March 7, 2014

Every guitarist needs street credit to survive in the music industry.

This goes for any musician, really, but especially for guitarists because there are so many of them, myself included.  The guitar may very well be the most "competitive" instrument to play.  There are far fewer bass players and drummers, and despite the plethora of singers out there, only so many of them are good enough to gain real street credit.  On the contrary, even intermediate level guitarists can keep an axe in tune and turn some heads, increasing competition and making it that much more important for you to stand out in the crowd.  This article will give you five easy ways to promote your music and obtain credible online references to establish yourself as a well-known guitarist.

YouTube guitarist

YouTube comes first on this list because let's face it, tons of musicians have gotten their break through this simple video-based site.  Names like Justin Bieber, Avery, Andy McKee, and Alyssa Bernal come to mind when thinking about up-and-coming stars who made it after their uploads gained sufficient popularity.  The list goes on for quite a long time if you care to research it more.

But YouTube isn't just a place for aspiring singer-songwriters to stumble across a lucky break.  It's a place where all musicians can share their craft and recruit a following.  Heck, even I have managed to gain a decent number of subscribers and tally tens of thousands of video views over the course of time with very little content.  All you need to do is periodically upload your highest quality work, build a video library that is valuable to watch from someone else's perspective, and tag your videos with keywords likely to be searched for.  Then you can watch the views roll in and perhaps even monetize your efforts with Google Adsense.

Guitarhoo, Guitarho, Guitarhoo!

GuitarHoo is a hidden gem when it comes to promoting your work as a guitarist.  Going strong since 2002, GuitarHoo features artist videos, interviews, lessons, and more.  You simply need to go to their Contact Page to request that your album be reviewed, or to setup an interview and be featured on the site.  The staff is very friendly and welcoming to new guitarists, too.

Recent stats show that GuitarHoo is charging ahead with close to 3,000 daily unique visitors and around 12,000 page views, so getting on this site is a really big deal and opens you up to a potential 100k unique sets of eyes per month.  Their influence reaches far and wide, so if you are serious about "leveling up" as a guitarist then this is a must-do action item.

Finally, they have a great news section, a full-featured phone app, and a wonderful newsletter to keep you up to date on what's going on.  Here's a fun secret, by the way: their "Timelines" section (accessed under the Articles tab at the top of the page) boasts an incredible archive of guitarist birthdays, searchable by date.  Who knew that Paul Atkinson (The Zombies) and Ricky Wilson (The B52's) shared the same birthday as me!  As a guitarist myself, I really appreciate the work these guys are doing and can only hope they keep it up for the foreseeable future.

ReverbNation Soundcloud, Soundcloud Bandcamp, Bandcamp ReverbNation

These three music promotion/sharing web sites are some of the best online resources available for a guitarist.  You can create profiles, track statistics, make ad campaigns, and send easy links to friends and other contacts to listen to your music.  Furthermore, all these sites can be used a platform to launch your press kit and get the word out about your skills.  Unless you really suck, all these sites stand to help you in your ongoing quest to reach stardom.

Not everyone who creates a profile and uploads their music to these sites is successful, but you might say it is a failure to not have a profile on at least one or two of these sites.  Plain and simple, if you do not prerecorded material to share at a moment's notice via a web link in an email, you are not credible as a musician.  It would be like an artist who has no photos or gallery to display his or her paintings.  It just doesn't work, and to be taken seriously and professionally you need to take the requisite steps to record your music and create an online presence.

facebook twitter, twitter facebook, social media guitar

You must engage in social media frequently and intelligently.  This is no longer an optional thing like it was back in 2004; it is now a staple and it must be used and abused (wisely, of course).  While you can rely on your personal Facebook and Twitter accounts if you would like, it is better to create dedicated Twitter and Facebook pages for your guitar craft.  That way, you can focus all of your effort on guitar and/or music-related posts and updates on those accounts and attract more followers who are interested specifically in what you are doing and sharing.

There are all kinds of algorithms that control page rank, influence, and ultimately popularity and social spread on these mega-socializers.  Dive into Google for a good hour or two to educate yourself on it if you want to go into painstaking detail.  The super cliff's notes version is that you must not post crappy content on a frequent basis.  This only drives your influence down and actually causes you harm in the online social world.  Instead, it is much better to post very high quality, valuable content on a more irregular basis.  You will appear higher up in people's Facebook news feeds and create an overall more exciting place for your followers to stay up to date.  Finally, keep things interesting with media-rich posts and link to your other online credibility references, like GuitarHoo, YouTube, and ReverbNation.

Well, what about #5?  Feel free to contact us here at to find out if we can help support your music, too!


You are now armed with a time-consuming laundry list of things to do in order to promote your music.  It will take a significant investment of time to get all these things going, but if you dedicate yourself to all of them, you stand a good chance of recruiting a strong following in the music community.  In the long run it will definitely pay off.  In closing, I would suggest you start working on some YouTube videos and check out GuitarHoo for their fantastic and long list of available resources, too.  Cheers!