I love podcasts. My Stitcher app is full to the brim. Podcasts are great because you can listen while doing other things — loading the dishwasher, traveling, fixing your car. And because you’re a musician, you should know that there are plenty of podcasts that are custom designed for you and me.
DIY Musician Podcast
The DIY Musician Podcast from CD Baby is one of the most well-known musician-centered podcasts out there. The whole goal of it is to help indie musicians in every facet of their career, including recording music.
Many of the episodes are about the business side of being a musician, but they also talk about things that can hurt your music and how to get your music sounding professional before you release it. Ultimately, the goal of this podcast is to help you be (or at least move toward being) a full-time musician, whether you want advice on making and recording music or promoting it.
Recommended episode: #182 with a panel of experts talking about 60 ideas for musicians in 60 minutes
Song Exploder features songwriter-artists who “take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made.” That includes the songwriting process and the recording process. The great thing about this podcast is that you can learn from it regardless of your opinion about the featured artist. Sometimes it’s helpful and inspiring to hear about another musician’s creative process.
I think one of the best episodes is the one that features Rivers Cuomo, the leadman for the band Weezer. He and the band have a very interesting songwriting and music-making process, in which Cuomo passionately plays air guitar in front of the mirror and comes up with guitar solos by first singing them.
Recommended episode: #42 with all-star rock band U2
And The Writer Is…
In each episode of “And The Writer Is…,” songwriter and musician activist Ross Golan talks with a well-known songwriter about their journey as a musician and how they wrote some of their biggest songs. In other words, “what happens behind closed doors in the music industry,” as he puts it.
They talk about songwriting inspiration and process as well as the business side of being a songwriter and musician. They often get personal as some of the guests talk about their upbringing and how that affects their art.
Not only does Golan know a lot of famous songwriters, but he’s also an accomplished one himself. He’s the writer or co-writer of songs like “My House” by Flo Rida, “Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande, and “Fresh Eyes” by Andy Grammar.
Recommended episode: #37 with hit songwriter/musician Andy Grammar
The Third Story Podcast
The Third Story Podcast is all about, well, story. The host, Oscar-winning musician, producer, and composer Leo Sidran, talks with a musician about how they got to where they are. If you love stories, especially those of musicians, this is a good podcast to start with.
Recommend episode: #87 with songwriter/musician Theo Katzman