Purchasing Books and Sheet Music
Amazon – They have everything, so this is a good place to check for books and sheet music.
Sheet Music Plus – Advertised as having the world’s largest collection of sheet music. Some downloads available. Sometimes coupons
Van Cott Information Services – Books, CDs, music for woodwinds and brass. Terrific annotations for each item. Great service!
Dorn Publishing – Specializing in saxophone and clarinet books, sheet music and CDs. Publisher of Saxophone Journal.
Music Notes – Download, print and play sheet music. Some free downloads.
Scribd – There is a monthly subscription fee of $8.99 which allows you to read 3-4 books a month. But the sheet music is unlimited to read.
Free Sheet Music
8 Notes – Free sheet music and lessons. Purchase an annual subscription ($20) for unlimited downloads and additional services.
Clarinet Institute – There is quality free clarinet music here. There is also a collection of archived sheet music available on disc or flash drive, as well as collections of mp3 recordings. For example, $15.75 for 100s of saxophone solos and quartets seems like a good find to me!
Petrucci Free Music Library – Free public domain music. Search and ye shall find!
Musescore – Musescore is a free notation software program. But many people that use Musescore allow others to use their music. Like YouTube videos, there is a wide variety here. Some arrangements are really excellent, some less so. You can download the sheet music and you can hear a midi recording of each piece in Musescore. It is a great tool for creating music.
Blank Sheet Music – The need to purchase manuscript paper for theory class or composition is gone. Just go to this site and print out manuscript paper with various clefs, orientation, and sizing. This isn’t the only site you can do this. The interface here is fairly easy to use.
Purchasing Reeds and Accessories
Amazon – As stated before, they sell everything. I have found some interesting things on this site just by searching around.
Woodwind Brasswind – My go to place for clarinet and saxophone reeds. Free shipping on orders over $49 (two boxes of reeds) and coupons from time to time.
Frederick Weiner Music – They also offer a lot of music supplies, generally they are competitive with pricing, so worth checking out.
Sax Quest – This is an interesting site. Lots of accessories for saxophone and clarinet, fairly priced reeds and vintage instruments.
Ridenour Clarinet Products – Tom Ridenour invented the ATG reed finishing system, along with other products for the clarinetist. There are mouthpieces, instruments, accessories and educational articles on this site.
Reed Geek – The Reed Geek is a handy tool that replaces the need for a reed knife, and some feel it easier to handle. This site demonstrates the product.
The Reed Wizard – Ben Armato is the inventor of the Reed Wizard and the Perfecta Reed. I purchased the Reed Wizard tool (c. $309) with the idea that if I could improve 300 reeds for myself and students, it will have paid for itself. That’s going well. Perfecta Reed is pricier at over $600. My professor in college had one, and we made good use of it.
Your local instrumental music dealer! It’s my first thought that anyone looking for an instrument should check local music stores. If you’re searching for a particular brand instrument, go to the manufacturer’s website and search for a local dealer that will carry that brand. In terms of service and repair, especially with an instrument under warranty, going to your local store first is a good plan.
If there are no local stores for you to go to, find out where the closest large dealer is located and plan a trip to visit them. The advantage of going to a large store is the availability to try many instruments and models. This can help you make a much more informed decision.
If neither of these is a viable option for you and purchasing an instrument online is your only option, be sure to read the shipping, return and warranty policies very carefully. Particularly when purchasing a used instrument, buyer beware. Enough said.
Research! Before you go on a long trek to find your instrument, do some research. Find out about models, options, and prices. This will put you in a better position to find or make a good deal for yourself. As an example, here is an article from Saxophone.org (Saxquest) about buying saxophones.
The same places that sell reeds and accessories often sell musical instruments, too:
If you are looking for a used instrument, Ebay is the place to check.
Software for Music Notation
Musescore – a free, web based notation program
Noteflight – Basic (free), Premium ($49/yr) and Learning ($69) level subscription plans for this web based notation program.
Finale Notepad, Print Music and Finale – Industry standard notation software Finale Notepad (free), Print Music ($120) and Finale ($600).
Presonus Notation Software – Notion for PC/MAC and iOS and Progression (guitar, bass, drums and keyboard) for PC/MAC and iPad, and Notion Conducting Software
Sibelius – made by Avid, Sibelius is considered a user-friendly notation program. It can be purchased to own or on a monthly/annual subscription plan.
Music Time Deluxe and Encore – made by Passport Music Time Deluxe is an affordable notation program and Encore is the premium notation program.
Create Your Own Accompaniments
Garage Band – for MAC and iOS
Band-in-the-Box – created by PG Music, Band-in-the-Box is super versatile; allows for print outs, too
iREal Pro – allows for an easy accompaniment to Real Book tunes, and allows you to create your own chord charts.
Smart Music – I had used Smart Music for years with my private students and loved it! (It’s an accompaniment program for solos, method books, band repertoire. Seriously, there is a lot of music in this program!) But when it changed to an online subscription based program (the New Smart Music) I could no longer use it as the studio I rent has no internet service. But now Make Music, the parent company, is offering both the online subscription service AND the Classic Smart Music, which you load onto a computer. (Note: Class Smart Music cannot be used on a Chromebook.) Hurrah!
Tempo Perfect Metronome – Download a free metronome that subdivides, and is for Windows, MAC, iOS, Android, and Kindle
8Notes Metronome – a free, basic online metronome with basic accents patterns (2,3, or 4). Rather cool that there are some drum beat patterns (only in 4) for rock, jazz, latin, and funk.
Pano Tuner – free app on iTunes, for use on PC and MAC
Fine Chromatic Tuner – from Google Play Store, for use on Android devices.
Korg Cortosia Good Sound Tuner – for about $5.00 at the iTunes app store. Interesting to use as it show pitch stability, tone quality, etc.
Practice Logs – There are several free, useful downloads on the amazing site Musicians Way. Check out the links, too. Get the book by Gerald Klickstein – great book!
Listening to Music
YouTube – There is an amazing amount of free music on YouTube for almost anything. Some of it’s great, some not so great – but free. Also YouTube Red ($9.99 month) gets you uniterrupted music and videos.
Spotify – Free level and Premium ($9.99 month)
Google Play Music – Purchase individual tracks and albums. After 3 month trial, family subscription (up to 6 people) for $14.99 a month.
Napster – It used to be called Rhapsody. Radio plan is $4.99 a month, premium plan is $9.99 a month.
Amazon Prime Music – If you already have an Amazon Prime membership, then you can stream a good bit of music for free.
Amazon Music Unlimited – Several price points here. If you have an Amazon Echo, Dot or Tap device, just as Alexa and you can have it for $3.99 a month, but only through that device. An individual plan (allows you to listen on devices with the app and on a computer) is $7.99 a month or $79 a year for Prime members. Non-prime members pay $9.99 a month. And, the Family Plan for up to 6 people is $14.99 a month or $149 a year for Prime members and just $14.99 a month for non-Prime members.
Note that all these subscription plans have some type of trial membership, which allows you to try it out first. Since we have an Amazon Prime membership, I like the Individual plan for Amazon Music Unlimited. I also have the Napster subscription service, and it seems nearly identical to the Amazon Unlimited. Note that you will come across music on Amazon that you cannot stream, just as on Napster sometimes not all the tracks on an album are available.
Theory and Ear Training
Music Theory Net – While they do have some iOS apps for sale, there are a lot of free exercises for theory and ear training on the website.
Ear Beater – This site has a wide range of ear training challenges and is also available for iPad.
Ear Master – The ear training software is about $60, but there is a free online theory course offered at the website.
Teoria – This site has free tutorials, ear training, and articles.
Jamey Aebersold Jazz – Jazz musician Jamey Aebersold is the powerhouse that began creating and selling jazz play-along books and recordings. Now there are well over 100 of these sets. The site has many books, recordings, and free stuff – useful information about jazz improvisation.
Greg Fishman Jazz Studios – Greg Fishman is a jazz saxophonist and teacher. He has many books – available in various formats. His site has free information, practice licks and free video lessons. He also has a listing of jazz educators and offers online Skype lessons. If you are interested in jazz, this is a great site!
Jazz Advice – There seems to be a lot of resources and articles on this site for anyone wanting to learn about jazz improvisation.
Jazz Conception Company – Created by Jim Snidero, who wrote the Jazz Conception series (very good books, too!) annual membership ($16.95) gives access to video workshops, play alongs, books, interviews and half off the price of other products (improvisation video courses). Available on any computer and device.
Music Teachers Helper – This site offers a studio management system that is a web based application. They will bill your students, accept online payments through Paypal, track expenses, allow for online scheduling, send out reminders, allow you to have web space for a blog and a lot more. Prices range from $14 a month for a small studio (up to 20 students), $29 a month for 40 students, and $49 a month for unlimited students. This would be good for the unorganized or for anyone wanting to take credit card payments.
Monster – Looking for a new job? Try out Monster, it’s free and you can customize your search.
PBS Parent Music Education – If you find yourself needing to defend music education or educate a parent, this site is a good place to start.
Music Teachers National Association – a Professional organization providing support to the Independent Music Teacher.
National Association for Music Education – formerly MENC, NAfME is the professional organization for music educators in the school system.
College Music Society – The professional organization for music teachers in higher education.
Film Music Magazine – an online publication about the film music industry, job listings, interviews.
Film Sound – Large collection of film music and film sound books in their store, some articles.
Soundtrack – This site focuses on the release of soundtracks and related news.
Film Score Monthly – this is an online magazine that reviews and discusses the latest film score. Membership is about $5.00 per month. One of the benefits to membership is the use of the archives.
Society for the Appreciation of Bernard Herrmann – one the greatest film composers ever, Herrmann followers have created a helpful site about him and film music.
Hearing the Movies – This is the companion site to the textbook “Hearing the Movies” by James Buhler and David Neumeyer. There are useful links to other film music sources here.