TikTok For Musicians
TikTok For Musicians

October 7th, 2021

Why TikTok May Just Be The Perfect App For Musicians

TikTok has taken the world by storm, inspiring trends, viral hits, and shaking up how we interact with and consume music in a whole new way.

Initially finding popularity amongst young teens lip-syncing and participating in dance trends, the app has blossomed into a tour de force of creation, innovation, and education, boasting a wide array of content and features that make it an undeniable success and asset to any creative.

Musicians especially can benefit from TikTok's total emphasis on music. The app has a powerful built-in video editor and innovative features like 'Duet' and 'Stitch' that allow you to create and collaborate with other users on the fly.

Let's take a look at some creative ways that you can use TikTok to find inspiration, create, and build on your ToneGym training by keeping your musical ears, eyes, and brain sharp.

1. Interact Directly With Music

While many apps such as Instagram now feature in-line music libraries, TikTok encourages users to use and interact directly with music in new ways. For example, a recent trend tasked users with showing themselves growing up through middle school and high school, set to Simple Plan's 'Just a Kid.' Another user from Idaho, 420dogface280, used Fleetwood Mac'sDreams' in a video of him skateboarding to work as he drank Ocean Spray Cranberry juice.

The video went viral and inspired millions of duplicates, even sparking direct interaction from the band themselves, many of whom emerged to post their own spin on the video on TikTok. The song, originally released in 1977 on the Rumours album, re-entered the charts as a result of the trend. 

TikTok encourages everyone to become a part of the creative process, and it creates exciting possibilities as a songwriter and producer. While in the past we wrote for 'radio,' writers and producers are now writing for TikTok. The short-form video format and creative potential challenges musicians to write lyrics that are calling to action, emotionally moving, or just plain fun, to inspire trends, dances and creatives*. 

*A creative is an action set to music on TikTok

2. Collaborate with Other Musicians (Even Famous Ones) Using Duet

Duet is a really, really, REALLY cool feature that is native to the TikTok app and allows users to film and record themselves alongside other users' videos. This has sparked myriad possibilities for musicians to collaborate with one another, and some celebs have even gotten in on the fun.

Super producer Mark Ronson recently posted a Diplo and Ellie Goulding song that he is working on, with a blank second verse, which he encouraged users to fill in via Duet. Ed Sheeran did the same. Want to put your Chordelius skills to the test? Hop on a duet, chart out those chords by ear, and throw in a solo! 

Musicians will often post popular duet songs and alternate singing lyrics, encouraging other users to duet the video and sing the other lines, or even post original songs and ask other musicians to harmonize or add instrumental parts. Drummers post their favorite beats and ask bassists, guitarists, and keyboard players to hop in and play over the beat. 

Duet also allows a user to 'react' to someone else's video. Some super musicians have posted live reactions to fan covers, stories, or posts sharing about how they met the celebrity. 

3. Market Your Music

We hope that you've been putting all that ear-training to good use and creating a lot! 

TikTok's potential to create viral success is unparalleled. The app works in a unique and innovative way that allows users to reach far outside of their core audience to reach new fans, friends, and collaborators. Instead of edge-ranking or asking users to pay to promote their content, TikTok gives every video a chance. 

The app shows every video you post to a small group of people (10-20)

Based on the engagement rate and watch length of the initial group, the app will show the video to more people

This process continues with infinite potential until people lose interest or stop interacting

It's not uncommon to see an artist or musician on TikTok with under 1,000 followers hit 1,000,000 views on a video. If the content is good, and people interact with it, the app will continue showing it to new users who may be interested in the video. 

This has amazing potential for artists and musicians everywhere, who previously were held back by relying on paid advertising and sponsored posts to reach new fans. Without spending a dime, an artist can upload a creative to their own song, or even share some behind the scenes clips of their creative process, drawing in a whole new audience. 

4. There is a lot to Learn

TikTok recently launched a 1 billion dollar (yes $1,000,000,000) creators fund to help fund educational content on the app. Looking for a playground to flex your Intervalis muscles? Look no further than #musictok.

TikTok's top out at 60 seconds, so it makes learning new things fun and breezy. Videos also play on a loop, so you can rewatch a video to continue learning. Some users post videos with notation or TABS for you to play along with, others share fun music theory facts and trivia.

5. It's EASY

The content that does best on TikTok is raw, relatable, and REAL. Using the app's built-in editor, you can easily make a successful video in less than 10 minutes using your selfie-cam. That is something even the busiest of us can squeeze in a few times a week! 

The days of big-budget, super-produced long-form content is waning, and TikTok is forging new lanes ahead for musicians who may not have the time, money, or interest to invest in highly produced YouTube videos that take hours, or even days to produce and edit. 

What are you waiting for? Get training in ToneGym and share your work on TikTok!  

Comments:


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yooval mann
Oct 07
TikTok - a decadence of culture. Hello world of short and stupid flicks, I suggest to people ignore that ToneGym's post above (sponsored?) and find more intelligent ways to use your time
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Yohai Zilber
Oct 07
@yooval mann You are totally ignoring the importance of the short and stupid flicks platform TikTok as a monetization tool for artists thet actually make a living from their music and the value of Microlearning via Social Media.

You're missing out!🙌
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yooval mann
Oct 07
"learning?" what did you actually LEARN from it?
"importance?" what is important about it? if it didn't exist would it be missed?

on top of that, if artists and musicians sole purpose and way of living is composing for TikTok it is a very very sad world, and hence my harsh words, we as humanity have to evolve past the mind-dumbing this suggests to us, we MUST!
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Yohai Zilber
Oct 07
Have you even read the article..?

To be honest, your seeming proclivity to romanticize the concept of art and stand your "Moral" ground sound more like a vice than a virtue...
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yooval mann
Oct 07
yes I've read it thanks

you will promote the world YOU want to see and I will promote my idea of it, we create the reality of the future with our choices now.
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Jaden Balogh
Oct 07
Actually, the article is quite on point. Beyond what you may think of TikTok or its users (and Yooval's opinion is sadly a common one amongst people unfamiliar with the app) - it serves as one of the best spaces currently available on the internet for musicians.

Not only does the app do a good job of crediting and linking back to the artist on every post using a particular sound, but it has an unprecedented discovery algorithm that essentially *guarantees* your posts will be seen be at least a few dozen people, and can easily reach thousands or millions even without an existing following.

For any up-and-coming musician, this is arguably one of the BEST platforms to get your name out there. Don't discount it just from how it may appear on the surface!
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yooval mann
Oct 07
So I understand the job of the future musician and in order to be discovered would be to compose for TikTok... Well there's something sad about that but go on
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Why is it sad? It is no different than YouTube or playing in a club. It is another way to get your music out there for people to hear.
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Amit Fortus
Oct 12
@yooval I bet most of your favorite composers were composing for a paying audience- be it a wealthy baron in classical music or a record label in more recent times...

Why do you think that composing with the mainstream audience in mind is a bad thing? How I see it, it just means your trying to have as many people enjoy your creating. No?
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yooval mann
Oct 12
The question here is what is this music going to accompany? Wasn't TikTok invented to be a platform for short one minute 'funny' videos for people with short attention spans? Sure if TikTok is used for something uplifting there is value in it

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