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Looking to sharpen your music production skills?
Want to become a better songwriter?
Interested in sharpening your music business skills?
Then it might be time to dig into some powerful resources.
In this hands-on review, we’ll be looking at Soundfly, which offers courses and mentorship for producers, songwriters, and other musicians. Here’s what you need to know.
But first, if it's your aim to do music professionally, you'll want to check out our free ebook while it's still available:
Free eBook: Discover how real independent musicians like you are making $4,077 - $22,573+ monthly via Youtube, let me know where to send the details:
Soundfly Discount Code
Before I go any further, we've secured a tasty discount for you if you want to get a Soundfly subscription and get all their courses. Simply enter the following discount code when you join:
This will get you 15% off the regular price. This is a limited time discount, so be quick. 🙂
What Soundfly Can Help You Achieve
Soundfly promises to help musicians fast-track their learning through various programs, courses, and mentorship. In their own words, they do this by pushing you to the edge of your comfort zone and even beyond.
They have a variety of course offerings depending on what you’re looking to achieve, in the categories of Produce, Write, Play, Hustle, and Discover. We’ll be taking a closer look at each of these categories and all the course content a little later in this guide.
What’s worth pointing out now, though, is that Soundfly has both free and premium courses, so if you’re interested in taking their material for a test drive, you can do so without becoming a paid member.
We all know that courses are basically self-serve and the results we get from them are largely determined by the effort we put into them. They are convenient, though, because you can work through the material at your own pace. That’s where Soundfly is a little different, though, as they also offer mentorship.
The main value proposition of mentorship is that your teacher can tailor your lessons to you, offer personal feedback and guidance, help you stay accountable to your goals, answer questions, and give you helpful tips along the way. The mentors will also direct you to specific courses depending on what you’re trying to achieve.
If you’ve ever taken music lessons, then you already know that having a teacher can help you progress further faster, even when you can’t keep up with all they give you to work on. We’ll be getting into each of the mentors a little later, but the point is that a mentor can be a difference maker when you’re looking to advance quickly in music.
What Does Soundfly Cost?
Soundfly has two plans available:
- Monthly: $39 per month
- Annual: $19 per month (pay for the year upfront – $234 per year)
The Soundfly Experience
With most course platforms and memberships, there’s usually a significant difference between the main website (prospect facing) and member’s dashboard (customer facing).
What’s remarkable about Soundfly is that it’s a relatively seamless experience. Even after you login, all the pages appear as they did before logging in, just that you now have access to all the courses.
At no point was I confused or unsure where to navigate, what to do next, or how to access a specific feature. Instructions, links, and buttons were all clearly marked and easy to find.
Overall, the Soundfly experience is a pleasant one. The site is easy to use and is professionally designed.
So far as usability, navigation, and design is concerned, we’ll be covering each of these elements in more detail a little later in this guide.
What’s Included Inside The Soundfly Membership?
As a new member of Soundfly, your first “assignment” will be to join the Soundfly Slack group. If you’re familiar with Slack, you already know what to expect. Otherwise, this is basically what they refer to as a “fancy IRC style chatroom.”
Inside the Slack community, you can interact with other students, mentors, and Soundfly staff. You can also share your work, ask questions, and even hang out.
As we all know, having a community to interact with is a huge plus. We’d love to see Soundfly develop their own forum or chatroom instead of relying on Slack, but that’s a minor nitpick at best.
Upon joining, you’ll also be invited to read some articles on Flypaper, Soundfly’s blog, before digging into a course. Soundfly publishes nearly daily on Flypaper, which is a great resource in its own right.
With that out of the way, it’s time to dig into what else is included in the membership.
What Is the Format Of The Content?
Soundfly utilizes a mix of text, images, GIFs, audios, and videos. Their CEO and founder, Ian Temple, focuses heavily on learning, and this is reflected in the way their courses flow.
Although much of the key content is encapsulated in video, if you don’t like reading, Soundfly might not be your jam. There is a lot of learning that happens through reading in many of the courses, even if just to reinforce concepts and ideas.
Text is the predominant form of communication used on Soundfly.
How Is The Content Delivered?
You can access all the course content the moment you become a member of Soundfly.
That said, getting set up with a mentor can take some time. So, whether you want to find a mentor to walk you through a course, or have a mentor suggest courses for you, it’s good to leave a little leeway.
How Much Training Is Available?
As noted earlier, Soundfly has courses in the categories of Produce, Write, Play, Hustle, and Discover. This is where we’ll be unpacking each.
First, Produce is all about recording, electronic music, and technology. These are the courses included in this category:
- Unlocking the Emotional Power of Chords
- The Creative Power of Advanced Harmony
- Beat Making in Ableton Live
- Faders Up I: Modern Mix Techniques
- Faders Up II: Advanced Mix Techniques
- The Art of Hip-Hop Production
- Intro to Making Music in Logic Pro X
- Advanced Synths and Patch Design for Producers
- Songwriting for Producers
- Intro to Music Production in Ableton Live
- Modern Pop Vocal Production
- Kimbra: Vocal Creativity, Arranging, & Production
- Theory for Producers (free)
- Any Sound Will Do (free)
- Demystifying Synths (free)
- Chptune Crash Course (free)
- Making Realistic MIDI Strings (free)
- Demo Recording 101 (free)
- How to Make Your First Beat in Ableton Live (free)
- Synth Bass for Bass Players (free)
- Live Clicks & Backing Tracks (free)
The Produce category is the most extensive one on offer, making Soundfly a great place to go to learn about making music from home or in the studio.
Now for the Write category. This is where you would go to learn about songwriting, composition, and theory. Here are the courses included:
- The New Songwriter’s Workshop
- Orchestration for Strings
- Introduction to the Composer’s Craft
- Writing Funk Grooves for Drums and Bass (free)
In the Play category, you can learn to practice, play, and improve. All the courses living under this umbrella are free:
- Alternate Tunings for the Creative Guitarist
- How to Read Music
- Building Blocks of Piano
- Music Theory for Beginner Pianists
- The Improviser’s Toolkit
- Digital Pedalboards with Kaki King
Now it’s time to look at the Hustle branch of courses, which gets into music business, marketing, and making money. All courses included here are free:
- Touring on a Shoestring
- Building a Better Band
- How to Get all the Royalties You Never Knew Existed
- The Definitive Guide to Building Your Audition Book
- Crowdfunding for Musicians
- How to Create a Killer Musician Website
Finally, we have the Discover category, where you can find musings, inspiration, and nerdy stuff. These courses are all free:
- Themes and Variation Companion Courses
- The West Side Story Companion
- A Conversation with the Blues
It’s also worth noting that many of the free courses are multi-part series courses with two to five sections.
Some Lesson Titles & What They Help You Accomplish
In this section, we’ll look at several lesson titles directly from the courses offered on Soundfly, as well as what each of them can help you accomplish in your music career.
Powerful Emotions Through Simple Chords
This lesson is included inside the Unlocking the Emotional Power of Chords course.
In this lesson, you’ll learn about power chords and the perfect fifth interval. One of the examples offered is Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” which famously opens with a series of massive sounding power chords.
Although it’s simple to do, adding a fifth to your single notes can thicken up the sound of the “chord,” making power chords perfect for rock and roll. This lesson offers an in-depth explanation as to how and why this works.
Recording Background Vocals in Action
This lesson is part of the Modern Pop Vocal Production course.
An important part of any song is backing vocals. Now, to be fair, some pop songs don’t include much by way of harmonies these days, but it can be a helpful skill to master, even as applied to doubling or tripling vocal parts, which is quite common in any style of music.
In this lesson, instructor Sirma Munyar shows her approach to layering vocal parts with doubling, high octaves, harmonies, and more.
Where’s Your Sound Recording?
This lesson comes from the How to Get all the Royalties You Never Knew Existed course.
This lesson is more of a recap of what you learned earlier in the course than anything. It explains how artists can ensure they’re signed up with all the right entities, including distribution companies, SoundExchange, and licensing companies to tap into the various revenue streams that exist.
Who Teaches The Courses?
Soundfly has a multitude of teachers covering a variety of subjects.
Here’s a broad overview:
- Ethan Hain: Adjunct professor of music technology at NYU and Montclair State University, as well as founding member of the NYU Music Experience Design.
- Dan Freeman: Ableton Certified Trainer, artist/producer/bassist, and music technologist.
- Charles Burchell: Educator, composer, and cultural diplomat.
- Martin Fowler: Composer, producer, bassist.
- John Hull: Engineer and producer.
- Will Marshall: Singer, composer, producer, pianist, synthesist, engineer, and educator.
- Claire Marie Lim: Music technologist and multi-disciplinary artist.
- Sirma Munyar: Singer, songwriter, producer, and topliner.
- Kimbra: Singer, songwriter, producer, and pop artist.
- Vishal Nayak: Engineer, drummer, producer.
- Grant Zubritsky: Touring musician and musical director.
- Alex Wilson: Multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer.
- Oli Rockberger: Singer-songwriter, solo artist, producer/arranger, studio keys sideman, and one-third of Mister Barrington.
- Ian Davis: Composer, arranger, and art rocker.
- Tim Hansen: Composer, songwriter, music director, and storyteller.
- Christina Apostolopoulos: Folk and blues side guitar player.
- Dre DiMura: Guitarist, composer, actor.
- Elyadeen Anbar: Guitarist, writer, teacher, composer, photo-shaman.
- Ian Temple: Pianist, entrepreneur, and professional musician. Ian is also the CEO and founder of Soundfly.
- Mahea Lee: Classical pianist with a jazz education.
- Kaki King: Composer, guitarist, and artist.
- Jeremy Young: Guitarist, experimental musician, and creative entrepreneur.
- Carter Lee: Bassist, educator, and producer.
- Ari Herstand: DIY music business guru.
- Jay Coyle: Manager, consultant, teacher, and music geek.
- Delaney Gibson: Designer, art director, and artist.
- Vince Di Mura: Veteran jazz pianist, composer, arranger, and musical director.
- And many others: Soundfly has recruited a variety of other recognizable personalities for their courses, including Brian Losch, John Davis, Jake Aron, David Amlen, Leon Kelly, Kenta Yonesaka, Tim Leitner, and many others.
Who Are The Mentors?
In addition to course instructors, Soundfly also has mentors to help you learn, grow, and progress in your music career. While I haven't personally tried this side of things, it may be worth looking into if you'd like extra support.
Here’s an overview of the mentors you can learn from (some you’ve already been introduced to in the previous section):
- Marta Grzegorzak: Social media specialist, DIY marketer.
- Carter Lee: Producer, composer, educator.
- Jamie Billings: Producer, sound designer, audio nerd.
- Joseph Capalbo: Songwriter, producer, educator.
- Charlotte Yates: Songwriter, recording artist, coach.
- Raven Katz: Singer, songwriter, educator.
- Marty Fowler: Producer, composer, bassist.
- Brandon Miranda: Producer, mix engineer, composer.
- Ilichna Morasky: Graphic designer, illustrator.
- Holt Menzies: Director of photography.
- John Hull: Composer, mixer, producer.
- Chris Temple: Filmmaker, entrepreneur.
- Mahea Lee: Composer, songwriter, educator.
- Ian Prince: Producer, songwriter, composer.
- Leon Kelly: Producer, mixing engineer.
- Andre Madatian: Film composer, guitarist, educator.
- Tim Maryon: Composer, arranger, film scorer.
- Sirma Munyar: Singer, songwriter, producer.
- Sam Friedman: Producer, composer, sound designer.
- Sulene van der Walt: Indie artist, producer, DIY marketer.
- Keturah Brown: Social media advisor and songwriter.
- Ian Temple: Composer, entrepreneur, pianist.
- Andrea De Carlo: Producer, engineer, keyboardist.
- Rafael Torres: TV/film composer, producer.
- Ian Barnett: Drummer, producer, DJ.
Usability & Design
In this section, we’ll look at Soundfly’s membership platform.
Let’s start by looking at their site navigation.
We’ve looked at many memberships, course platforms, and subscription services to this point.
And while navigation can fall under the category of “subjective,” we feel that Soundfly is one of the few memberships out there that ticks all the boxes and gets everything right.
At no point did I feel lost navigating the site, and if I were looking to find my way back to a page I was on earlier, I found it easy to do.
The courses are also easy to navigate and moving between lessons is a cinch. Whoever worked on their layout obviously knows what they’re doing.
We can tell that a lot of love and care went into designing and creating Soundfly.
They’ve opted for easy on the eye pastel colors throughout their site (and we can’t blame them for that – ha!), and they’ve also chosen fonts that are big and easy to read (apart from some bolded fonts that made it harder to differentiate between “i” and “l). Check.
Each course info page is loaded with relevant information, including a course overview, the instructor(s), what you can expect to learn inside the course, mentors that are suited to offering support for the specific course you’re taking, what others have said about the course (testimonials), course outline, and even an FAQ. Check.
Once inside the course, they’ve opted for an even more stripped-down layout, with clear navigation on the left (with subsections and lesson links under each), and content on the right. Although they link out to a lot of resources, there are no extraneous links or distracting banners leading you away from the course content. Check.
We commend Soundfly on creating an impeccable, minimal, easy to use website.
Is Progress Saving Available?
Yes. Lessons are checked off as you complete them, and if you need to, it’s easy to return to the lesson you left off on.
Soundfly Review, The Verdict
With over 40 courses (free and premium), dozens of instructors and mentors, Soundfly memberships basically pay for themselves. They are excellent value, especially given that you can get personalized coaching, feedback, and tips from active artists, entrepreneurs, and even other creatives (like designers, illustrators, filmmakers, graphic designers, and more).
Mentorship is also kind of a fresh concept in the music industry, at least the way Soundfly has set it up. Teachers and coaches aren’t that hard to find in the music industry, but there aren’t too many platforms that combine the self-serve aspect of courses with guided, hands-on coaching.
For the most part, Soundfly’s content skews towards music producers, sound engineers, and composers, which is not a bad thing by any means. That said, if your focus is on learning an instrument, writing songs, or sharpening your business skills, there are memberships and programs with significantly more on offer.
Soundfly does have a lot more going for it though, as their platform is professionally designed and highly usable. Their website is among one of the best we’ve reviewed, and that’s saying a lot, given the sheer number of platforms we’ve looked at.
Overall, we do recommend Soundfly’s membership. It is amazing value for the money, and you get access to hundreds of hours of content you won’t exhaust any time soon. You can even get personalized attention while you’re learning.