YouTube is a great resource if you’re looking to fine-tune your craft, improve your technique or listen to some damn fine tunes.
It may not have all the answers, but it can certainly kickstart the learning process and introduce you to new ideas and sounds.
Here are four YouTube channels we’ve been watching for a little bit of inspiration and education.
This channel is fronted by veteran mixing engineer Dave Pensado and his sidekick and fellow audio geek Herb. But relax, you don’t need to be seriously into music tech to find it useful or interesting. Recent Pensado guests include Finneas O’Connell, Billie Eilish’s songwriter/producer brother, and Louis Bell, producer to Camila Cabello and Post Malone. And if you do fancy learning about how things work in the studio, there are engineering and mixing tutorials too.
NPR Music Tiny Desk Concerts are legendary, offering a glimpse of some of music’s most interesting performers in an intimate, organic setting. NPR (National Public Radio) has serious pulling power, with artists including David Crosby, Lizzo, Nao, Khalid, IDLES and Imogen Heap have all delivering Tiny Desk concerts. Check out one of our favourite Tiny Desk guests Jorja Smith, blistering rendition of Teenage Fantasy here. We like.
This is the official YouTube channel of Berklee College of Music, the Boston institution that taught John Mayer, Charlie Puth, Aubrey Loan and Gillian Welch. Berklee Online draws on the expertise of its tutors and has videos on all aspects of the music industry. Tune in to learn more about songwriting, copyright, branding, streaming and vocal technique.
If you’re curious to see what’s going on in the world of music, then spend a few moments on the Sofar Sounds channel. Sofar is the international gigging network that offers emerging artists the chance to play in intimate settings in cities across the globe. The Sofar channel allows you to drop in on a gig in Istanbul, Riga or Buenos Aires without clocking up air miles. It’s also good if you enjoy checking out artists before they were famous. Check out Honne three years ago, before they were headliners, or one Billie Eilish at a Sofar gig in LA two years ago. She was pretty special, even then.