colors and geometry.
What to love about it: While I haven’t been using it long enough to know if it’s really sharpened my ear, the exercises feel like modified and modernized versions of those I was assigned at music school. Plus, depending on your mood, they’re way more fun than simply clapping, tapping, and checking intervals on a keyboard.
Who to share it with: Someone who wants to hone their ear training skills and could benefit from some game-style incentives.
Sign-up requirement: You can sign-up through your Facebook account, Twitter handle, or email address. Some of the exercises are free, while others are available for a small fee.
I stumbled across this little gem one rainy afternoon and it instantly brightened my day. It allows you to alter components of the Rick Astley classic, combining styles that range from “TexMex” to “Hip-Hop” to “Jesus”.
What to love about it: Hearing “Never Gonna Give You Up” while looking at a screen covered in tiny lights and label tape stirs up a sense of nostalgia that most of us can’t deny. Plus, creating and recording parts that mix so perfectly is quite the impressive feat of musicality.
Who to share it with: Anyone with a playful spirit and love for Astley. Also, those you couldn’t quite bring yourself to Rick Roll seven years ago.
Sign-up requirement: None
Basically, you enter three bands or artists you enjoy, and Gnod’s music discovery system, Gnoosic, will make a recommendation. Partly because I knew I’d be admitting my music preferences to you here, I started with Little Dragon, The Beatles, and Oh Wonder. Gnoosic gave me James Hersey, and let me just say that until yesterday, I had no idea who he was or how much I loved him. Then, because I doubt they get named in the same sentence too often, I entered Fleetwood Mac, J Dilla, and Yo-Yo Ma. Thus, I learned about C-Mon and Kypski.
Yesterday, Gnoosic led me down a magical rabbit hole of music discovery. Since the recommendations get increasingly refined as it learns about my likes and dislikes, I may never climb out.
What to love: It’s a way to discover new music you might not run into any other way.
Who to share it with: Anyone who has ever felt insulted by what Spotify and iTunes think they might like.
Sign-up requirement: None, but you need to be willing and able to come up with three artists you already like.
If you don’t find any of these sites to your liking, never fear: I will continue to brave the web on your behalf in search of the perfect way to fill your free time.
If you have some cool sites or apps to suggest, share them in the comments below!